THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: August 9, 1990 04:40 PM .......;
Meeting with Ross re training and progress on using SDS.
2...Printer would not Work
3...Editing Functions and SDS Structure
5...Organic Subject Structures Powerful Process Difficult to Understand
.......Credentials and Expertise for Managing Subjects
6...Writing a Letter Supported by Integrated Systems
7...Good management Pays for Itself, Like Advertising
Click here to comment!
0201 - IBM Global Financing
020101 - Mr. Ross H. Armstrong
020102 - Business Unit Executive
020104 - Commercial & Vendor Financing, Americas
Updated Software version
Training Meeting to Pilot Test SDS
Printer Could Not Get Epson to Print ASCII Issued by SDS
1207 - ..
1208 - Summary/Objective
120901 - Follow up ref SDS 5 0001,
120903 - Updated version of SDS installed using tape drive. Everything worked,
120904 - except problem with printer. Ross has good grasp of editing functions
120905 - that are common to other programs. ref SDS 0 9A6M SDS organic subject
120906 - structures are different from conventional management practice, and so
120907 - seem harder for people to understand. ref SDS 0 4J4H Writing a letter
120908 - that requires identifying the subject in SDS before writing the letter
120909 - is foreign. ref SDS 0 4L7F
120917 - ..
1212 - Progress
121301 - Took tape drive and downloaded newest version created for cpu #4
121302 - earlier today. ref SDS 6 0001
121304 - ..
121305 - Did this while we ate dinner, so it was ready when we
121306 - began work.
121308 - ..
121309 - This version seems to work pretty well, nothing crashed.
121312 - ..
121313 - Printer would not Work
121315 - Ross has an IBM printer with proprietary PCL. Ross said his printer
121316 - at work is configured to print Lotus using Epson emulation. We could
121317 - not get his printer at home to print Epson ascii text files.
121319 - We could not find anything on Epson emulation in his printer manual,
121320 - and the ESC codes in his manual are different from those for Epson.
Evaluation by Outsiders
Help & Profile system
(e.g. IBM and Profs)
Help Easy to Use
160901 - ..
160902 - Editing Functions and SDS Structure
160904 - Ross has a good grasp of SDS structure, and how to use the function
160905 - keys and Help systems. He has confidence that information to learn
160906 - SDS is in Help, and so examines it more thoroughly than some new Users
160907 - who get discouraged when the initial screen does not answer their
160908 - questions.
160910 - ..
160911 - He feels Ctrl F6 is effective in letting him "try out" his
160912 - understanding, then return to his place in Help for more information,
160913 - if necessary.
160915 - ..
160916 - Initially, I told him what functions to use.
160918 - ..
160919 - Then we experimented to find explanations in Help for functions and
160920 - sequences of operations to accomplish specific tasks. He actually
160921 - discovered how to do several tasks independently just using Help.
160922 - Ross commented on how well Help led him to the answers for his
160923 - questions. (see more on Help, below under Training).
160926 - ..
160927 - Application
160929 - Ross has specific ideas about how to apply SDS in relation to Profs
160930 - and other IBM support software.
160932 - ..
160933 - He is reporting on his work through Profs and other systems in a
160934 - structured and summary manner. Ross feels important facts,
160935 - circumstances and understandings are NOT reported which he currently
160936 - must keep in his head, or write and maintain on paper.
160938 - ..
160939 - He feels SDS could make it easy to quickly and comprehensively track
160940 - this much larger body of knowledge. Actually all he needs to do is
160941 - log the Profs report number to his SDS record to link up a formal
160942 - report to his wider understandings and concerns.
160945 - ..
160946 - Idea
160948 - We should consider how all reporting could be done in SDS, and then
160949 - just extract summaries to report in the present manner with Profs.
160951 - This avoids conflicts in reporting, duplication of effort, and makes
160952 - the data more valuable because it can always be considered in
160953 - CONTEXT.
160955 - ..
160956 - My main impression from this session is that SDS is now in shape to be
160957 - learned and comprehended by someone with Ross's background and
160958 - orientation. The use he contemplates is generic, i.e. applicable to a
160959 - broad range of management situations.
160961 - ..
160962 - The sense of confidence he has about using Help is important.
160964 - ..
160965 - Where many people approach learning SDS with trepedition, bordering on
160966 - fear they will not find the answer, he seems to glide through it.
160968 - ..
160969 - I think the critical point is that if his first impression does not
160970 - work, he does not give up or begin experimenting on his own, but
160971 - returns to Help to check and expand his review and understanding.
160972 - Ctrl F6 is valuable in supporting this procedure.
160974 - ..
160975 - Make a note of this in Help.
Learning Subjects Foreign Difficult Takes Time
SDS Record Structure Control Fields Work with Subjects
Organic Subjects Complex Everything Related to Everything Else, 98040
Garden Knowledge, Needs Tending, Invest Sunshine Profits Garden Eden
Roebuck, Roy DOD Program Manager Explains Why Com Manager Needed
Specialist Skills Professional Role Use SDS Like Pilot Flies Airplane
2909 - Progress
291001 - ..
291002 - Organic Subject Structures Powerful Process Difficult to Understand
291004 - This evening we began creating a Subject Index for Ross' daily
291005 - management practice, because this is needed to write a letter, which
291006 - he wanted to do, per below. ref SDS 0 4L7F
291008 - ..
291009 - Ross created some subjects under "Company" to track SDS records he
291010 - created this evening for his work at IBM.
291012 - We have been discussing for months developing a subject index.
291014 - ..
291015 - Watching Ross work this evening, it seems clear that subject
291016 - management is a foreign idea for people. Ross has an MBA, and a lot
291017 - of energy and interest in making SDS work at the moment, per above.
291018 - ref SDS 0 0125 So, if organic subject structure is a stumbling
291019 - block for him, this suggests some means of education is needed to
291020 - quickly move people into productive use of this SDS advance, similar
291021 - to learning the alphabet in order to use a book that applies
291022 - alphabet technology.
291024 - ..
291025 - "Subjects" are applied intuitively (people use them everyday all day
291026 - long), but are not specifically developed as a set of relationships
291027 - and organization of knowledge.
291030 - ..
291031 - Credentials and Expertise for Managing Subjects
291033 - Experience in construction that uses structured information in
291034 - project plans and specs, and in contracts, plus experience doing
291035 - accounting and cost control that entail structuring information,
291036 - and developing project plans and schedules using WBS and CPM
291037 - tools and practices, all provide a framework for understanding
291038 - SDS organic subject structure. Work in legal practice also
291039 - shows the need to organize information according to subjects for
291040 - decision support.
291042 - ..
291043 - Ross mentioned this evening that subjects are a key benefit of SDS,
291044 - which require investing time to create an ordered structure that can
291045 - be applied routinely for quickly organizing information so it can be
291046 - retrieved quickly and thoroughly when needed. Gave a quick
291047 - demonstration showing SDS assembles information into chronologies of
291048 - cause and effect. Ross feels it is helpful to know who, what, when,
291049 - where, why and how things happened. He said the need for
291050 - organizational memory comes up every day in his work.
291052 - ..
291053 - On 898089 Ross explained that 20 minutes are about the time people
291054 - have available to learn new software. ref SDS 1 5U6K
291056 - ..
291057 - Organic Subject structure is like a garden of knowledge that needs
291058 - tending to accomodate evolving context of daily experience. So, it
291059 - is not something that can be figured out once, and then just applied
291060 - when needed. Subjects grow every day, like human experience. SDS
291061 - strengthens this innate mental asset.
291063 - ..
291064 - Ross has not encountered any other program that has this feature.
291066 - [On 991025 Peter Drucker suggests in article that routinizing
291067 - common cognitive tasks for managing information is a big
291068 - opportunity for technology to improve daily management.
291069 - ref SDS 7 0785
291071 - ..
291072 - Showed Ross how to enter the SI and use functions to go forward and
291073 - backward, and how to get Help.
291075 - ..
291076 - Explained the relationship between the Subject Index and Control
291077 - fields, how to....
291079 - Open SI at a particular level from a Control field, and
291081 - ..
291082 - Load subjects to the Control field from the SI.
291084 - ..
291085 - Some kind of professional support may be needed for this, similar to
291086 - an accountant who helps everyone keep finances straight by setting up
291087 - a chart of accounts.
WMA Marketing, Training
Writing Letter Different from Conventional Management Practice Takes
SDS Fast Easy Write Letter Takes More Time than Bad Management which
Documents to Knowledge Space Paradigm Shift
Writing Letter Correspondence Document Management
Writing Improves Thinking Planning Analysis
Expediting Slippery Slope to Murphy's Law
Expedite Slippery Slope to Murphy's Law
Bad Management Cheaper than Good Management in the Moment Failure Cos
Cost Savings Difficult to Calculate
Engineering Management Mistakes
Law Suits Avoid and Win
Rework Saving Pays for Good Management Using SDS
Bad Management Cheaper than Good Management in the Moment Failure Cos
531701 - ..
531702 - Writing a Letter Supported by Integrated Systems
531704 - Went through an exercise of writing a letter.
531706 - Ross created a doc log format in References for fixing the location of
531707 - the letter in SDS record structure.
531709 - ..
531710 - He asked why subjects have to be assigned in order to create and send
531711 - a letter, since this is not a common practice in management? He said
531712 - that when a manager wants to write a letter they open the
531713 - wordprocessing program and start writing, then send it. He feels that
531714 - having to assign subjects requires learning about subjects, which
531715 - nobody cares about, because the important task is sending the letter.
531716 - Ross noted that admin people at IBM do the filing. Making managers
531717 - learn about subjects in order to send a letter, reduces SDS marketing
531718 - appeal, because people don't like to do that.
531720 - ..
531721 - POIMS addresses this point.
531723 - ..
531724 - We reviewed human nature to get by with short cuts and cutting corners
531725 - to "expedite." Using good management consistently, as we discussed on
531726 - 890809, is the only means to improve productivity, earnings and stock
531727 - prices, ref SDS 1 5G7G, and requires technology that guides people to
531728 - organize information, as a key part of adding "intelligence" to
531729 - management. A simple way to accomplish effective guidance is making
531730 - it necessary to organize information, before sending it out to others.
531731 - This leverages the incentive for sending a letter so it supports the
531732 - need for organization, called out in POIMS.
531734 - ..
531735 - Additionally, figuring out the subject of a letter before writing it,
531736 - entails looking up subjects in the organic subject structure which
531737 - discloses collateral (closely related) impacts that expand span of
531738 - attention. This makes the letter comprehensive and effective, likely
531739 - causing more problems and extra cost, rather than expediting.
531741 - ..
531742 - Ross feels this is a good design for getting consistent effort to
531743 - organize the record of organizational memory.
531745 - ..
531746 - He said it takes extra time to look up and assign a subject, although
531747 - SDS makes it fast and easy to do this. From the discussion above, it,
531748 - also, takes extra time to create subjects for a letter, if they do not
531749 - already exist. ref SDS 0 4J4H Since assigning subjects prior to
531750 - sending a letter is different from conventional management, people do
531751 - not have experience with procedures for creating subjects, so it takes
531752 - a lot of extra time getting started using SDS, because you have to
531753 - learn both SDS tools and procedures for creating an effective organic
531754 - subject structure. Additionally, after learning to use SDS tools,
531755 - even though SDS makes it fast and easy to create subjects, it takes
531756 - more time to this than not making any subject assignment, which is
531757 - common management practice.
531760 - ..
531761 - Good management Pays for Itself, Like Advertising
531763 - Ross asked where the time and money comes from to do this?
531765 - ..
531766 - Most management time is devoted to fixing problems, commonly called
531767 - "rework," caused by errors in communication due to limited time and
531768 - span of attention, commonly called information overload. Time devoted
531769 - to problem handling reduces time for discovering and pursuing new
531770 - opportunities. Good management, therefore, requires debugging daily
531771 - communication to discover and correct impending problems before an
531772 - actual mistake occurs that causes delay, extra cost and missed
531773 - opportunities. Debugging management requires organizing the record so
531774 - that relevant parts can be obtained when needed to verify alignment
531775 - that avoids mistakes. The cost to pay for better management is the
531776 - savings from avoiding the cost of bad management, and cashing in on
531777 - opportunities that are lost while devoting time to problem handling
531778 - that SDS reduces.
531780 - ..
531781 - Ross feels this is good theory.
531783 - ..
531784 - He may have run across it in an MBA class, but it is hard to sell this
531785 - idea when people have limited time and a lot to do. That is why
531786 - businesses downsize and fail, and why economies suffer repeated
531787 - recession. Bad management always seem more attractive, in the moment,
531788 - than making front-end investment essential for good management, and
531789 - can be justified by couching failure to capture organizational memory,
531790 - as expediting and cost savings.
531792 - ..
531793 - As we discussed on 890809 bad management costs nothing, and so is
531794 - alwyas cheaper, in the moment, i.e., today, than the cost to invest in
531795 - good management. That is why most businesses fail, it is very cheap to
531796 - avoid the cost of good management.
531798 - ..
531799 - Success requires front-end investment in good management, which is
531800 - difficult to grasp, which is why success is highly rewarding. Rewards
531801 - of good management are always deferred and remote at the time people
531802 - have to take action. Therefore, to overcome self-interest, near-term
531803 - dynamics SDS is designed to guide people toward accomplishing needed
531804 - tasks, even though most everybody else does not do this.
531806 - ..
531807 - Ross decided to take a crack at it.
531809 - ..
531810 - He used both the personal and organizational data base to address
531811 - letters and load Contacts to an SDS record.
531813 - ..
531814 - He feels the few seconds needed to do this is fast and easy enough to
531815 - accomplish that it does not add appreciably to present practice.
531817 - ..
531818 - The big challenge is learning the steps, and learning to create
531819 - subjects, per above. ref SDS 0 4J4H
531821 - ..
531822 - Some kind of professional support may be needed for this, similar to
531823 - an accountant who helps everyone keep finances straight by setting up
531824 - a chart of accounts.
Distribution. . . . See "CONTACTS"