The 4 P's of Automation


Is there any correlation between doing a Startup right, perfecting a pitch presentation, and Application Performance Management (APM)?  Yes, when looking at it through the eyes of Automation!  Let me explain further.

On October 27, 2015, I was proud to represent IT-Conductor as CEO and Co-founder to take the stage in front of 300 attendees at SAP in Palo Alto during the "Art of the Start 2.0 Pitch Challenge with Guy Kawasaki".  We were one of five finalists chosen out of 83 applicants to deliver a 3 minutes pitch that night.  The 3 minutes pitch was the ultimate result of much work and planning.

At IT-Conductor we're passionate about Process Automation which requires careful thought design around these 4 P's: Plan, Practice, Perform and Perfect IT!

The 4 P's of Automation: Plan, Practice, Perform and Perfect IT

The Art of the Start

In Guy's best-selling Startup guides "The Art of the Start" and the new revision "The Art of the Start 2.0", he makes it perfectly clear that there is careful thought to creating a system that works, even for chaotic adventures like startups to increase their chance towards success.  The system is simple, yet with Planning and Practice can be Performed and Perfected (with iterations of course).  Guy's motivation is through his writing and public speaking to help automate the process of starting any venture in life.

Automating the Pitch

Whether it's a startup pitch or your own work presentations and ideas, we need to be constantly pitching our ideas to others, because if we can't communicate them, it probably does not make sense to do it.  Back to my pitch, we're been:

  • Planning (or Preparation) to raise seed investments for a few months by attending many startup events, learning from mentors which include entrepreneurs and investors, developing the pitch deck, and applying to many pitch events
  • Practicing the pitch: yes 3 minutes of pitch requires about 3 hours of practice and at least 3 prior pitches to smaller events.  You can even count pitching to yourself in the mirror or to your friends and family as an event if you struggle to find 3 places to pitch at.  For this event, we had to pitch in preselection, and then as twelve semi-finalists companies we were brought in to SAP to deliver the pitch with Q&A for the judging panel to narrow down to five finalists

The Art of the Start 2.0 Pitch Challenge Finalists at SAPStartups

  • Performing the pitch at the live event is the culmination of Planning and Practice.  With anxious anticipation, 4 other finalists went first including ClubCooee, ValossaDSApps, and Wisran.  Careful observation of your competition can enhance your own performance.   When it was my turn, it was time to go into Automation mode and just execute as planned and practiced.  It went as well as I could hope for.
  • Perfecting it: We didn't win, but we were runner-up.  Congratulations to Ville Hulkko of Valossa for a great pitch of a cool idea.  This is when we celebrate our achievements and keep on finding ways to perfect our performance.

Linh and Ville celebrating our pitches for IT-Conductor and Valossa

Application Performance Management (APM)

The 4 P's also apply well to APM and Automation, with one essential goal to achieve efficiencies in performing repetitive tasks.  Thus Planning what tasks should be automated is a crucial first step, not all tasks should be automated just because they could be, otherwise, we would all be robots.  Once tasks are designed with order and relationships created, it's time to Practice them by taking them for a test drive, to verify and validate it does what we need and do it correctly.  If it passes the tests, then release or schedule it for Performance or deployment.  The last step of course is iterative in monitoring the automated task and Perfecting it with refinement if necessary.

Hopefully, you can see the correlation between the 4 P's applied to different people and purposes.

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