Review meetings vs. distributing copies

Subject: Review meetings vs. distributing copies
From: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:33:16 -0400

Over the past several years, I have noticed a phenomenon connected with
the age-old problem of getting technical reviews from SMEs. If I just
distribute copies of a document, either hardcopy or electronic via
email, and ask for comments back, I always get nada or almost nada. If I
call a review meeting, people will accept the meeting invitation and
come to the meeting. In fact, I just had the same group of people accept
a meeting invite who had hitherto not been giving me any feedback when I
just sent them copies of the document through email.

The question is -- why does this happen? One theory I've heard is that
calling a meeting forces people to pay attention and respond, whereas
just distributing copies of the document lets them set it aside and
forget it. But I have my own theory -- that the SMEs are more willing to
put the time and effort into giving me feedback if I'm willing to make
the effort to stop hiding in my cubie and be social enough to attend and
preside over a meeting. I was wondering which of those theories makes
more sense to everyone here, and/or whether anyone has their own theory
to suggest.



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