FWD: Any experience with outside "efficiency" experts?

Subject: FWD: Any experience with outside "efficiency" experts?
From: Anonymous User <anonfwd -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 13:08:14 -0700

Name withheld upon request. Please reply on list.


So our upper management team can get a better understanding of how each
department operates, they are pushing heavily for documented processes on
developing, testing, and writing about our software. A staff member has been
appointed to go around and talk with the leads/managers in each department
and document the kinds of tasks each department is responsible for.
Currently, he's tracking everything using Microsoft Project so he can keep
an overall project plan for R&D that lists everyone's schedule and needs. In
addition, the upper management team has decided to hire consultants for the
QA, Development, and Documentation departments. These consultants are coming
in, interviewing personnel, and providing reports on how we can improve

The entire documentation team is a little bit alarmed by this prospect.
Currently we are doing more work with fewer people, and this will increase
in a week. One of our staff members is leaving and we have pretty much been
informed by upper management that they have no plans to replace her. It
seems (and we are inferring this) as if our company is not planning to
increase our staff but is considering outsourcing. The consulting company
they hired to analyze us is a company that pushes others into contracting
out documents through them, of course. They are also a Word shop (no offense
to you Word lovers) whereas we use FrameMaker for our rather large print
documents. I mention this because I fear that they'll tell us we'd be much
more efficient (work and cost) if we used Word or rather if we let them use
Word. I strongly disagree. While I understand our managment team's need to
understand and set processes in place, I can't help but wonder if we should
start worrying about our jobs.

The typical status quo around here is that we often have little time to plan
for larger projects because we are too busy cranking out documents (Getting
Started guides, Readmes, installation notes, and the like) for last minute
upgrades and updates and playing catch up. Unbeknownst to upper management,
we have been working on developing information and content plans for a
rewrite and redesign of our documentation suite. We are in the porcess of
cleaning things up so that we can submit these plans for review. This is
something we have been trying to do for two years and have finally found the
time. Needless to say, we are hurrying to put the finishing touches on these
docs and submit them to management as soon as possible.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I guess I want to know if any of you have ever had a
similar experience. If so, please post to the list with your thoughts,
observations, and stories.


Message forwarded on request. Please reply on list.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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