Roberts notes, “Streamlining processes is my expertise, so I have a lot of experience here. Here's one high-level example: I worked on a technical risk management process that involved process streamlining and troubleshooting. Process upsets were two to three times more than plan. Staff satisfaction was poor. Annual business targets weren't met. After automating and streamlining that process, the process upsets were reduced to within 10 percent of plan. Staff satisfaction increased 20 percent. The business started meeting targets and saved over $3 million from efficiency gains. Talk about some serious results from automating!
Automated software testing is becoming more and more important for many software projects in order to automatically verify key functionality, test for regressions and help teams run a large number of tests in a short period of time. Many teams (especially larger projects) still require a significant amount of manual functional testing in addition to automated testing, either because of the lack of sufficient resources or skills to automate all tests.
Automation tools perform a series of preplanned scenarios with expected results, and either check exact screen regions -- in record/playback -- or only what they are told to specifically check for -- in keyword-driven. A computer will never say "that looks odd," never explore or get inspired by one test to have a new idea. Nor will a computer note that a "failure" is actually a change in the requirements. Instead, the test automation will log a failure and a human will have to look at the false failure, analyze it, recognize that it is not a bug and "fix" the test. This creates a maintenance burden. Automated testing tools automate only the test execution and evaluation.
Ajay Prasad, Founder and President of GMR Transcription and RepuGen, says: “There are two major ways that I have been able to improve my own businesses and my clients' through automation and systematization. First, I have developed an automated software solution called RepuGen to automate the difficult process of gathering customer and client feedback and managing online reviews. We all know the importance of online reviews, but typically we can never find the time to manage them. My clients and I were facing the difficulty of getting our happy customers to write reviews, and all manual processes were taking up much of our time.
A report cited in the book found that software developers in the 1990s routinely missed ship dates and deadlines. The pressure to reduce costs and keep up with the demands of a rapidly changing market is now dependent on faster software development. With growth and competition in commercial software development came new technology that changed software forever. The new graphical user interface (GUI), networked personal computers, and the client-server architecture demanded new development and testing tools.
What does this mean for us? Hello, free time! It means we would have more time to spend doing things that a machine just cannot do. You’ll get to focus on the creative aspects of your job. Let your brain actually do some thinking and innovating. As much as I hate to sound scientific, you’ll be able to let your human-like capabilities flourish to prove your value. This is where the three job categories that will thrive with automation come into play: creatives, composers and coaches will start to take off.
RPA is a relatively easy entry-level strategy into digital automation of back-office processes. One consultant described RPA tools for structured digital processes as a “gateway drug” for other cognitive technologies. RPA is easy to configure and implement, and small implementations may not even require an expert consultant or much help from a vendor. RPA is particularly well suited to working across multiple back-end systems and doesn’t require re-architecting of those systems. It typically brings a quick and high return on investment.
The introduction of prime movers, or self-driven machines advanced grain mills, furnaces, boilers, and the steam engine created a new requirement for automatic control systems including temperature regulators (invented in 1624 (see Cornelius Drebbel)), pressure regulators (1681), float regulators (1700) and speed control devices. Another control mechanism was used to tent the sails of windmills. It was patented by Edmund Lee in 1745. Also in 1745, Jacques de Vaucanson invented the first automated loom. The design of feedback control systems up through the Industrial Revolution was by trial-and-error, together with a great deal of engineering intuition. Thus, it was more of an art than a science. In the mid-19th century mathematics was first used to analyze the stability of feedback control systems. Since mathematics is the formal language of automatic control theory, we could call the period before this time the prehistory of control theory.
Integration: At this phase, perform API integration. This enables the new programs to access and communicate with other existing programs. You should also perform data integration during this step, combining data from disparate sources. Lastly, implement the enterprise service bus (ESB) in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). An ESB allows communication between software applications.
Automation is a real issue and challenge for labor conditions from industrial to white collar jobs. There are many benefits to find in it but it also might lead to a standardization of processes. I wrote on this subject if you want more information about how automation is changing the way we get productive. http://www.beesapps.com/market-usage/business-process-automation-benefits-for-productivity/