In the past, companies relied on their experts to train new employees. This is becoming increasingly difficult, as new employees often are skilled in using computers but do not have the necessary skills to learn quickly from the experts. It takes time and money to train them with the skills they will need to become experts and often employees retire before the process is complete.
Expert Systems offer a brilliant solution to the problem. An Expert System mimics human behavior. It makes decisions and takes actions. In our case, we use it to replicate the behavior of human experts in a workflow. This is a fundamental difference between automation based on classic information technology and systems based on Artificial Intelligence. In our case, we focus on human behavior and not on the machine.
The beginning of a “knowledge” project, performed by our Discovery Horizon, is the reconstruction of the steps necessary to solve a given problem. The problem is something like “order process”, “billing”, “service tickets”, or “purchasing”. Most organization’s activities are a collection of workflows often interconnected.
Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) satisfied this task with many interviews and successive steps to solve incongruences in the information. We have developed a proprietary process supported by proprietary tools to shorten the interview process and get results that take into account human factors. The product of this process is a list of human functions and a list of computer programs used to support the workflow.
We can deconstruct computer programs and reprogram them using A.I. technology. We suggest as a first step to start by replacing simple programs with Expert System technology. An advantage of using Expert Systems is that several companies offer a programming platform that contains ready-made software components to replicate most of the decision-making actions.
The workflow diagram drives the generation of the Expert System software. That offers several advantages. The human experts can see what the machine will do and make appropriate adjustments. Modifications of the workflow diagram accommodate changes in workflow. The speed of reaction to change makes the company more agile and better equipped to fight competition.
The solution allows organizations to preserve the knowledge of retiring workers and provides the platform to take advantage of the diverse skill set of the new generations. At the same time, it improves results and agility of the enterprise.