Cloud apps, bots and automation all sound like amazing tools until you run into errors. As your company goes through the process of digital transformation, workflows that were meant to save time can actually result in more work for your business systems team.
While reviewing, vetting and ultimately selecting SaaS tools, it becomes clear that while software errors are inevitable, chaos and/or the way in which you handle them is not. Instead of completely leaving it up to the end user to resolve or bombarding technical teams with a bunch of tasks without categorization, with optimization from business systems, many error handling tasks can quickly be put into the right teams’ hands, allowing said teams to work on more fruitful work and stakeholders or customers to get their resolutions faster.
Identify Automation Errors With an Error Report
Many of your automated workflows will be happening on a massive scale. You’ve probably experienced the pain of transferring 1000s of data points, only to have a small percentage of your automations fail. When that happens, who needs to go back to fix possibly hundreds of errors? Your business systems team.
In order to see what common errors are happening, consider dumping all of your errors into a single database to run analytics. That way, you’re aware of the most frequent error trends that are occurring and can create resolutions to solve them quickly.
How to Assign Error Handling Tasks
Not every occurring error belongs to your team. If your team’s responsible for overseeing your CRM-ERP integration and you keep coming across an error that says, “The phone field does not have enough digits,” that is simply out of your hands. There’s not much your business systems team can do to control the amount of digits your salespeople are inserting in that particular field.
To solve situations like this, some Systems teams have created bucket systems for error handling. Each bucket assigns different error types for the right teams to solve – whether that be the end user, Customer Support or the Dev Team. The system helps to create accountability, notify teams of common errors, and hastens resolutions. This way, your business systems team only stops for the errors that require their expertise.
The 3 Bucket System for Error Handling
These are three bucket categories that can be used when optimizing error handling and automation utilized by a member of the business systems community. If your business requires more categorization, feel free to add them.
1. Your End Users
This bucket consists of errors that can be handled by end users, such as marketing, sales, customer success and others including data validation errors. Quick fixes like these will ensure that lines of business can efficiently complete workflows and input data.
2. Your Support Team
The second bucket, overseen by support, will include common errors that the business systems team does not need to get involved in like rerunning jobs that have timed out. Business systems leads can create a playbook for support that includes known workarounds for known errors that includes the steps or clicks in succession for how to resolve them. That way, the frequently asked questions (or errors in this case) already have answers.
3. Your Business Systems Team
The final bucket belongs to your business systems team and includes anything support or the end user couldn’t resolve like updating the logic of your integrations, deep dive troubleshooting, or working with vendors.
Batch-Solving Technical Automation Errors
Workato’s Callable Recipes Save The Day
In optimizing integrations between their CRM and ERP, a leading provider of analytics solutions for security and IT operations uses Workato to sort and solve their automation errors. To accomplish this, the company broke up their linear recipes into Workato’s callable recipes. While “recipes” are automated workflows that connect your apps based on the actions and triggers you set, Workato’s callable recipes go a step further by separating a repeatable set of actions (in a single, linear recipe) into shorter recipes that can be “called” from other recipes that require the same steps. That way, when an error occurs, teams can simply rerun the section of the recipe with the error as opposed to rerunning the entire thing. This allows them to more easily find errors, assign them to the right team(s) and fix them.
While Error Handling Is Inevitable, Chaos Is Not
While your journey towards digital transformation will certainly encounter mishaps, there are frameworks that can help you manage errors more efficiently.
1. Error Accountability
Make sure that the correct employees are being routed and solving the right errors. This allocation of tasks will prevent teams from wasting time and allow them to focus on value-added tasks that concern them.
2. Break Down Recipes and Errors
Instead of scrambling to find where your automations failed, consider breaking them down into bite-sized recipes. That way, it’d only be a matter of solving the errors and not finding them, improving customer satisfaction.
When preparing for digital transformation and deploying automations, you want to ensure that they’re working smoothly and truly transforming your business. As you encounter errors, adopting these frameworks could save your business systems team precious time, improve productivity and insure that customers (both internal and external) receive resolutions faster.