Re: Consequences of inadequate docs/training

Subject: Re: Consequences of inadequate docs/training
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 06:57:12 -0800 (PST)

--- Martin Page <mpage -at- csl -dot- co -dot- uk> asks:
> So, how do you avoid overloading the manuals with warnings and cautions to
> the extent that you make the reader blasé or destroy their faith in the
> equipment?

Well, in terms of military equipment, you need to keep in mind that training is
not optional. Military personnel are generally trained at great length in the
equipment they're expected to use. (Note: Your military establishment's
training activities may vary <g>.) Usually, they have a lot of classroom time
that is spent familiarizing themselves with all facets of the equipment,
especially if it is equipment on which their lives or the lives of others
depend. This provides one explanation for why soldiers spend a lot of time
cleaning their weapons. Their superiors want them to know that equipment inside
and out and to be able to keep it functioning even when they can't see what
they're doing.

Usually, military personnel study the documentation of the equipment and are
tested in their knowledge of it. One reason for this is that they don't carry
the manuals into combat operations, so they need to 'know' the information.
Second, as I mentioned earlier, they train with the equipment in the field. The
best training involves scenarios where known problems are caused to occur so
personnel can learn how to deal with them. (I suspect the problem that kicked
off this thread was something that somehow no one knew about, or if they did,
they didn't follow their knowledge to its logical combat conclusion. Or they
screwed up, which happens all too often.)

Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out, I've been there, done that, and got
the hat, the t-shirt, and the commemorative plaque.

Tom Murrell
mailto:tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com
Personal Web Page -
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