Those Robots doing Routine Work

  • March 1, 2011
  • Scott
  • 2 Comments

Love Anatoly’s analogy in a recent post, Laws of BPM Robotics.  But my favorite line was in the first sentence:

One of our BPM project’s sponsor said at the very beginning, when we discussed the possible project: “my employees don’t need a control, they need help”. I argued at the moment, but later I realized that he was right.

This notion of helping versus controlling is at the root of doing BPM right.  There are those who will say “helping” isn’t BPM, its ACM, or Adaptive, or something to that effect.  But if you’re a BPM practitioner there is no reason to limit yourself this way.  Good business process depends upon people doing their jobs well – and helping them seems like a key element in getting the job done well.

I like Anatoly’s laws for the “BPM Robots” that should do work for us, supporting our own efforts:

  1. A robot will never be able to do what you are able to do.
  2. A robot will do only a part of what you are doing.
  3. A robot will do only a part that you won’t like to do yourself.

Some will argue that BPM is only about routine work. But rather, one piece of BPM is removing or simplifying routine work in order to leave the core value-added work for the people who do it.  In other words, the goal of BPM isn’t routine work – it is to expose the real work by draining the swamp of the routine, mundane, unnecessary, and non-value-added.

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