Re Who dreams up these things

Subject: Re Who dreams up these things
From: David Orr <dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:53:43 -0500

The simple answer to the question, "Who dreams up these
things?(processes)" is "people who have to work with other writers and
who want consistent outcomes."

It's fine to be an intuitive genius who just bangs things out; every
small company needs one or two. However, when you move to having 5, 6,
10, 15, 30, or 100 people in a company, you can't have every genius
doing his/her own thing. In fact it's hard to hire only geniuses and
it's rare to find a bunch of geniuses who all think alike. Most of the
documentation has be written by the rest of us who are grateful for an
agreed-upon, logical way of doing things that fits our culture and works
with our clients most of the time.

Most formative companies are in genius mode and fire people who don't
immediately, intuitively put out what's needed without being told. When
companies get larger, they have to become more normative and have things
like standards and processes. Most larger companies move away from the
Mack the Knife school of employment practices. Training becomes more
important to improving quality than one or two geniuses. Besides,
geniuses have a process, they just can't always articulate it so someone
else can follow it; they may be unconsciously competent, or not so smart
as they think.

M. David Orr
Orr & Associates/The Usability Group

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