Over the weekend I ordered a pizza and selected delivery.
Conveniently, I was able to do so right from the couch from my phone through an app.
I picked what I wanted, entered my address and credit card and clicked the order button.
An hour later there was still no pizza, and I was beginning to worry that it wouldn’t come.
Eventually, I got a phone call from the delivery driver. He says “I can’t find your address, it’s not on the GPS.”
Turns out he had the wrong address. Luckily he had the right street name so he was actually still pretty close and I was able to direct him from where he was to the correct location. However, this is a stupid problem to have in 2022.
When it finally arrived, it was late, the product was a mess and they made me feel like I did something wrong. Overall it was a pretty poor experience.
However, I wanted to know what went wrong so I checked the ticket on the box and it did in-fact have the address incorrect. It had 12 on the house number instead of 125.
Now I wondered if it was my fault, did I enter the address incorrectly I asked myself? Well, let’s check.
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I opened the app and it turns out I had entered the address correctly so it didn’t seem to be a mistake on my end.
This left me confused. How could the address on the ticket be wrong if it’s correct in the system? The answer is what breaks the majority of processes and automations – human error.
Someone had likely transferred the information manually by reading from the app and typing or writing somewhere else. As part of that step, they typed it wrong and that’s how the driver ended up with the wrong address on the ticket.
So what’s the lesson here?
It’s quite easy for a seamless process to break and cause chaos if you’re violating relatively simple principles. Here the lesson was to NOT make something manual that was already automated! This is the perfect example of an incomplete automation.
However, if your systems don’t talk to each other end to end then you need to fix that as well. Otherwise, you’ll just cause more problems like these.