Re: How many steps?

Subject: Re: How many steps?
From: Tina Sansom <kms -at- PLAZA -dot- DS -dot- ADP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 13:55:33 -0700

Karen Steele wrote:

> How many steps do you/your department find acceptable in a procedure?

> I'm writing a long, complex set of instructions & keep breaking them into
> smaller units.

> Somehow, though, they still seem awfully long & complicated.

> What rules do you follow?

One of my projects lately is documenting a long complicated installation of
software, which includes weird network configuration stuff. The whole thing
is about 30 pages, but I divided it up into smaller chunks which I called
"tasks". I tried to keep the tasks around 1-2 pages. Some are a little
longer, and some are shorter, it also depends on where the logical place is to
break the procedure. But any longer than 2 pages, and the numbering is just
too hard to follow (I think.) And too hard for me to keep track of.

This document is often used in the case where the installer at the client
site gets stuck (usually because the installer didn't read it...:-), and calls
the internal support line, so two people must use it together over the phone.
Somehow it seems easier to me if they are on step 8 of task 9 than step 102.
I think it also may give more of a sense of accomplishment in a long, picky,
tedious project like installing a system.

Tina Sansom "You see, it takes all the running you can do, to
kms -at- plaza -dot- ds -dot- adp -dot- com keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere
(503)294-4200 x2326 else, you must run at least twice as fast!"
--Lewis Carroll, _Through the Looking Glass_

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