Re: Trends for Technical Communicators? -Reply

Subject: Re: Trends for Technical Communicators? -Reply
From: "Dennis Hays/The Burden Lake Group, Ltd." <dlhays -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 11:58:19 -0500

>At 02:58 PM 3/4/96 -0800, Bill Sullivan wrote:
>>* Commercial work versus defense contract work, translating into less
>>discipline in terms of meeting deadlines.

-Sue Gallagher responded...
>Whooah! Waitaminit, there Bill! Commercial work less disciplined
>in meeting deadlines than defense work??? I don't think so.

Hold on there boys and girls. In the last year I've done both gobbamint and
private writing gigs (not to mention scads of other federal, state and
private thingys over the last decade or so) and there is a definate
difference between the two. I've never had a government job run as tight as
a private one--even throwing out the mis-run, mis-managed, mis-take of a
project I have now. The only deadline I see in government work is
arbitrary--and scheduling, both cost and time, is by man units (now, now.
I'm not being sexist. That's what the US calls them, even though person
units is preferred by all my friends).

Most private contracts have a ROI attached. Produce software for X dollars
(gilders, pence, etc) and throw it in the market. Deadlines mean quicker to
market, quicker to return. The government, on the other hand, doesn't have
this incentive. Finishing the project is the only incentive, not to mention
the need to use all budgeted monies to validate next years budget.
Different world, folks.

Dennis Hays, The Burden Lake Group, Ltd.
Voice: 518/477-6388 Fax: 518/477-5006
E-Mail: dlhays -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
"Write with fire; cut with ice."

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