“Integrated circuits would double in complexity every 18 months.” – Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder, 1965
If you’d take a minute to look around you, you’ll realize soon enough that technology is so advanced these days that it’s a wonder in and of itself. Phones fit into our pockets and need no wires, communicating to satellites in space and back. Cameras can fit in a jacket’s buttonhole, the frame of your glasses, even the tip of a pen. When they first came to existence, personal computers fill an entire room, where now powerful computers fit the palms of our hands.
Computers, machines and devices are getting so advanced, “smart” by their own right and design, that a lot of people fear the obsoletion of their professions. One example is the worker in an assembly line being replaced by a robot. There had even been news floating about that a certain software can replace writers. While the growing mobile app market proves to be a good one for a number of app developers and programmers, some customer service jobs are getting eradicated as a result.
But can hardware and software replace all humans in the workforce, including the manager?
Workflow automation is a recent trend in corporate management. Workflow automation implements chronology of tasks for the members of a team, without having to continuously delegate them. Each task is broken down into smaller sub-tasks, which help in the continuous and controlled execution of the tasks each staff member needs to perform on a regular basis.
Workflow systems can also gather data of staff performance and display them in reports and dashboards that are updated real-time. These systems can go so far as impose productivity and quality targets for staff members.
Man vs. software
Managers participate in two types of activities: value-added activities and peripheral activities. Value-added activities further the value of the product or service a company provides. Peripheral activities, some would argue, are the main tasks of a manager. Peripheral activities include overseeing staff productivity and continuous efficiency, as well as watching over the progress of each team member’s daily tasks.
Automation, on the other hand, is possible if a programmer can break down a process into a sequence or combination of “ifs” and “thens.” Such being the case, automation is really only possible for routine tasks. Machines, devices and software cannot completely extinguish the need for a human manager.
It’s been said that people do not leave their jobs; instead, they leave their bosses. Workers who find their managers engaging, inspirational and dependable are likely to stay. Managers bring to the table several things that machines cannot replicate: creativity, innovation and, however it may sound, human warmth. These are only some of the things that make a good manager.
Creativity and innovation is what lets us identify a need before everyone realizes the need for anything. Human warmth is something that everyone needs, and helps keep staff members stay motivated and happy in their careers.
Human innovation does not diminish us. It makes life easier and gives us opportunities to advance even further, both on the technology we had birthed and the technologies that they would enable us to further birth.
The manager and workflow automation
Workflow automation has been created not to replace us in the workforce. Workflow automation will not replace managers. Instead of an adversary, workflow automation is a companion tool to the manager, helping him with mundane tasks to help him free up his time and energy, and ultimately focus on coming up with creative and innovative solutions to help his company advance further and further.
Maricel Rivera is a freelance writer and online marketing professional specializing in business promotion through guest posting. Currently, she writes web content for Comindware, a workflow automation and solutions provider.