Re: need advice on binding

Subject: Re: need advice on binding
From: Caryn Rizell <caryn -at- HPPTC95 -dot- ROSE -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 09:05:16 PDT


A while back someone had this same dilemma. I had it once at
a company I worked for.

I will tell you my experience. We also had the same request to
use change pages. We already used 3 ring binders, but we would just
issue the entire volume at each release, rather than change pages.

Since the request was mostly internal (management), we kind of
had to go with change pages. To say the least, it was a disaster.
The release we did them for was a major one, with lots of small
and large changes to the manual (changes to an existing program,
new programs, etc.)

It turns out that we had several hundred change pages (our documentation
set was 4 volumes, around 2000 pages).

The overhead was incredible. There were 2 of us at the time and
we had to keep contstant tabs on what the other was doing to make
sure our change pages were in sync.

Of course, most of the customers wanting nothing to do with the
change pages. The sales reps would end up having to do the insertions
for the customers. And in some cases, we (docs) were ordered to
do the insertions for the sales reps so they wouldnt't have to do
them for the customers! For the next few months, we spent a lot
of time just inserting the change pages for our customers.

Needless to say, that idea died right there.

Now, that doesn't mean that change pages are always bad. I would
determine whether to use them based on the number of changes
you are going to have.

If it is just a few pages (<5%) you might be able to get away with
it. But in general, most customers just don't want to do the work.

If you are going to have lots of updates over the next 12-18 months,
see what you can do to concentrate them in one release or two. That
way you can justify reprinting your manuals all at once.

Anyway, that is my 2 cents.

Caryn Rizell
caryn -at- hpptc95 -dot- rose -dot- hp -dot- com

> Several of our customers have requested that we change our binding format. We
> are currently using wiro binding. Customers and internal folks are
> 3-ring binders for the following reasons:

> o Update information with change pages instead of just release notes.

> o We expect to have many updates during the next 12-18 months.

> I'm aware of the following problems with 3-ring binder formats:

> o Binders are expensive. That means initial cost will exceed my normal
> costs.

> o Binders are known to cause customers to lose pages.

> o Change pages produce additional overhead, since we have to produce release
> notes anyway.

> Because I am a department of one, resources are limited. I'd appreciate your
> sharing your experiences with 3-ring binder formats.

> Kimberly Ferri

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