Re: Why'd that take so long?

Subject: Re: Why'd that take so long?
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 14:55:43 -0400


Sometimes a graphic demonstration of a bottleneck helps.

Obtain a funnel of suitable proportions. A cheap plastic or metal funnel will do; or, if you are of a crafty nature, you can use a bottle cutting kit on a gallon jug and make a funnel that LITERALLY includes a bottleneck.

Collect a bag of stones that are of a size that will individually pass through the funnel. This could be driveway gravel or some such, depending where you live.

Demonstrate for a gathering of your customers that you can slowly pour the stones through the funnel and they will come out at the same rate you pour them, but if you just dump them all in at the same time they get jammed up in the neck.

Do practice this at home a few times to be sure you've got the timing down. The last thing you want to have happen is for all the stones to run through the funnel at a high rate of speed. ;-)

Once you have demonstrated the principle, make you case for setting up a reasonable work schedule so that you can start pumping out a stream of finished work at an acceptable pace.


"Martin R. Soderstrom" <scribbler1382 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

>Hey, all. Looking for some advice. I'm the lone tech writer for a global
>satellite television company. It's been agreed that there's enough work for
>4 or 5 writers, but due to economics I have trouble even getting a
>contractor in for 3 months. On top of that, the existing docs, procedures
>(what there were), styles, etc. are a freaking nightmare. (e.g. one of our
>smaller 20 page docs has over 256 styles in it, though only 4 are actually
>in use...when styles are used, of course).
>Anyways, the point is, I'm swamped. But now I've got product managers
>asking me why things take so long ("I can write a word document in an hour.
>What's taking so long?").

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