1) Requirement of Automation depends on Product which is to be tested. If it is one time testing then manual testing is best option. Automation is not required. If it is repeatitive testing then Automation would be the right option.
2) Some times the whole application may not be required to Automate. So some kind of feasibility study is required.
3) Some times it is not possible to Automate some parts of the application. So identify this at the begining of the automation suite development & inform to concern authority. Effort estimation depends on this feedback.
4) Analyse different automation tools and select best tool.
5) Arrange for the Training on automation tools if required.