Published: October 21, 2020

Bot Health Checks to Harden Production Solutions

So far in this series, we’ve covered process discovery with knowledge domain experts, enterprise grade automation development, and development mentoring. This week, we turn our focus to why improving bot health in your production environment is important to the success of your intelligent automation program. 

If you believe your bots are truly enterprise-grade in their current state—meaning they’re fully documented, efficiently developed, and executing without issue during production runtime—you can stop reading here.

For the remaining 90% still reading, you’ve probably experienced something like the following: in an attempt to achieve early automation program success, you may have hurried to identify, build, and deploy automation solutions at the beginning of your journey—with or without help from a service provider. After deployment, you may have found that your automated solutions aren’t achieving the results you hoped for or expected, and in some cases, they may be creating more work than they’re worth. In a worst-case scenario, execution of the bots may be so poor that you scrapped them altogether.

No automation program expects this to happen to them, but when it does, the program will not achieve scale without improving the delivery model and realigning expectations.

Can my struggling bots be saved?

The short answer is most likely. More times than not, your automated solutions can be quickly improved with the support of a skilled service provider, like Agilify.  However in some cases, the quality may be so poor that starting over is more time and cost effective.  Either way, your service provider should advise you appropriately.

When exploring how to improve a struggling automated solution, a skilled service provider can evaluate a bot in a matter of hours with a cursory bot health check. This may include review of the documentation, design, coding standards, scalability, etc.

 3 benefits of a bot health check

  1. Actional recommendations: The output should reveal a full list of prioritized, recommended, and actionable improvements, each prioritized by criticality. Ultimately, all results should align with industry standards and best practices. This is only possible with the proper training or a skilled partner, like Agilify, so as we’ve previously said, choose your service provider wisely.
  2. Easily see what is working across all bots: Generally speaking, the findings and recommendations from each bot health check will likely translate across all bots—meaning common deficiencies are likely to exist elsewhere. This may mean fewer bot  health checks overall.
  3. Improve developer skill-set: Arguably the most important results of a bot health check is its  ability to serve as an effective tool for improving the development skill set for an organization’s developers. The results should empower the team to grow and learn from partner-provided recommendations.

Establishing a healthy digital workforce is a requirement for automation program scale. It allows the development teams to focus on the next solution rather than continuously resolving issues in prior builds—ultimately allowing them to focus on the most important work.

In part five, which will conclude our series, we will chat through why having dedicated automation production support services is so important to the success of your automation program.