RE: Appealing to or introducing Tech Comm "best practices"

Subject: RE: Appealing to or introducing Tech Comm "best practices"
From: "David Chinell" <dchinell -at- email -dot- msn -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 11:08:16 -0400

Listers:

I think the need that spawns standards is a need
for product integrity. I think the best integrity
comes when a single author creates a product.

But often we require that many authors develop a
product. We hope that the gap between these
several minds can be bridged by written
information in the form of specifications and
standards.

I don't think these work very well, and they are
definitely no fun.

I think it's easier to put people in the same
physical space and arrange for them to have
supportive office furniture. I think a team should
be composed of four, five, or six authors. I think
the team cubicles should be arranged as spokes
radiating out from a central area containing a
round table. The cubicles should open into the
central area. Each member should be able to see
and talk to each other member simply by turning
around.

Further, since product integrity arises from
single-mindedness, I think formalized rituals
would be more helpful in fusing the team members
than would standards. I think the best part of
developing a style guide is the fusing process
required to create the guide.

Notice how newcomers have the style guide shoved
down their throats? But wasn't it supposed to be a
consensus-based process?

Anyway. I think we should knock off this
engineering stuff and get more ceremonial rituals
in the workplace.

Bear






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