THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: April 21, 1996 01:42 PM Sunday;
Bob and Drisc at Millie's for dinner.
3...Proof Reading Email to Avoid Mistakes
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1112 - ..
1113 - Summary/Objective
111401 - Follow up work at ref SDS 2 line 160, ref SDS 4 line 270.
111403 - Bob said that about 5 years ago Varian created a project management
111404 - department. Bob's explanation gave the impression that the "project
111405 - manager" an Varian is principally a scheduling and possibly a cost
111406 - engineer. The lead person seems to be a "Product Manager" in
111407 - marketing.
111409 - The product manager seems to initiate new products from discussions
111410 - with customers and market research activity. It reflects HBR and
111411 - other commentary recommending that marketing be the driving force of
111412 - an organization, i.e., customer driven.
111414 - Bob indicated the project management sheme intended to solve a
111415 - prior problem when engineering was the lead function in product
111416 - development, and often caused increased costs, delays and/or poor
111417 - results for the product because of arbitrary decisions which
111418 - optimized engineering, but harmed manufacturing, sales, support,
111419 - distribution.
111421 - The product manager supports a process intended to result in a set of
111422 - written requirements which engineering then designs, similar to the
111423 - process discussed with Morris at Chips, ref SDS 1 line 88. Bob
111424 - indicated that difficulties arise from written requirements that are
111425 - inadequate, which may conflict with performance policies and
111426 - standards. I asked if there is a data base or other record that shows
111427 - the chronology of discussions and analysis so others can follow the
111428 - reasoning that led to understandings about what is needed. Bob said
111429 - the record is generally not very comprehensive. Much of it is by
111430 - word-of-mouth in ad hoc telephone discussions, email, meetings and
111431 - notes that are not readily accessible across the organization. Delays
111432 - and re-work arise because various functional groups need input from
111433 - the product manager, who is often in meetings with customers on sales
111434 - efforts.
111436 - He indicated they have a separate group of project managers, similar
111437 - to PG&E, except insteading of leading the cross-functional team, they
111438 - are simply one of the functions that reports to the product manager.
111440 - Bob indicated the product managers typically come from engineering or
111441 - operations, then get an MBA and go into marketing. This theoretically
111442 - gives them the background to appreciate the demands of these
111443 - functions, however, once they enter marketing problems of coordination
111444 - seem to occur.
111447 - TQM
111448 - ---
111449 - Followed up discussion the other day on TQM ref SDS 5 line 134.
111451 - Bob said Varian has been trying TQM for the past several years also.
111452 - Once a month a new vision statement was issued. This caused
111453 - difficulty remembering which vision was the current one and how work
111454 - related to objectives (the vision) from one month to the next.
Email Degrades Writing, Understanding
1505 - Summary/Objective
1506 - ..
150601 - Follow up work at ref SDS 4 line 142.
150603 - Proof Reading Email to Avoid Mistakes
150605 - Bob said the solution he has adopted to avoid errors in his writing
150606 - using email is to print the messages he prepares, before sending them,
150607 - wait 30 minutes or so to proof read his message. He feels this clears
150608 - his mind from what he wrote, so the proof reading does not read past
150609 - the mistakes in the material. Bob was concerned that this wastes a
150610 - lot of paper because sometimes this method takes several iterations.
150612 - He said the method of using a secretary was faster, because she
150613 - provided the second mind that caught the errors. One or two passes at
150614 - the most was adequate. With email he often needs 3 - 5 passes.
150616 - This reflects the recent article on checking written text before
150617 - sending it. ref SDS 3 3332
150619 - [On 960509 encountered example from Intel. ref SDS 6 3968]