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A process automation fairy-tale

Once upon a time there was a girl called Cinderella who worked for a large financial services company in the UK. She worked in customer services and really wanted to help people, in particular the customers she dealt with on a daily basis but the wicked processes and systems she had to use each day meant her job was hard and she had to work long hours to keep on top of her workload and never had the time or energy to go out partying and meet her Prince Charming.

Each day a new set of customer complaints would be allocated to her to resolve and she would begin the arduous task of logging onto the customer systems to get the information needed to resolve the complaint. Some of these computer systems were so old it was tricky to find the information she needed, sometime she couldn’t take the information out easily and even had to print the information from the screen and then scan in into another system to make an image to record the information so it could form part of the complaint file. Each system Cinderella accessed required a different logon and different way of accessing the information which then all needed to be pulled together into a customer complaint file (mainly through a lot of copy and paste). The work was very manual and frustrating and even though she did her very best, Cinderella sometimes made mistakes.

One day Cinderella received an email inviting her to the big company ball and she was excited, if she could go perhaps at last she would get a chance to meet her Prince Charming. The night of the ball arrived and Cinderella was desperately trying to get her work completed so she could go and have some fun but the wicked processes and systems kept slowing her down and she sat at her desk and cried with frustration.

Suddenly a bright light appeared next to her. “Oops sorry” said a voice, “I accidently turned on the torch function on my phone.” The voice belonged to a slightly dishevelled looking young man. “Who are you?” asked Cinderella. “I am your fairy code master” came the reply. “What on earth do you mean?” she asked. “I have written a front end system that will follow your processes and access your systems automatically and aggregate the data into a single file to so it won’t be so wicked anymore”. “What even the mainframe?” asked Cinderella. “Even the mainframe” replied the stranger who was looking more handsome by the minute to Cinderella.

The code master sat at her desk, installed a small piece of software and just a few minutes later, all Cinderella’s work was finished and her customer complaint files were complete. “Wow that is amazing” said Cinderella “but how do I know it’s real?” “Well” said the code master, with a cheeky wink, “you’ll have to wait to for the quality team to review it but I can assure you it will be better than your usual work”. “Oh” said Cinderella and broke into a big smile, “thanks!” “So are you going to go to the ball now and try and find your Prince Charming?” asked the code master. “No” said Cinderella,” I’ve already got what I want right here.”

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