Re: Boat versus Cassette

Subject: Re: Boat versus Cassette
From: "John M. Gear" <catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 09:44:00 PST

>The Basic Question

>As a writer writing in-house procedures, what do you do when your readers
>have, over time, gotten used to referring to two things incorrectly, calling
>Thing One by Thing Two's name and, conversely, calling Thing Two by Thing
>One's name?

Was it "The Friendly Editor" in the STC journal that said something like
"Let them have their words"? I forget the source but there's a lot of
wisdom in that. As a procedure writer, my customer is the intended user of
the procedure, not the QA weenie or the people writing manuals at other
factories, and most of all not some other writer who might look down on me
if I satisfy my real, paying customer. Considering Micron's expansion plans
it seems that you are successful. If some of your people insist on calling
thing A thing B, I say BFD. Write good, clear procedures that people like
to use and find value in. If they insist on calling whammitzes whatsits,
fine. Just be consistent.
(Of course, graphics wouldn't hurt either if you have actually experienced
confusion on the factory floor and not just in some writer's head.)

The only spot I would think is tricky is writing procedures where both
objects (the boat and the cassette) figure into the process. However, since
you are a process flow shop, it would probably be clear from the context;
i.e., it's likely that there's a step involving transferring the chip from
one to the other. That could be real confusing in an office, but in the
plant it's probably real clear. People making chips know that it's the
gizmos without the sides that go into the furnace. And, if your furnaces
are built right, it should be impossible to put the ones with sides
(cassettes to you) into the furnaces (pokeyoke strategy from Japanese
industry), in which case it's really not too much of a problem.

(Besides, soon "procedures" will be multimedia clips that automatically run
on the appropriate VDTs when certain stages of the process are reached, kind
of like kanbans in JIT plants. And you won't have to worry about your
words; the operator on the screen will be holding a whatsit and putting the
chips in and the operator on the floor will just have to look on the screen
and do what that person's doing. *That's* what we must prepare for, not
splitting hairs on boat vs. cassette.)

Good luck.

(As for your other writers, just remember that the collective term for a
group of editors is a "quarrel.")

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