Saturday, April 3, 2010

In the name of Automation

Everyone is saying, everyone is doing, but what have they achieved?

Every system vendor will tell you by using their system, you will increase your productivity.

How true is true?

Are those vendors really understand your business? Is your current processes optimized? Is there new processes created when old processes eliminated, that leads to overall optimization?

Almost all automation implementations fell short of expectation and usual escape is always: human factor.

But system vendors never realized that if they cannot solve the problems for people, they failed.

Managing expectation, change management is academic, most important is whether automation reduced workload for everyone, instead of passing the bulk from A to B, then claimed as processes optimized.

Even worse, most system vendors rely on nice looking front end but created a whole new manual processes, and named it automation.

These vendors should either be sent back to school learning what automation is all about.

-- Post From My iPhone


  1. Dear CY,

    Any initiative of automating a process does not naturally nor unconditionally give rise to process optimization. Like any initiative of requirements engineering, automation and optimization are inevitably confined to constrained resources deployment and utilization. That is to say, we cannot expect an island of automation could result in a comprehensive and integrated system performance improvement, i.e. GLOBAL optimization. Nonetheless that, if purposefully designed and properly implemented, an initiative for an island of automation could result in LOCAL optimization. We must carefully differentiate between GLOBAL optimization and LOCAL optimization, failing which shall mislead the expectation, and thus disputes may likely arise.

    The choice of optimization techniques and the capability to translate a system into model(s) are, perhaps, the greatest challenge to system vendor who performs architectural and modeling services. As far as a typical optimization initiative is concerned, numerical outcomes are of paramount, but of vulnerable. The information inherited within these numerical outcomes could be fraudulently manipulated, purposefully distorted, and/or innocently or maliciously interpreted.

    I cannot agree more than your view on the vitality of human factor. The advent of widely adopted enterprise architecture (EA) body of knowledge such as TOGAF, ZIFA, etc. has attempted to rectify such pitfalls. Sadly, like many other certifications such as MCP, MCSD, SAP, etc. TOGAF and ZIFA are gradually becoming commercial commodity.

    The above balderdash is merely my two-cents opinions….


  2. Thank you for your comment, indeed enlightening.

    This post was inspired by my own encounters with many system vendors who claimed to have the best in the world, or one size fits all solutions, and most of them failed in one way or another, sometimes not just the expectation of users, but technical flaws as well.