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Arlen>You could argue their perception of our profession is the problem, but
Arlen>likely it's the fact that they can't connect bottom-line cost savings to
Arlen>good documentation. That's where the improvement has to be; not in some
Arlen>mighty union who will sweep down upon our employers and demand our
Arlen>(whatever they may be).
Donna>And I most heartily agree with this statement. I believe this is the
Donna>essential point. We have to keep educating those for whom we work. And
Donna> with whom we work.
Hearily agree with both. But there's another interesting angle that I'm trying
to find out more on. Most of the top decision making people at any company are
making many if not most of their decisions based on the financials, and
traditional cost accounting gives them a skewed picture. Peter Drucker has
written some interesting stuff on this. Cost accounting shows the cost of
vertical operating units in the company, not the costs of horizontal processes.
If the d-maker is focused on the cost of operating unit x (tech writing,
programming, auto mechanics) in isolation from the process, then the obvious
move is to take moves that minimize that cost.
In the old days, when the d-makers had come up through the ranks, worked all
over the place, and had an industry in their blood, the cost accounting model
could be put into perspective by their innate understanding of the business and
what it took to keep it healthy. In todays era of the technocrat, where many
organizations are run on the notion that you can stick any smart MBA into a
management slot, that balance is gone.
Newer accounting models are starting to focus on the process, and with those
sorts of models, showing where each group's contribution impacts the bottom
line will be easier to do. I'm trying to find out more about these now.
Director of Electronic Documentation
Logical Design Solutions
571 Central Avenue http://www.lds.com
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