RE: Nobody reviewed the manuals

Subject: RE: Nobody reviewed the manuals
From: <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:07:22 -0700

What's missing from this story is that BP explicitly ordered
TransAmerica (rig owners) to not follow procedures (to save money). And
now the whole world knows how that worked out.

The documentation problems were just a symptom BP's general disregard
for anything except profit.


-----Original Message----- From: Al Geist

I'm sure everyone by now has heard about the big oil spill going on in
the Gulf or Mexico. Associate Press today announced that an analysis of
BP's contingency plans show they were "riddled with omissions and
glaring errors." It seems that the authors face what most of us in the
field confront on a daily basis..everyone wants the manuals done by some
impossible deadline, but nobody has anytime to review the material to
see if it is relevant, accurate, or complete. If those documents are
like some I've had to clean up, they are virtually useless because they
were copied from previous documents, which were copies of older
documents, which were copies... In management's eyes, this is good,
economic use of resources. In the department heads eyes, it's a checkbox
that is filled without having to take an engineer or programmer off some
critical task. In the user's eyes, it means fumbling around to figure
things out before the system crashes and management starts looking over
your shoulder. Been fighting for better manuals for nearly 40 years and
I will guarantee that there are more BP-type contingency plans out
there. What management doesn't realize is that it cost a lot more to
clean up the mess than it would to produce is relevant, accurate, and
complete material in the first place. BP knows the consequences
many other companies (small or large) have had their eyes opened?


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Nobody reviewed the manuals: From: Al Geist

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