Rightsizing vs. quality

Subject: Rightsizing vs. quality
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl -at- BOSTECH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 10:03:33 EST

In a recent posting, Lori Lathrop mentioned that editors help ensure consistent
style across a range of manuals, but that editors were often the first to be
cut in "rightsizing" moves. Implied is that the quality of the manuals will
go down with the loss of editors, and I agree with that implication.

I've gotten an interesting e-mail from a former co-worker, he's still at the
jet engine manufacturer that laid me off about two years ago. This company
and it's largest competitor both decided to cut staff down to the bare bones,
and ship the tech manuals outside to vendors. The vendors work more cheaply
than the in-house tech writers ever did.

The competitor (who did this before my old company did) is now discovering
to its horror that the outside vendors have made a mess of the manuals.
That company is now pulling the manuals back in, and apparently re-hiring
tech writers. My former co-worker suspects it's only a matter of time until
his bosses do exactly the same thing.

You get what you pay for. If you pay enough, you get quality. If you don't
pay enough, you get garbage. I think it's as simple as that.

Rick Lippincott
Boston Technology
Wakefield, MA
rjl -at- bostech -dot- com

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