Update pages (was book binding)

Subject: Update pages (was book binding)
From: Rebecca Phillips <rebecca -at- QRONUS -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 11:28:43 +-200

Dear Della:

In my last position, I insisted on moving from "update pages" to re-issuing the whole book
for each release. This may not be practical for a color book. However, there were two main issues
which made this decision easy at my company:

1. The operations department and warehouse just couldn't handle the update pages. They had no
way of implementing a tracking system to make sure that the customers got the proper update pages. For
example, if the customer bought a software update to version 5, the operations department didn't know
if it was an update from version 3 or from version 4, so they didn't know what pages to send. When I looked
at the shelves in the warehouse, it was a disaster. Various versions of books were there with arbitrary versions
of update sheets, and the warehouse staff's policy was to ship one of each of whatever was on top of each pile. In the
new implementation, they had to throw out all old versions of books when the new ones came in. It cost a lot
of money, yes, but it wasn't as bad as the criticism from griping customers that there was no connection between
the system and the documentation shipped.

2. At the time we were working with a large American telecommunications company which told us they had done
checks on customers who received update sheets. They found that an overwhelming majority of customers left
the update sheets in the neat shrink-wrapped package and never bothered to update the binder. Taking a quick
tour around the company showed that even the internal customer support people didn't update their books.
A lot of customers consider it basically an annoyance to have to change diskettes more than once in the drive, if
they don't have a CD. They aren't likely to go sticking in update pages.

I use update bulletins instead of page-replacements. When enough changes accumulate, I update the whole book.

Rebecca M. Phillips
Documentation Manager
Qronus Interactive Ltd.
Automated System Testing
rebecca -at- qronus -dot- co -dot- il

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