Friday: "we're working on a procedure for you right now"

Subject: Friday: "we're working on a procedure for you right now"
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 09:00:48 -0700


I should have posted this one *last* Friday, but it's been a
busy week around here and this one was long overdue
anyway...

http://www.webpronews.com/business/topbusiness/wpn-54-20050414GlobalSpecAwardsFirstGreatMomentsinEngineeringAwardToApollo13Engineers.html

or http://tinyurl.com/axh5w

I have frequently used Apollo 13 as an example of the value of clear,
concise, targeted prcedure writing. There were no visual aids; no
embedded video, no Flash animations, no exploded view drawings.
The only tools available to communicate procedures to their intended
users in a situation where confusion, errors or wasted time on
unnecessary details were utterly unacceptable were words sent
out over a single VOX channel.

Unfortunately, this cannot be used as an example of *writer* value,
because the individuals involved, including the guys who wrote the
procedures, were all engineers (I've known a few of them over the
years). But it does come in handy any time I feel the need to
respond to someone's assertion that "engineers can't write." :)

Gene Kim-Eng



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