The Perfect Company

Subject: The Perfect Company
From: David Slonosky <SlonoskD -at- ITLS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 09:24:54 -0400

In what seemed an eon ago (but was probably only a month of
caffeine-induced time distortion), I asked a question about the perfect
company in terms of interfacing between documentation and development. I
also promised to post a summary to the list. So, late as it is, here we

JoAnn Hackos was mentioned several times. An excerpt follows for the two
references bearing her name:

(Stan Dicks)

JoAnn Hackos defines five levels of the interface between documentation
development in her book, Managing Your Documentation Projects (Wiley,
The levels range in sophistication from clueless to optimizing. She
describes a
similar hierarchy in her recent article in Technical Communication
1997, Vol. 44, No. 4).

People were quick to remind me that there is no such thing as one
perfect company model for all businesses. One chap (who I think I will
let remain anonymous) said that he had consulted everywhere and seen
many companies and the way they did business, so his idea of a perfect
company was one where his office had a high ceiling and a basketball
hoop. I can't argue with that, actually.

Other references (Yves Jeaurond):

Steve McConnell's "Code Complete: A handbook of software construction",

For networking tips, Harvey Mackay is hard to beat: "Dig Your Well
Before You're Thirsty"

Tom Peters' "Thriving on Chaos".

Obviously Dr. Hackos presents a compelling set of business models for
this interface. I've read the Technical Communication reference and
found it admirable in its descriptions. I think what was missing from
all the responses was a sense of how to get these models off the page
and into the company, which is still part of my question. Still, if
there exists some tech communicator out there who's never heard of
Hackos, well, now you know where to start.

David Slonosky
Documentation Specialist
InterTrans Logistics Solutions, an i2 company

David -dot- Slonosky -at- itls -dot- com

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