Are We a Profession, or a Toolset?

April 8, 2005
We talk a lot about process automation professionals, but is there really a "profession" of process automation?? Or is process automation simply a set of tools that people in other professions, like operations, electrical engineering,chemical engineering, plant maintenance, manufacturing management and IT use to do their jobs? This is a question that is going to need an answer in the next few years. If it IS a profession all of its own, then the steps being taken by ISA to certify it, train it,...
We talk a lot about process automation professionals, but is there really a "profession" of process automation?? Or is process automation simply a set of tools that people in other professions, like operations, electrical engineering,chemical engineering, plant maintenance, manufacturing management and IT use to do their jobs? This is a question that is going to need an answer in the next few years. If it IS a profession all of its own, then the steps being taken by ISA to certify it, train it, and enforce compliance to its standards and practices are extremely on point, and should be supported at all cost. If process automation is just a toolset, or a series of toolsets, then how do you ensure that the tools are up to snuff, and that the people using the tools are also up to it? Big questions, not many answers. I'd invite you all to think about this, and tell me what you think. Comments? --Walt Boyes

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