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Subject: No Subject
From: SteveFJong -at- aol -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 19:43:16 EST

Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com> gave us another clear picture of his
world view. I won't try and convince him that he doesn't live in that world;
clearly he does, and he makes his living there.

I will only say that I work in another world. Our clients are getting larger,
and their expectations and demands have grown as well. (As it happens, one of
the larger and more demanding was... Iridium!) Our clients don't care what
clever extras we threw in. They only care whether the product was completed
on time and to specification. And the specifications cover every aspect of
our products: software, testing, training, and--yes--documentation. There's
no incentive for the engineers to deviate from the plan; indeed, if they did,
they would only make the rest of us look bad. Believe me, our clients look at
everything closely, so we succeed or fail as a company. (Good news! Doc is
part of the product. Bad news--we're subject to the same scrutiny 8^(

Another word for "chaos" is waste. Our clients also don't care how hard we
worked to complete the project. We can pull as many all-nighters as we want;
it's voluntary. True, some people thrive on such chaos. Others burn out and
quit. After a few years of 30-40% turnover, one wearies of adrenaline and
yearns for stability. (Besides, one wishes to retain the good people 8^)
Speaking cold-bloodedly, waste lowers profits. I won't say that my company
(or any company) is waste-free. It's just that we used to be much more
chaotic than we are today, and I hope in future we'll grow even less chaotic.

-- Steve

Steven Jong, Documentation Team Manager (Typo? What tpyo?)
Lightbridge, Inc., 67 South Bedford St., Burlington, MA 01803 USA
mailto:jong -at- lightbridge -dot- com -dot- nospam 781.359.4902 [voice]
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