Re: ECOs

Subject: Re: ECOs
From: "Smith, Martin" <smithmr -at- ENCORP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 10:19:21 -0600

I've worked in industries that use ECOs for most of my career. But I've
never had to account for the changes made to each sentence of a
document. Rather, I merely kept track of the new sections added since
the last release. In the case of software manuals, the new sections
corresponded with the new screens and features added to the product. You
may want to encourage your manager to revise your ECO procedure
regarding documentation.

Your message didn't specify which industry you are now working in. If
you are working in a regulated industry your ECO system will be designed
to satisfy the regulatory requirements of that industry. For example, if
your company manufactures medical devices, you will need to adhere to
guidelines established by the FDA. If your company makes parts for
military aircraft, you will need to follow the appropriate MIL-SPECS.
I'd recommend learning more about your industry. Then read the
regulations that your industry adheres to, keeping your eyes open for
the documentation requirements. You can then change your ECO system

The companies that I've worked for improve their products on a
continuous basis. The ECO system helps define the point at which the
company draws a line in the sand and says this widget is now a released
product. The rules help ensure that the manufacturing department builds
the product with the correct parts and performs the correct tests to
ensure that the final assembly works as intended. The ECO system should
also ensure that manufacturing has the correct test procedures and that
the product goes out the door with a complete set of manuals.

Martin R. Smith
Technical Writer / Audiophile
ENCORP: The Energy Automation Company,
(970) 686-2017 x 223

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Folena, Shannon [SMTP:SFolena -at- CKSYS -dot- COM]
> Sent: Thursday, September 10, 1998 9:23 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: ECOs
> Fellow Technical Writers:
> I'm curious as to how many technical writers work with Engineering
> Change Orders (ECOs).
> I've been in the healthcare industry for the past four years and had
> never heard of ECOs. Now, I'm in a new industry and am discovering
> the
> wonderful world of ECOs. I'm in awe of all the time-consuming rules
> and
> paperwork involved. For instance, when I revise a document, I have to
> write down on the ECO what each sentence was before and what each
> sentence now says -- "is" and "was" statements.
> I'm wondering if ECOs are common place, or if I've been blissfully
> naive.
> Thanks,
> Shannon
> Shannon Folena,
> Technical Writer
> C&K Systems, Inc.
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