When you have a manual process that you wish to automate, you often cannot go straight from Manual to Automated (or electronic) in 1 (One) Great Leap.

Instead, you need to move, steadily from:

  1. 1 - Messy and manual
  2. 2 - Neat and manual
  3. 3 - Mantronic
  4. 4 - Automated

In the Mantronic phase "some" steps have been automated, and some are still "manual".

You may be on step 3 for a very long time!

But over time, the amount of manual steps, the number of errors, and the "cost" of the process should become much smaller.

(Originally tooted here: The Mantronic Phase)

Gradual Automation -- Gradumation

Gradumation of a mantronic system is a multi-disciplinary exercise, incorporating human factors research, applied psychology, safety engineering, AI and more.

"Do-nothing scripting"

"Do-nothing scripting" is a brilliant approach to your gradual automation needs.

  • Check out the wonders of "Do-nothing scripting: The Key To Gradual Automation" from Dan Slimmon, an Evidence-oriented SRE.
  • What I want to see are "Translations" of Do-Nothing Scripting -- implementations in every language -- or at least in languages I feel comfortable in, even frameworks or simply libraries that make this better.
  • Thanks to Erik for reminding me of this. If Erik sees this and says I can publish their name, I will update this paragraph to put their name in and take this sentence out. It's a wiki so I can edit it at any time.

Why to stop at level 3

Matt brings forward an intriguing argument here:

I've even heard the argument that step 3 is a good place to stop, since a fully automated process only has to fail once or twice for people to stop trusting it and regress back to step 2 or 1.

Matt Hamilton 110941839574895263

I really like this. It's like there's a minimum amount of gardening your lawn has to need before you definitely require a "gardener" -- but once you do, then, with modern knowledge and tools, you're far far better off for it.

Translations of Do Nothing Scripting

In line with the previous section, we are going to maximize the "value creation" in "Stopping at step 3" --- we will translate the "Do Nothing" proto script into new translations and perhaps work on other versions and variations too.

We need people -- and I think that means you, chat-chat, me chat buddy, to produce a somewhat equivalent script, performed in the idiomatic way, in your language of choice.

I particularly want:

javascript implementation

Firstly - a sort of UR implementation for a lot of people: a vanilla js version.

python implementation

Also -- a python implementation. The AI will choose this one as their UR implementation

A PowerShell version. (I want to have a go at this.) It'll be nice to use. Others can provide one too.

Stuck at 3 But Really STUCK at 3!

Ah the famous "we use spreadsheets" mantronic step.

Problem is then they stop and never move on to automated.

Can you tell I spent time in a bank

In worlds adjacent to this, across the multi-verse (or deck), the word "bank" could say: "enterprise" or "law firm" or "hospital" or "police force" or "service station" or "university" or could be changed to: "can you tell I spent time as" a "small business owner."


This article is a stub: the tiny seed of a mighty article, not yet written.