RE: Got Process?

Subject: RE: Got Process?
From: "Steve Hudson" <cruddy -at- optushome -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 20:43:42 +1100

> A process is not a macro.

No but part of our process is to utilise macros at many stages to reduce the
work required for that step. Ultimately I wont spend zip all time on admin,
as that part of the entire process will be embodied in automation.

I don't know where this automation business comes in. An example of what I
am concerned about, as stated to Andrew just now,
is a part of my process is undocumented that really does require
documenting. Now if I forget how to load word, use hdk or talk to SME's,
then I might have to write those down. (I did make brief notes on our hdk
resources just in case anyway)

I have sent posts in the past defining the difference between processes,
procedures, instructions, references and policies but thats irrelevant now.
A documentation process is a process and NOT a procedure because

a) it encompasses multiple procedures (poor)

b) it has multiple actors (better)

c) (super-set of previous two) its inputs are generated externally, and
outputs are delivered externally, as part of other processes. (superb)

Now, I cannot push a button and have my dox written (lol, we'd be outa
work!). I CAN push a button and repurpose at will. I can savagely reduce my
copyediting time on documents, leading to enormously reduced time-to-market.
I do massively reduce downtime for fiddling with a document rebuilding it
because word has snarfled it. Like, to non-existant levels.

These parts of the process can be automated.

Despite this, my biggest concern is the lack of a proofing checklist for our
document output to check off the human-only typesetting requirements. It's a
part of my process and the dearth of doco for it means late nights for me
fiddling to "make it perfect". Which I achieve - says my TL. Human
perfection automatically comes with a <5% error rate :-)

Steve Hudson, Word Heretic
Word help and tools: heretic -at- tdfa -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: John Posada [mailto:jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com]

> No Steve. Nobody said don't use a process.
> This is what I said: A process cannot replace intelligence.

A process doesn't replace intelligence. It is a predescribed method
of applying that intelligence over and over without cutting corners
and applying past experiences consistently without subjective

You cannot create a process for doing something until you've found,
usually through trial and error, what the right result and/or output
should be.

A process is not a macro. I've never seen a process where someone
clicked a button and some result poped out the other end. It
requires decision points and multiple paths that get you to the same
results. It requires input. A process doesn't also guarantee perfect
results each doesn't even guarantee good results. Yes, it
requires quality input. However, it also includes gates (stages)
where the results of that input is tested before going to the next

If the process is to create a documentation set, the process won't
create the content. Fingers on keyboard, connected to eyeballs and a
brain can only do that. Yes, it also helps if the butt is connected
to a chair.

What the process will do is help ensure that all of the existing
written information is made available to you. You may need to write
more. However, if it has been written and approved once before, and
it can be used again, why not use it again. When you find gaps, you
create the content to fill that gap and add it to the "catalog", then
maybe next time that need is present, the material exists.

John Posada, Senior Technical Writer
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com, 732-259-2874

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