The Doc Surge

Let’s talk effective project management. Imagine a particularly large and complex project. The top manager has laid out the terms. More resources are being committed. The project’s objective has been stated, and, most importantly, an end date given.

Related imageThe leader is the U.S. President. The project is the war in Afghanistan. The resources are an additional 30,000 troops, at a cost of $30 billion, or a cool $1 million per soldier. The objective is to win the war. The end date is July 2011, depending upon how the security situation improves; this is what’s known as “conditional text”.

Let’s hope the final result is better than what I’ve seen on other projects, namely software and documentation development ones. Many companies don’t invest enough in their information development and management departments.

The troop surge represents a 43% increase in the number of soldiers. Can you imagine the effect if a company increased the number of its tech writers the same amount? It would annihilate much of the company’s misinformation and missing information, a true victory in the war on error.