RE: Why is so hard to for majority Chinese companies to take documentation seriously?

Subject: RE: Why is so hard to for majority Chinese companies to take documentation seriously?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)" <moshe -dot- kruger -at- gmail -dot- com>, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:11:19 -0400

I love this discussion.

It's a lot of "stuff you really kinda knew" before, but brought together and presented cogently by people who have been in those particular trenches.

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for some of the interactions between the Germans and the Chinese.
Do you know if many of the German engineers and managers died or were sidelined due to apoplexy? :-)

Also, what was the eventual outcome, in terms of quality of both product/solution and the documentation thereto?

Were there any cultural "breakthrough" moments? If so, upon what actions or insights did they hinge?
Or did the whole morass just limp along and never resolve to anyone's satisfaction?

<ahem coffHuweicoffcoff> ?

Strangely, some of the best and most conscientious engineers and the most anal (and therefore very effective) testers I've encountered have been Chinese, both fresh-off-the-boat and of longer tenure here in North America. A dev-team leader, and one of our test engineers, both of whom I depend on daily to give me clear, insightful info, are cases in point. I'm writing from a Canadian branch office (development) of a small multi-national. But, both in this gig and a previous one, I've peripherally encountered some of the cultural issues you describe when dealing with the Middle Kingdom itself.

So, either certain parts of the culture wash off quickly when the people are transplanted, or else the people who choose to transplant are less firmly imbued with those aspects of the culture.
Anyway, so far, so good, at this end.

-----Original Message-----
From: Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)
Sent: July-16-13 4:42 PM

I was a consultant on-site for a project involving a German mobile operator and a well-known Chinese technology giant (the solution provider). The solution was supposed to have been a complete and thorough transformation of legacy systems in a way that would guarantee uninterrupted service.

It was a fascinating match, for if there are two cultures that are diametrically opposed, these are they! At any event, I'll keep my comments to the Chinese side of the equation, as they were my customer.

There are many answers to Simon's question. One sits at the meeting point between two cultural axioms: (1) If information is power (and it certainly is in China), then to succeed, you ought to share as little of it as possible, whether it is among your peers or with your customers. Also, putting something in writing is to over-commit, and that endangers the other axiom: (2) Chinese business culture is about making maximum profits from minimal investment. Anyone who has used a product that is "made in China" knows that. It is no different in hi-tech. Minimalism says that if a half-baked solution is good enough, why waste resources to make it better.
Chinese business people are forever pitching their solution just below satisfaction level.



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Moshe Kruger

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References:
Why is so hard to for majority Chinese companies to take documentation seriously?: From: Simon
Re: Why is so hard to for majority Chinese companies to take documentation seriously?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Why is so hard to for majority Chinese companies to take documentation seriously?: From: Moshe Kruger (AllWrite)

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