business automation gone wrong

To my mind, software exists in order to automate (parts of) the business process. But that simple idea seems to have been forgotten by some of the designers here…

I’ve temporarily joined a project whose purpose is to remove a manual step in a data transfer process, thus ensuring that the relevant users always have correct and complete data to hand when they need it. The new design does indeed achieve that goal. But somewhere during the design phase (yes, I know) two groups of people somehow failed to communicate clearly. And the resulting design therefore includes a manual step that’s harder to perform than the one they’ve eliminated!

What’s really funny is that this design will be measured as a success by the business. Because although the staff costs associated with running the affected business process are unchanged, the new design allows an old database to be de-commissioned. So several tens of thousands of pounds have been spent, in order to save a few thousand in annual maintenance costs, in support of a delivered value that hasn’t increased.

Am I becoming a ‘throughput’ maven…?

5 thoughts on “business automation gone wrong

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