Adopting technology for automating business usual work in support .. still reluctance?

So frustrating … ? Isn’t it ?

I do not know why in the world I see people doing the same and same jobs such as health check of system, carrying out scheduled maintenance & housekeeping jobs and not thinking of automation.  I find that kind of stuff really boring, frustrating and irritating if someone asks me to do so even twice! 

I have seen lot of people who never say a word and will keep on doing the same and same job again and again and never complaining about that. They do not even question the value of the work and efforts they are putting in. Especially in the support and maintenance projects I have seen plenty of examples of tasks that are done month on month without anyone looking to review and take a look at how to automate them? The typical tasks such as health check monitoring, scheduled maintenance & housekeeping jobs, proactive monitoring of processes & instances etc, is done each day / week by spending hours on the task.  Stunning fact isn’t it ?

When I think deep into the reason of why people do not like to think laterally and review what they are doing and what value addition they are doing to the project, I find few common patterns which could very well be managed and nurtured to change for the good of the resources and eventually the project.

Few of them I could write as follows,

  1. Resources do not know what they are doing – Most of the times I have observed that the routine work is delegated to a new trainee and they do not really take efforts to understand WHAT they are doing and WHY they are doing.  They only know HOW things should be done.
  2. Self motivation  – While most of the times the routine tasks are carried out by newcomer or a trainee person in the project, I have also observed that these guys are not given enough knowledge sharing to get them a start in the project. They are just given tasks and asked to learn from that. Only telling HOW of a job, does not give sufficient information to the resources & hence they lack self motivation to question themselves on the job.
  3. Hierarchy in the organization – You can not really question your senior manager if you are given a task of doing a routing work, can you? Especially when you are a team member of a support team. In my opinion, one should be brave enough to ask questions and especially justify the value of a person putting hours of efforts for silly work that could very well be automated. But simply the fear of asking your senior, sometimes kills that motive.
  4. Traditional tasks .. this is how it was always done – One of the most common reason when I ask people why can not they improve on the current situation and look for automation in their area. The knowledge that is passed over from a team leader to a team member is observed as often limited to HOW a job done rather than WHAT is it and WHY you are doing. That further means that they are just meant to do what they are told and not deviate from anything else!  Thus, when I asked one of team member of a vendor support team about providing some information on incident investigation, the answer I got back was very typical .. “I do not know much because I did what was always done and was told to me! Its a traditional way of doing it.” 

People in many offshore support teams simply turn up for the job and do it, without getting into the soul of the job and using common sense to automate and in effect introducing efficiencies in the project.

Sometimes its so frustrating … ? Isn’t it ?

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