Re: Personal Quality Standards

Subject: Re: Personal Quality Standards
From: "Huber, Mike" <Mike -dot- Huber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 15:38:01 -0400

My own quality standards go beyond simply producing the best possible
document. There is the old trio: Good, Fast, Cheap (pick 2).
My own idea of quality in professional performance is to give the best
total I can (subject to the client's preferences) of those three
criteria, which may mean producing a document that's not as good as it
could have been, given unlimited time and money.

If I produce a document that is as good as possible, given the budget and
source materials, I can live with that.

In the particular case in question, there may not be time to do the job
the way the writer would prefer, even if the writer were willing to do
the larger job for the originally quoted price.

I have a very good mechanic, whose ethics and standards I trust. About a
quarter of the times that I leave my car with him, this exact situation
comes up: my car is in worse shape than he thought. I pay for the extra
work, or he just fixes what we agreed to. It does not reflect any lack of
standards on his part. His standards are fairly high - a car that he says
is in good repair is in good repair.

From: Brent Jones[SMTP:bjones -at- IGS -dot- COM]
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 1996 12:34 PM
Subject: Re: Personal Quality Standards

My feeling is that if you ignore your own personal standards just because
you made a bad decision on the original deal, you don't *have* any
standards. "Things I do only when convenient or when they don't impact
profit" and "personal standards" are not analogous phrases.

bjones -at- igs -dot- com
Subject: Re: Personal Quality Standards
Date: Tuesday, October 15, 1996 09.26PM

I disagree with those who say you should go ahead and spend the time
writing to your standards. That's the way to drive yourself nuts, as a
consultant, I think. How about rewriting a portion of the manual (one
section--one chapter?) to your standards and showing it to your client,
illuminating the differences for them. Then quote them the rate to get
the whole thing done that way. Give them a choice and live with the one
they make. After all, the thing really, when you're in business, is
_not_ the quality of your work in your eyes, but the quality in the
_customer's_ eyes. One thing I'm finally learning, after a lot of years
in the business, is that, sometimes, my idea of quality is simply not
cost-effective for a company. I'm finally seeing a little bigger
picture, and taking pride in being able to give them the best they can
get for the amount they are willing to spend.

Karla McMaster, technical writer
CTI PET Systems, Inc., Knoxville, TN
mcmaster -at- cti-pet -dot- com

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