RE: So this is why...!

Subject: RE: So this is why...!
From: WFoster -at- friedmancorp -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2000 16:57:10 -0600

Striving for perfection and obtaining it are to different things. That I
acknowledge that I will need to rewrite (or in a programmer's case, debug)
does not mean that I don't try to write the best possible document on the
first go round. I just know that it takes the time and effort to create a
good product. I don't believe revision (or debugging) should have negative
connotation to it, or be viewed as a waste of time. Quite the contrary, I
think revision adds value by allowing you to find better ways to deal with
troublesome issues.

When I'm writing, my goal is to create a clear, purposeful document.
However, no matter how hard I try, I'll make typos and not notice, or my
phrasing won't be quite right the first time. By giving myself the freedom
to revise, I can try new things and end up with a better product. To me,
perfection is the end result of a lot of hard work and revisions. And while
I agree with you that a positive attitude and willingness to learn will make
these tasks easier and less time consuming, I don't think the goal should
ever be to do away with revisions altogether.

~> -----Original Message-----
~> From: Ken Bowes [mailto:KBowes -at- dacg -dot- com]
~> I'm afraid I don't agree with this comment,
~> <I think debugging, testing, and the like do add value to a
~> product. Nobody
~> can write code perfectly the first time; similarly, nobody
~> can write a
~> manual perfectly the first time. Revision is part of the
~> process. Projects
~> that get cancelled, however, are something else entirely.
~> In my opinion, we should always strive for "perfection".
~> Saying "Nobody
~> can write code perfectly the first time" only serves to
~> perpetuate the
~> negative approach.
~> I used to do a lot of safety work and the major obstacle to
~> the prevention
~> of accidents was the attitude that you cannot prevent
~> accidents. That is
~> not true, and we proved it was possible to prevent accidents
~> if you had full
~> cooperation from all parties. This included a positive attitude that
~> encouraged people to think and act safely.
~> So, in order to work towards the goal of producing a
~> document which requires
~> no revisions, it is necessary to evaluate where we are now,
~> with a rework
~> rate of 10 - 15% (or whatever you are willing to put up
~> with) and with
~> education and a positive attitude, keep chipping away at
~> that rework number
~> until, one day you have no rework to do.
~> Ken Bowes

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