The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

More thoughts about the automation of business processes

I was in a discussion yesterday with one of the researchers at the MIT Center for Digital Business. We were talking about automated workflow, tools like adaptive case management . Case management is normally a response to a request for service. For example: I can’t get to this node on the network or my password doesn’t work.


The Pareto principle comes into play when trying to automate - most of these issues are straightforward. As you look at automation, the degree of variability and unpredictability are core concerns about what can be automated.


As decision making processes take advantage of greater sensing and the analytic capabilities enabled by more processing power they can categorize the variability and understand its structure. If the response required remains unpredictable though, human intervention will still be required. When you are trying to perform attention engineering to maximize the value generation of employees, the decisions that can be automated are important. Automation can say:


  1. It will do the task
  2. It will not do the task because it shouldn’t be done
  3. Some one/thing else to needed to address the situation




Depending on how that decisions making process breaks down, significant amounts of work can be automated.


This is the more utopian view of automation that I mentioned last week.

| ‎04-25-2013 08:46 PM

Yikes I just noticed my X axis is backwards. It should be highly predictable on the left and unpredictable on the right.

Leave a Comment

We encourage you to share your comments on this post. Comments are moderated and will be reviewed
and posted as promptly as possible during regular business hours

To ensure your comment is published, be sure to follow the community guidelines.

Be sure to enter a unique name. You can't reuse a name that's already in use.
Be sure to enter a unique email address. You can't reuse an email address that's already in use.
Type the characters you see in the picture above.Type the words you hear.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
About the Author
Follow Us
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.