Re: "Weaning" strategies

Subject: Re: "Weaning" strategies
From: Brian Martin <martin -at- SODALIA -dot- IT>
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 14:49:58 +0200

Michael asked:
So we need another attack plan. I want to "wean" these folks off of my
help, but we still have quality issues to tackle. How can I provide
useful support without simply becoming a crutch?
Richard suggested:

Keep raising your rates until

(a) You no longer mind doing it, or

(b) They decide they'd better learn to do it themselves.
I tend to agree with Richard. Departments and projects should be charged
for editing and proofing. This is the "free market" way to solve this

Your manager also needs to realize that there is a significant cost to
raising the quality of documentation. Writing is a profession, so is
editing. Does the company want to pay for
technical/managerial/administrative/etc. staff to improve their writing
either through money or time (time=$)?

Let's try this. Perhaps there should be a price curve for edits similar
to the following:

<15 mins/page = reward $ - )
15-20 mins/page = good job : - |
>20 mins/page = penalty : - /

Maybe a more "scientific" count of errors would be more appropriate (but
more time-consuming to implement).

My opinion is that there is little chance that the originators of
documents will improve unless there are immediate negative consequences
for poor writing. Just losing on a proposal is not enough of a
"negative" consequence, for example. There are too many other reasons
for failure. The writing itself must be rewarded and punished
independently of other corporate viewpoints. This implies that there is
a judge/editor.

Naturally, I'm the better judge. ; - )


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