I'm trying to describe a process that, though intended to be fully automated, instead required human intervention in a particular instance, owing to unspecified difficulties with the process. I'm looking for a single word to replace X in this sentence:

This meeting is to discuss X processes.

where the sense of the sentence is

This meeting is to discuss processes that required intervention.

I also want to avoid anything that has significant negative connotations. For example, bungled might be accurate, but wouldn't work in this case.

What is a single-word alternative to the phrase "that required intervention"?

  • Maybe quasi-automated.
    – DyingIsFun
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:34
  • stalled, halted, derailed, inefficient? This meeting is to discuss process exceptions? This meeting is to discuss process exception handling?
    – Brad
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:34
  • @Brad I actually like the term exception a lot, but maybe that's because I'm a programmer at heart. I'm not sure if other readers would quite understand what an exceptional process meant.
    – p.s.w.g
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:42
  • An informal term is tweaking. But it refers to the correction rather than the need to be manually adjusted.
    – bib
    Apr 4, 2016 at 16:50
  • Perhaps you could say "rescued" processes to convey the idea that an unexpected intervention was required (and performed).
    – PellMel
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:38

5 Answers 5



Shows that everything was not as smooth as could be, but does not overly bring a negative connotation.

  • Suboptimal is probably the suggestion that's closest to what I was looking for, but actually I think substandard would be even better. It indicates that the process as implemented does not meet our standards, as these processes are supposed to be fully automated. (although I grant substandard has negative connotations)
    – p.s.w.g
    Apr 4, 2016 at 22:23

This answer suggests words for the replacement process, not the process that failed.

Try "This meeting is to discuss contingency processes".

Contingency noun 1.1 A provision for a possible event or circumstance - ODO

Since the processes require human intervention, you can simply call them manual processes (as opposed to automated processes).

Manual adjective 1.1 (Of a device) operated or controlled by hand, rather than automatically or electronically - ODO

Here's an example of its use in a business continuity planning context (emphasis mine):

For an automated administrative process, it may be considered adequate to back up the business process with a manual process supported by stand-alone PCs. pp 133,134, John Rittinghouse and James F Ransome, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for InfoSec Managers

  • I like the term contingency, but it doesn't exactly fit my needs. In this case, the contingency process is the manual steps that were needed because the original process failed.
    – p.s.w.g
    Apr 4, 2016 at 22:06
  • @p.s.w.g In that case, you can simply call them manual processes. I've added it to my answer.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 4, 2016 at 23:50

I'd suggest calling it "failed." Negative connotations or not, that's what happened.


disjointed processes.

In this way, when the system is again allowed to free-run, following a debugging sequence, it can react to the fresh input as a complete system, rather than as a set of disjointed processes.

Ada in Transition: Proceedings of the 1992 Ada UK International Conference ... By W. J. Taylor


Suggest the verb troubleshoot (usually seen as the noun troubleshooting):

Defn. 1.1 - trace and correct faults in a mechanical or electronic system

'The service plan also provides remote system troubleshooting and preventative maintenance to uncover potential problems before they occur.'

Source: ODO

The example sentence, above, becomes:

'This meeting is to discuss troubleshooting.'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.