Re: Any experience with outside "efficiency" experts?

Subject: Re: Any experience with outside "efficiency" experts?
From: Denise Fritch <dfritch -at- INTELLICORP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 13:42:46 -0800

Anonymous User,

I have no experience with "efficiency" experts, however I do work for a
company that develops business modeling software that is used to graphically
displays processes and procedures within SAP's R/3 System. Perhaps because
of my experience here I see your current situation as positive, not
negative.

You state:

> 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.

Why not use this opportunity to describe for management (through the
"efficiency" experts reports) where your writers obtain information, the
result of changes to the software upon your schedules, the process of
creating documentation (design, writing, review, rewrite, etc), and release
of documentation. Documentation written by others? I'll bet these are not
one-time only documents. Who does the rewrites and updates? Who maintains
the files?

It would seem to me that now is the time for your department manager, you,
and the other writers to push for a well organized flow of information into
and through your department. Just remember. To "improve" your efficiency,
you need others to be efficient too. Stress that need.

Best,

Denise L. Fritch
Sr. Tech Writer
IntelliCorp, Inc.
Mountain View, CA


>
> 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
> efficiency.
>
> 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.
>
> Thanks.
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Message forwarded on request. Please reply on list.
>
>
> ==================================================================
> =========
>
>
>


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