My department has a task that has required a person to spend a few hours every week pressing a button, waiting for the computer to process it for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, and then pressing the next button. Repeat 76 times or so.
We have been trying to get the system folks to automate the button pushing. For a year. I kinda thought this was a job for a batch file. They apparently feel otherwise. It got booted around for a while.
Last week, they came back with their final offer: "we'll spend dozens of hours coding it so specific pieces of data are available in another system. Then you can spend dozens of hours rebuilding all your absurdly complicated reports in a way that wil not quite mimic their current form in the new system. That allows scheduling."
I whinged at bard_bloom about this. Bard pointed out that automating the reports should take like 50 lines of VBA code. If you do it badly. I whinged more.
My boss told me to write up all the details of all the data that we need so we could start the hundred-hour process system support wanted us to embark on, that they claimed was the only option.
I looked at this. I though, I bet it would take less time to figure out how to code the automation in VBA than it will to tell them everything we need, never mind the rest.
Three hours of searching, coding, and experimenting later, I have my proof-of-concept. Heh. I can do this after all!
I should've done this two years ago. -_-