Re: Andrew Plato's response to "Who dreams up . . . . "

Subject: Re: Andrew Plato's response to "Who dreams up . . . . "
From: Adrienne Gutmans <adrienne -at- isdn -dot- net -dot- il>
To: "TECHWR-L, a list for all technical communication issues" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 18:12:36 +0200

Andrew Plato wrote:

> . . . I breezed by the TECHWR-L list today . . . and saw a few posts
about > various process methods. You know how I love those posts . . .
> Who the hell dreams up these processes? The Rational MasterBlaster
Method and > the Capability Mastication Monster? Whatever happened to
the "sit
your ass > down and write a damn user guide you lazy bum" method.

Hi Andrew, ]

I know you've read this. I didn't quote your response to me, but
mentioned it at the bottom. Maybe you wuld like to post your response to
the list I loved it!

. . and Everyone,

I meant to send this to the list, but sent it only to Andrew by mistake
. . . please read on . . .

Submit a plan . . . . work on the process . . . . we need a report . . .
ugh! Is
this why the world economy is going up in smoke?

Your email just about sums the situation up! Let me give you an
example. A few months ago I began to toy with the idea of starting a
mailing list. I
let the idea simmer on a back burner for a while and then one day all
the bits fell
into place and jelled. My "process" or implementation plan would have
read as

"Set up email group."

The "simmering process" neither detracted from my work output nor from
my sleep. Once this process was over I sat down for a few minutes, set a
list up
at egroups . . . . . . spent another few minutes writing the welcome
invited around 20 people to subscribe. A few days later I thought that a
disclaimer would be a pretty good thing and I went back in to egroups,
wrote a disclaimer which appears at the bottom of every email and that's

Well, now comes the part that illustrates your email pretty well,
Andrew! A
colleague of sorts also decided to set up an email list. I keep hearing
about it
and finally received the "process plan" or whatever . . . pages and
pages of plans
and plans and plans and more plans and layouts and process and potential
addresses and plans . . . you name it, it was there. I couldn't
understand how
something so simple could be turned into such a major operation. It was
"about" to
be launched . . . but as far as I can see, it's still in the planning
stages . . .
I'm still waiting . . . maybe for the next batch of electronic pages . .

Companies must be losing millions on such "processes" or "plans" or

But like any business, an email list can be registered and set up very
easily with the basics. Then in order for it to grow healthily, growth
must be
allowed to take place gradually. Don't invite everyone you can think of
to subsribe in
one fell swoop! Invite a carefully selected group and then add a handful
few days. You don't even have to write endless lists . . . just take a
few at a time
from your customer list--or whatever--and cross them off as you invite
them to
join your email list. . . what could be simpler? It is time saving (time
money) and extremely effective.

For a while growth will be slow, but this is definitely positive . . .
this is the stage when it must be allowed to take root. When it has
really got
going, you'll find it seems to grow by itself. There are new subscribers
every day
and the odd one moves on . . .

You could also have spent weeks submitting plans to all and sundry . . .
but at
what cost to your other workload and your company?

Why not just a short memo asking approval from the board of
whatever--along the following lines:


Issue: Email list @ . . . .
Purpose: Promotion and technical support
Target audience: Customers and potential customers
Moderated or managed?
1. A moderated list requires the moderator to check all incoming
messages before
posting them to the list.
2. A managed list does not require this, but it is possible to moderated
incoming mail of specific individuals and to subscribe and unsubscribe
from the list . . . .
If it's moderated who will be responsible . . . . etc

Another couple of points . . . .maybe a little bla bla with pros and
cons. No more
than one page and basta!

If it gets managemanet approval proceed as outlined above! Cut out the

Wouldn't we all save a fortune for our companies if we were allowed to
cut out all the rubbish and thus able to work efficiently?

Or to as Andrew just emailed me . . . why get approval . . . no, I'll
let him tell you himself!

Just my two cents!

Adrienne . . . . (Tongue in cheek and praying that the guys I work with
aren't offended by my opinion of the way they are expected to work . . .
hope some of those responsible for demanding that they waste company
finally see the light! :-)

> I am sure you all have some deep feelings about this and will fill my
> with your thoughts. Therefore I really only have one comment. Why do
you need a
> process to work? Can't you just do the job and go home? . . . .
I'm a moron
> and I do it all the time. . . . .
> FORGET EVERYTHING I JUST SAID - everyone go back to building
processes. The more
> complex the better. Make sure you design something so convoluted and
> you never have time to learn the technology. Then your company will
> consultants like me to come fix it. I get rich, while you feel
> emotionally satisfied. It's a "ME win, YOU feel good" situation. I
> those. I prefer "ME win, you get messily devoured by a tiger"
situations, but
> I'll settle for this.
> Okay - I like this process stuff now.

> I am going to go write a book about processes now. What should I
call mine?
> The Consultants' Extortion Capability Maturity Rational MasterBlaster
> Maybe the Tangental Tacheon Toatally Tardicular Testing Torture
Technique. How
> about the GravisDong Logical Time Consumption Metholdolgy.
> I should figure out how to get "streaming interactive high speed
digital media"
> into the name as well. Looks better for the IPO.
> Do te do te do
> Andrew Plato
> __________________________________________________

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