FW: FW: acceptable error rates

Subject: FW: FW: acceptable error rates
From: Misti Tucker <mdelaney -at- SOFTWARE-SERVICES -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 15:18:42 -0400

>From: RPRICE.UMI.COM[SMTP:RPRICE -at- umi -dot- com]
>Sent: Friday, October 25, 1996 2:04 PM
>Subject: Re: FW: acceptable error rates

>here, here!

>This is more than a battle between the perfectionists and the realists. It
>frequently is a battle between management and writers, when management
>understand either the process of creating a document or the value of good
>documentation. And there are always the bean-counters who want to quantify
>everything,and get upset when they can't - and there are always the workers
>who get worried when someone tries to quantify some element of their work
>*can* be quantified.

>And of course, there are those people who think that whatever they can
>quantify has to be how things are evaluated, because to evaluate on
>non-quantifiable things is "non-scientific"

>I once worked for a company that really didn't know how to classify writers.
>We typed, so we were in the same category as secretaries, someone decided,
>so the edict came out that raises etc. would be dependent on the following:

>1) typing speed, measured in sheer words per minute, based on standard typing
>2) the number of pages average that was throuput a writer's hands in a given
>length of time- no matter what the needs of the project, or the nature of
>the task
>3) typos - with one mark off per typo, misspelled word, etc, no matter the
>length of the document, time frame, etc. There was a "zero tolerance" for
>typos, even in documents of great length. One typo in a 1-page summary
>counted the same as 1 typo in a 150-page document. An incorrect graphic
>(the wrong screen print for the context, for example) was a typo.
>Gramatical errors were typos. you get the picture.

>I lasted there about 6 months, and quit in disgust. All the wrong things
>being valued, to my way of thinking. This was true company-wide.


>>From: Matthew Stern[SMTP:MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM]
>>Sent: Friday, October 25, 1996 1:30 PM
>>To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>>Subject: Re: acceptable error rates
>>In response to several messages about how many typos it is considered
>>acceptable for a technical publication to have:
>>I never known a company that sought perfection in terms of avoiding
>>typos, misused words, and other minor errors. The main concern is
>>whether the document is technically accurate and readable. If there are
>>errors in the document, well, that's what the review process is for.
>>In general, it hasn't been a problem if one, two, or even a few typos or
>>misspelled words sneak in the final copy. At the time we finish a
>>document, we're more concerned about catching major errors and ensuring
>>that the manual is accurate than finding every minor flaw. Remember the
>>time crunch we normally face at the end of the project. We don't want to
>>hold up product shipment because we demand that our manuals be
>>typographically flawless.
>>Typos and writing lapses become a problem is when a writer's sloppiness
>>(both in typos and in accuracy) *consistently* interferes with the
>>documentation process -- such as when it normally takes too long for an
>>editor to mark up that writer's manuals or when significant amounts of
>>inaccurate material written by that writer needs to be corrected at the
>>last minute. This is a qualitative issue based on the writer's ability
>>to work with others and produce acceptable work. Not all of these
>>attributes can be easily quantified.
>>Hope this helps.
>>Matthew Stern
>>Sr. Technical Writer
>>Platinum Software Corporation
>>mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com

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