For What Its Worth
Computing stories, Automation
Many years ago when CAD still generated drawings first and models last,
there were large numbers of people creating drawings. One
resourceful company analyzed the users and found that users fit into 3
groups, 150% productive, 100% productive and 50% productive. They
had to do something to get the 50% up to speed. With some
inventive programmers they were able to automate 70% of the task.
The user setup windows, hit the button and poof dimensions, notes and
even spell checking were done. What was left was to clean up
things automation could not handle.
They implemented the software, trained everyone and then a few months
later they ran the user analysis again. Now they had 250% and
higher users, 150% users and 50% users. They were
dumbfounded. What had happened, why hadn't the 50% users
improved? It appears the automation could not help the users who
were already incapable for whatever reason. They were already
overloaded and did not improve.
So the next time a salesman implies that you can higher "low cost"
labor after implementing the automation, you can ignore the idiotic
remark and throw it out of the cost analysis. Automation requires
intelligent users that understand what is going on to get some or all
of the advantage.
VHubbard. Transcribe June 2009
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