Task scheduler software is like fire. Use it with respect, and it will transform your life. Mismanage it, and you will end up with more problems. To give you the best task scheduler software experience, start by avoiding these seven critical mistakes.
1) Scheduling Tasks At The Wrong Time
Let’s start with the most fundamental mistake: choosing the wrong time. Many VisualCron users want to schedule tasks to run overnight while they are away from the office. That’s a good idea! However, the details matter. Let’s take an example of preparing a monthly customer service to be sent to the invoice team.
Scenario 1: You schedule the task to run at 12:01 am because the source database is automatically updated at midnight.
Scenario 2: You schedule the task to run at low-value.
Technically, either scenario will work under ideal conditions. However, what happens when the database administration takes the database down for a few hours for maintenance. If you take Scenario 1, the scheduled task might fail because there is no room for error. Therefore, it is better to take the scenario 2 approach because it will work in more scenarios.
2) Scheduling The Wrong Kinds of Tasks
When you first start working with task scheduling, it is natural to get carried away with the possibilities. You might dream of automating 25%, 50% or more of your job’s tedious tasks. Scheduling tasks effectively takes more than enthusiasm. You also need to ask yourself “which tasks are most valuable to schedule?” and focus on those areas first. Otherwise, you might end up automating low value tasks. That will not impress your managers or peers.
3) Scheduling Tasks Without QA Time
A scheduled task is designed to run with minimal oversight. Unfortunately, some people assume that task scheduler software can completely take over their work. That capability doesn’t exist today. That’s why we recommend including “quality assurance” time to check on your scheduled tasks before releasing them.
For example, you might schedule a task to extract data from PDFs every morning. Before sending the updated file to the customer success, consider 4:30 am a few rows for data accuracy. You might find that the scheduled task has a bug that needs to be fixed. It is better to discover this problem yourself rather than waiting for another group to highlight it for you.
4) Scheduling Tasks Without Engaging Your Stakeholders
Almost all the work you do impacts other people. That means that you need to think about how scheduling tasks will impact your stakeholders. For example, if you use task scheduling to get work done at two every day instead of 4 pm, this new speed will stand out. However, your stakeholders will not know your 10 am delivery is something they can expect every day or if it is a one-off scenario.
The solution to this situation is simple. Reach out to your stakeholders to tell them that you are using task scheduling software to improve efficiency. Ask them to provide feedback as the process unfolds. If you manage this process well, your stakeholders will be impressed!
5) Failing To Identify All The Tasks That Can Be Scheduling
In computer task scheduling, your imagination and creativity are significant factors. If your only experience with task scheduling involves Excel, you might not realize that you can schedule other kinds of tasks. For instance, you can use VisualCron to schedule data extraction tasks from PDF files. You can also schedule tasks to download and upload files.
If you can write a checklist or standard operating procedure to describe a task, there’s a good chance you can use task scheduling software to improve your productivity.
To avoid this mistake, put a reminder on your calendar every month for 30 minutes. During this time, brainstorm a list of tasks that you can schedule. In particular, take note of tasks that your customers, managers, and other departments ask you to complete regularly. Look through your email sent folder to find examples of files that you send to other people regularly.
Tip: Need more inspiration for activities you can automate? Check out VisualCron’s features for more ideas.
6) Failing To Help Others With Task Scheduling
So far, we have looked at beginner level mistakes with task scheduling. This is a more advanced mistake that you will probably encounter only after you have been task scheduling software for a few months. After some time, you will run out of tasks to schedule. You’ve brainstormed ideas. You’ve asked other people for ideas and cannot come up with anything else. A novice task scheduler would give up and keep their scheduled tasks running and move on.
That’s a mistake! Instead, you want to share the wealth. Reach out to one colleague and show them what you have accomplished with VisualCron task scheduling. Specifically, pick one or two complicated tasks and show how you’re able to run these tasks overnight or while you are away from the office. If your colleague is interested, offer to train them on scheduling their first task.
7) Failing To Take Advantage Of Time Savings
As you become proficient in task scheduling software, you are going to end up with more free time. That’s a fantastic accomplishment! At first, you might decide to head home early because you’ve finished all of your work. In the short term, that’s a fair way to recover from the burnout of too much work.
However, as you make more progress in automating and scheduling your tasks, it is a mistake to not put your new free time to good use. Consider using your new free time to explore new methods and technologies like robotic process automation. You can read more about that opportunity in our post: What Is RPA And How Does It Help Your Company Grow?
The Ultimate Mistake In Task Scheduler Software…
The ultimate mistake is to avoid getting started. Don’t let that happen to you. There’s no need to do the same monotonous tasks over and over again at work. Get started today with a free trial of VisualCron.