"You shouldn't attempt to computerise anything unless there is a mature manual system already in place. Over the years the manual system winkles out all the possible anomalies, special conditions etc. You can then write your spec confident that the new computerised system will cover everything. "
- There is an implication that manual processes acquire a degree of perfection. That's patently absurd. Witness the amount of process error - writing the wrong amount in a cheque book stub for example.
- This argument represents what I call the Zero-Sum Applications Game. There is no effectiveness in merely transferring manual to automated. Only a one time acceleration. There may be benefits in reduced error, but not before the process is examined for potential gaps. If on the other hand you believe David to be right then you might as well consider direct offshoring and outsourcing.
- There is no room in this argument for innovation in the application of process to activities that are not subject to formal process or which are part of wider, business critical processes but which have not been optimised. For instance, the disconnect between book-keeping and management accounting or managemernt accounting and more formal financial statements is a prime area that is only now being addressed at a point where professionals can see real benefits to both their practices and clients.
- There is no room for consideration of alternative. Offshoring, which I've talked about a lot is one such alternative which could deliver enormous value - in the right hands and for the right things.