RE: Productivity Gains?

Subject: RE: Productivity Gains?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>, "Technical Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Allan Ackerson" <alackerson -at- msn -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 14:14:56 -0500

If management doesn't already have some problem areas (specific to the
fucntion of the group) in mind, then there's an implicit assumption that
all areas of the company are equally
inefficient/sub-optimally-productive, and an implicit penalty on those
who have engaged in ongoing streamlining and improvements over the

Use that to pre-frame the question when asking for the specific areas of
concern. When they say they don't have any specific areas, just a
general hunch, look aghast and say... "your kidding."

I really, really like Geoff's potshot at the user interface. When you
have to make up for the deficiencies of the interface with the
documentation, that's an inherent drain on productivity.

So-o-o-o-ooo... Here's your new major productivity initiative:

"Starting 2009/02/02, in the interest of productivity gain, we are
drastically raising our departmental input/receivables standards."


- Kevin

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=safenet->
inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Geoff Hart
> Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:38 PM
> To: Technical Writing; Allan Ackerson
> Subject: Productivity Gains?
> Allan Ackerson wondered: <<Management here just popped us with an
> annual requirement to show "productivity gains"! I can think
> of some
> tweaks here and there which would make our operation leaner and
> meaner, but as far as general document production goes,
> nothing comes
> to mind that will meet the goals they want. Would anyone care to
> share initiatives they used in similar circumstances?>>
> <cues the music> "To dream, the impossible dream, ..." <g>
> There's no good way to do this, but there are a few less sucky ways.
> First, ask management what areas they see as problems so you
> can look
> for specific solutions tailored to those problems. That will
> give you
> maximum bang for your buck. (If they don't actually see any
> problems,
> it's up to you whether it would be politically astute to ask them
> "then what the frack are you trying to fix?")
> One really good solution that you haven't a hope in Hades of
> implementing would be the following: "If we made the interface more
> intuitive (for example, by using user-centered design combined with
> usability testing and by embedding help and affordances in the
> interface), we could reduce the amount of documentation required by
> 20%. That would have obvious implications for productivity."

The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.


ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Productivity Gains?: From: Allan Ackerson
Productivity Gains?: From: Geoff Hart

Previous by Author: RE: How do I document vaporware?
Next by Author: RE: Productivity Gains?
Previous by Thread: Re: Productivity Gains?
Next by Thread: RE: Productivity Gains?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads