Re: Technical Writer Horror Story Number 3056

Subject: Re: Technical Writer Horror Story Number 3056
From: Susan Self <t_sself -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 13:25:30 -0700

Yvonne Harrison told a lengthy story of how "despite a lot of companies
saying they have a commitment to producing quality documentation, most
don't really understand what that means." I just attended a national
satellite broadcast
titled "J. M. Juran on Quality: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." Dr. Juran
answered one caller's question about ISO 9000 leading to quality. It was
refreshing to hear him say that ISO 9000 mostly will not improve quality
because it does not require annual improvement, the leadership of CEOs,
training, and including all the employees in the endeavor as part of
the business plan. In Yvonne's story, it looks like the employees in that
division are paying lip service to the goals without having undergone
the cultural change necessary to commit to quality and achieve it.

In listening to the discussion on the broadcast, I thought about what
my group of tech. writers could do to achieve higher quality as a group
beyond fulfilling the minimum requirements of ISO 9000. I was wondering
if any other writers out there have had success with certain processes
in tech. writing that follow a TQM strategy. We may have heard about
the successes of Motorola or Xerox, but what role models do we have
for technical writing processes? If anyone has any successful guidelines
to share, I would appreciate hearing about them. I am especially interested
in efforts at following standards and coordinating activities in a large
department where teams must produce a set of documents.


Susan Self
Sr. Technical Writer

Susan Self
t_sself, x11656

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