RE: Process, not bureaucracy

Subject: RE: Process, not bureaucracy
From: "Nancy Smith" <smithcds -at- ici -dot- net>
To: "'TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues'" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 11:03:42 -0400

I guess I don't see "face-time" as related to
process at all, except peripherally: i.e., when
face-to-face meetings are truly needed (and even
those can often be by concall). In fact, mandatory
hours onsite smack much more of bureacracy and the
personal needs of managers than of process!

Process is related to the workflow (ordering) of
tasks, who's responsible for what, accountability,
whom to contact when, etc., -- and very little, if
anything, to do with what hours you keep!

Often the *sequence* of tasks (milestones) that
defines a process does enable different people to
get very similar and positive results. (Aside: The
subject of the preceding sentence is "sequence"
which is singular, but the verb agreement sounds
weird anyway!)

One example of part of a process: When editing
reviews and technical reviews are scheduled in a
documentation project. This is what I think of as
process -- not what hours in the day someone is
performing a given task!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-10572 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-10572 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On
Behalf Of Cam
> Whetstone
> Sent: Sunday, September 05, 1999 6:08 PM
> Subject: Re: Process, not bureaucracy
> Steve wrote:
> > From my perspective as a manager, process helps
me ensure
> that when
> > someone does good work, everyone can learn to do
as well. It also
> > means if I know what works, I can ensure
everyone does it. This
> > doesn't preclude improvementor creativity, but
it does promote
> > consistency and solid results.
> >
> > -- Steve
> >
> The down side of this, Steve, is that what works
well for some is not
> the same as what works well for me. I am an early
person. I like to
> get to work at 5 to 6 am rather than 10 am. If I
work 8 hours, I
> leave at 2 to 3 pm. If I work overtime I leave at
5 or 6. It works
> for me!
> Also some managers use process as a ruler to
manage. If I learned one
> thing from having three kids is it that no two
people are the same and
> the same thing does not work for any two of the
> Nothing helps a manager manage more than knowing
what the managed
> employee is doing. I have had a manager that knew
my job better than
> I did. He was excellent. When I work for someone
who doesn't have a
> clue (and I have) I can usually snow them a
little, but they really
> don't manage me, I give them the cues and if they
pick up on it, they
> re-inforce my 'self management.'
> As an example, I worked with a verygood technical
writer. He had a
> problem with getting up in the morning, but he had
no problem with
> working into the evenings. he put in his 8 hours
and did his job very
> well. I came in very early and did my job--maybe
not as well, because
> he had been there longer. The manager did not
know what we did. We
> told him the metrics and he measured to them. He
loved me (I came in
> early) he hated the other writer (he came in
late). I tried to say
> good things about him, but it was taken as loyalty
to a friend. It
> wasn't. I knew the manager would dump the other
writer if he got a
> chance and he did. When warned, the other writer
came back with,
> 'well I do my job.'
> Management is not easy. There are no short cuts
to knowing what you
> are managing.
> C. R. (Cam) Whetstone
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