Re: Structure vs Substance?

Subject: Re: Structure vs Substance?
From: rvantour -at- mondenet -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon Jun 12 14:24:50 EDT 2000

Most of my clients have a process, either formal (ISO) or informal, that works quite well the majority of the time. Most of my clients hire me though because I can improvise and get things done when circumstances require it.

If a client tells me they need me to work on a Sunday to document new features in a manual that is to be released on Monday, I don't tell them that I need to see a Customer Requirements Spec and Engineering Design Docs, that I will write and distribute a Content Spec and Doc Plan, have it reviewed and signed by three managers, create an ECO with the quality manager and then edit the current manual, while creating a change request and a summary of edits, again for managerial review.

I make the change so they can release on Monday. After the dust settles we'll try to clean up the bureaucratic mess but the fact is, the client wanted it done this way. After we're back on schedule I'll suggest ways to avoid this in the future but flexibility at deadline time has served me well.

This is not intended as a shot at "process" people, but I'm curious as to how to respond to situations with clients when the process must be neglected? I don't believe that a process will ensure that these situations do not occur.

Rick Vantour
President, Vantour Communications Inc.
rvantour -at- mondenet -dot- com

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