Re: What is quality?

Subject: Re: What is quality?
From: Jonathan Leer <jleer -at- MV -dot- MV -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994 11:46:26 -0500

Very interesting. I think it is great to consider metrics and other academic
endeavors but let's get into the trenches where writers really end of
shovelling the manure.

How does a company find out what the customers (and prospects) want? By
listening to the market. How is this done? The sales people come
home with promises to do this or that because the customer said "This is
what I am looking for." Also through extensive and expensive marketing
techniques (e.g., focus groups). Only in technical writing is it that the
product (the document) is released into a black hole. There are no sales
people querying the customers about what they think about the document or
what they would like to see.

So, from my perspective it comes down to dollars. What new ideas will
make the company more money. If somebody were to walk into Marketing and
report, "Our biggest customer wants documents on this, this, and this. And
we can sell these new documents for $X while it will only cost $Y, we can
increase revenues this year by ZZ%... not to mention we have increased
customer loyalty." But, nobody I know is actively querying customers about
documentation. It's simply a give-away.
jon Leer

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