Was: Squashed egos...Best vs. Mediocre

Subject: Was: Squashed egos...Best vs. Mediocre
From: Ginna Dowler <gdowler -at- questertangent -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 1999 16:59:56 -0700

"Eric J. Ray" wrote:
> And I'll bet you (or anyone) a virtual lunch that your boss grouses
> to his peers and anyone else who will listen about the fact that
> (as he likely sees it) technical writers display
> "....so little understanding of business realities...it's frustrating,
> plain and simple. I hate the fact that tech writers can't or won't
> find an appropriate middle ground for document quality or recognize
> when they've stumbled into the wrong side of the 80/20 equation."
> Or, as Deb puts it, "you do your best work, given the amount of
> time available." Business realities dictate the time
> available, though, and you have to understand those.

I'm getting a new perspective on this issue. I used to try and produce
my best work, and think "well, if I just had a little more time, it
would be awesome".

I've recently received a (part-time so far) promotion to Project
Manager. Not for documentation, for Engineering projects. (Yes, it's
gratifying to be in charge of engineers.) But now that I'm responsible
for making everything happen on time and on budget, I'm not very
tolerant of the perfectionist attitude. Why? Because you'll never
achieve it across an entire project. When the software is fantastic,
then you have to modify the hardware. Then you have to bring the
documentation up to the new level. And so on...

If I can achieve reasonable quality in 4 weeks, why on earth would I
spend the four months in time and money (neither of which is available)
to chase after unattainable perfection?

Ginna Dowler
Quester Tangent Corporation
Sidney, BC
gdowler -at- questercorp -dot- com

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