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Embarking on an Automation or Artificial Intelligence (AI) project can be an exciting journey that promises improved efficiency, increased productivity, and significant cost savings. However, it's not without its challenges. Understanding the right information is critical in ensuring a successful project outcome. Here are the top 10 pieces of data you must know before starting your project.

1. Project Objectives

Every project begins with clear objectives. Why are you embarking on this AI or Automation project? What do you hope to achieve? Whether it's to increase efficiency, reduce costs, or make data-driven decisions, a clear understanding of your goals is essential. These objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound).

2. Current Process Understanding

To automate a process or implement AI, you need to understand the current process thoroughly. This involves knowing what tasks are done, how they are performed, who does them, and how often. Document these processes using tools like flowcharts or process maps for better visualisation.

3. Data Availability and Quality

AI thrives on data. The availability and quality of the data you have or can collect will largely determine the success of your project. You'll need to know what data is available, where it's stored, how it's formatted, and if there are any privacy or security concerns associated with it.

4. Technological Infrastructure

The technology infrastructure you have in place will play a crucial role in your AI or Automation project. Assess your current system's capacity to integrate with new technology, and consider whether you need to upgrade your hardware, software, or even internet connectivity.

5. Business Readiness

AI and automation can significantly alter the way your business operates. You need to assess your organisation's readiness to embrace these changes. This involves understanding your team's tech proficiency, their attitudes towards AI and automation, and the ability of the organisation to adapt to new processes and technologies.

6. Budget

Before embarking on a project, you need to know your budget constraints. You'll need to consider the cost of the technology, the potential need for infrastructure upgrades, training costs, and ongoing maintenance and support costs.

7. Potential Risks

Any project comes with potential risks. Identifying these risks early on can help you mitigate them. Some common risks in AI and automation projects include data privacy breaches, technology failure, resistance from employees, and cost overruns.

8. Regulatory Compliance

Depending on your industry, there may be specific regulations regarding AI and automation that you must comply with. These can cover everything from data protection and privacy to ethical considerations around AI use. Being aware of these regulations from the start can prevent costly compliance issues down the line.

9. Project Timeline

Creating a realistic project timeline is essential. This includes understanding how long it will take to implement the technology, train your team, and fully integrate the new system into your current processes. Remember, AI and automation projects often have a learning curve, so it's crucial to factor this into your timeline.

10. Expected Return on Investment (ROI)

Lastly, you should understand the expected ROI for your project. This involves calculating the financial benefits that the AI or automation project is expected to bring in terms of cost savings, increased productivity, and improved efficiency. Remember to take into account both the direct and indirect costs and benefits of the project.

Embarking on an AI or automation project is a significant investment, and understanding these key pieces of data can help ensure your project is successful. Start with clear objectives, understand your current processes and readiness, and ensure you have the necessary data and technological infrastructure in place. Be mindful of your budget and timeline, and stay informed about potential risks and regulatory compliance requirements. Lastly, keep your eye on the expected ROI, as this is your ultimate measure of success. With these data points in mind, you will be well-equipped to launch an AI or automation project that can bring transformative benefits to your organisation.

To discover how Envisago can help you scope and implement your Automation or AI solution, book a call with us today.

Updated: May 9

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Setting clear objectives and consistently working towards them is the key to success for any organisation. But with numerous methodologies available, choosing the best one can be overwhelming. We'll explore some popular objective setting methods, discussing the pros and cons of each to help you choose the most suitable single or combined approach for your organisation.

Method 1: OKR (Objectives and Key Results)

The OKR method, created by Andy Grove at Intel and later popularised by Google, consists of defining clear objectives (the "O") and measurable key results (the "KR") to track progress and performance.


  1. Alignment and focus: OKRs promote a shared vision by aligning individual, team, and company goals, ensuring everyone works towards the same objectives.

  2. Transparency: OKRs are visible to everyone in the organisation, fostering collaboration and engagement.

  3. Agility: The short-term nature of OKRs (usually set quarterly) allows for rapid adjustment to market conditions or company strategy.

  4. Easy to measure: By focusing on specific, quantifiable key results, the OKR method makes it simple to evaluate progress and success.


  1. Time-consuming: OKRs require regular updating and monitoring, which can be demanding on time and resources.

  2. Overemphasis on metrics: The strong focus on quantitative key results can lead to the neglect of qualitative aspects of performance.

  3. Risk of short-termism: The short timeframe of OKRs can sometimes encourage a short-term focus rather than long-term strategic thinking.

Method 2: SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound)

SMART goals are designed to be clear and attainable by ensuring they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.


  1. Clarity: SMART goals are clear and concise, making it easy for employees to understand expectations.

  2. Focus on achievability: By emphasising realistic targets, SMART goals encourage a culture of success and accomplishment.

  3. Easy to track: The measurable and time-bound nature of SMART goals makes it simple to evaluate progress.


  1. Limited flexibility: SMART goals can sometimes be too rigid, making it difficult to adapt to changing circumstances.

  2. Overemphasis on individual goals: SMART goals often focus on individual performance, which can lead to a silo mentality and hinder collaboration.

Method 3: Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that incorporates financial and non-financial measures across four perspectives: financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth.


  1. Comprehensive: The Balanced Scorecard provides a holistic view of organisational performance, including financial, operational, and strategic aspects.

  2. Aligns strategy with goals: This method links strategic objectives with performance measures, ensuring everyone is working towards the same vision.

  3. Encourages long-term focus: The Balanced Scorecard promotes a long-term perspective, fostering sustainable growth and success.


  1. Complexity: Implementing the Balanced Scorecard can be complex and time-consuming, requiring significant resources and expertise.

  2. Potential for misalignment: If not properly implemented, the Balanced Scorecard can lead to conflicting objectives and measures across the organisation.

The ideal objective setting methodology depends on your organisation's needs, culture, and goals. The OKR method is excellent for promoting alignment and fostering agility, while the SMART goals method encourages clear and achievable targets. The Balanced Scorecard offers a comprehensive view of performance across multiple perspectives. By carefully considering the pros and cons of each method, you can choose the best single or integrated approach to help your organisation achieve its goals.

Creating a performance management system involves clarity on the needs, culture an vision of your organisation. To support you in your goal setting journey and ensure alignment throughout your organisation email us today at or book a call with us today to discuss your needs.

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