Re: Jobs, wealth, and change -- more reasons for optimism
Due to some complexities in our current project, we need to bring in a
software vendor to teach our guys how to create certain widgets in the
system. The software group team leader set this out in the meeting
yesterday, with his manager present. "It's going to cost us $20,000 for
the vendor to come in and do this for us."
Long pause around the table.
"Is their documentation that bad?" the manager finally asked.
There wasn't any answer, but if they're going to get 20 grand out of us,
bad documentation likely isn't viewed as a "problem" by this vendor.
We're not your vendor, Rick. But let me tell you the other side of the story. We have a complex software product. It does lots of things for lots of people in a variety of roles, and it is highly configurable. Further, it can be persuaded to talk to all your other enterprise software systems, but creating those connections takes some work.
We provide excellent documentation. A long-time techwrler is responsible for it and does a great job. Page-level help is available throughout the software, with full details on anything you could possibly need to know--in addition to ample conceptual documentation to explain what you are doing and why.
But y'know what? We make lots of money on services--sending our implementers to help customers do the well-documented configuration of the system, sending our integrators to create the connections to other systems, sending our trainers to train users or to train customer trainers, customizing training materials to reflect the customer's configuration choices, train their user support personnel and system administrators--all things the customer could choose to do themselves based on the documentation we provide. Bad documentation would just make our job harder, not increase our revenue.
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RE: Jobs, wealth, and change -- more reasons for optimism: From: Lippincott, Rick
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