Re: Handling revisions

Subject: Re: Handling revisions
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 1995 10:38:15 EST

Liz K. said:

>I'm looking for advice on the best way to handle documentation revisions.

If understand your situation, you're shipping change/revision pages to
customers, but providing no possible way for them to incorporate the changed
pages into the tech manuals.

It's tough enough getting the customer to incorporate change/revision packages
into a manual. In this case, I'd be willing to bet the pages you've shipped
are all sitting in their shrink-wrapped plastic, on shelves, gathering dust.

MAYBE the more determined customers have inked in notations to the original
manual, or have come up with a 3-ring binder system on their own.

I think you have two possible answers:

1) Hang the cost, go to the 3-ring method.

2) Change your updates to a less-frequent sechedule, perhaps twice per year, and
ship a 100% reprint of the manual at that time.

The first is the best answer if your data is time sensitive, the second is
better if you want assurance that the customer will actually use the updated
material. (Even with the 3-ring solution, be aware that most customers probably
will never insert the change pages.)

The method your company has selected shows almost an arrogant disregard of
the customer's needs. "Here's some data. We -know- that you can't use it, but
it's easier for us to do it this way."

I've got a feeling you're facing an uphill battle.

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com

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