Re: Communicating obscure product changes

Subject: Re: Communicating obscure product changes
From: Michael Lewis <lewism -at- BRANDLE -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 23:39:29 +1000

This is a common situation. Central is the issue of "urgency" vs
"importance". A colleague at Macquarie University (David hall) has dealt
with this in the context of PI (patient info) docs included with
pharmaceuticals. Ultimately, you have to balance severity of impact with
generality of impact. As David puts it, side effects of pharmaceuticals
that are high severity and high frequency should mean the product isn't
marketed; low severity with low frequency means the issue needn't be
mentioned. High severity / low frequency and low severity / high
frequency both need to be mentioned, but they are discontiguous parts of
the matrix. You need to develop a communication strategy that tells
people what they need to know without needlessly scaring them.

JGREY wrote:
> Techwhirlers,
> I'm struggling to solve a niggling issue. I hope you can offer
> suggestions.
> ...
> "We should probably document this change in handling 0 values in INONHD,
> since I know of at least one other user ... that uses a custom report
> that expects to find at least one undeleted record in INONHD for every
> stock record in INMAST. The new handling could result in no records in
> INONHD for an 0 balance on hand in INMAST."
> (INONHD and INMAST are two tables in the product's database.) This
> change is extremely obscure -- it affects only users who have created
> custom reports such as the one mentioned in the quotation above. The
> number of customers who create custom reports is fairly small, and the
> number who created custom report(s) that involve this issue is even
> smaller, but whoo doggie do they need to know about this change because
> their custom reports won't work anymore. Or worse -- the report will
> still execute, but will list bad data on which the customer will make
> business decisions.
> ...
> jim grey \ Documentation Manager
> Made2Manage Systems, Inc. \ jgrey -at- made2manage -dot- com

Michael Lewis
Brandle Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia
PO Box 1249, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012
Suite 8, The Watertower, 1 Marian St, Redfern 2016
Tel +61-2-9310-2224 ... Fax +61-2-9310-5056

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