Automation, like most subjects, has many questions to ask and answer. The following is a selection of issues that are common in this space:

  • Before running the automation:
    • What is the current state?
    • What will the automation do?
  • When it is running:
    • Where is it up to?
    • When will things be complete?
  • When it errs:
    • What went wrong?
    • Must I begin from scratch again?
    • How can I solve this myself?
  • When it completes successfully:
    • Can I see a report of what's changed?
    • Can it send a notification?

A lot of the responsibility and weight of these questions is placed on automation teams. Issues that originate from many separate systems surface through the automation, and are often reported to the automation team, potentially resulting in burnout.

For users, it is frustrating when it is difficult to understand what the automation is doing, where one is in the process, and how long it takes. This is amplified when the process errs after a lot of waiting – if it ever ends. Can one recover from errors, or end up feeling lost?

Amidst the chaos, pressure, and expectation, have a little.. peace ✌️.