Automation and Math

We live in a world that is being taken over by automation. As humans, we are enjoying the ability to hand our tasks over to a machine. It relieves us of rote work and allows us to focus on human functions such as emotions, connections, and creativity, that machines have not mastered yet. 

As automation becomes more effortless, we must take a moment to remember that automation is simply a formula that someone has put into a computer that will act a certain way when there is input. In the same way that you can have a formula y = 2x, automation simply takes the ‘x’ that you give it, and returns the ‘y’ value. 

Programmed automation can indeed have hundreds of steps, and have decision points within the code. But when you supply an input, there will be an output based on the formula. 

Why Remember Math?

We must remember that automation is structured formulas for a few reasons: 

  1. It reminds us that creating automation should not be left up to the coders only. Developers may be good at the creation of a formula, but precisely what the input of the formula will be, and the expected results at the output can only be determined by someone who understands the business. 
  2. When there is a problem in the results, most of the time, it means that there is a problem with the inputs or the formula. Our first tendency is to expect that the software has broken. Many times the issues that we see are due to incorrect data input or the formula being thought through incorrectly. 
  3. We shouldn’t try to automate everything. Those decisions where human empathy and creativity are required shouldn’t be broken down into a formula. You can reduce many decision points to a formula, but when there is a decision that only a human can make, your automation should allow for that. 

Automation runs like a mathematical formula. For people who don’t like math, fortunately, many tools help make the automation steps easier. But you shouldn’t forget that your automation will take your input and produce an output based on the formulaic rules that you have put in place.