A monthly e-newsletter from the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
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The Six Sigma Method
The Six Sigma method originated with Motorola as they sought to reduce the errors in their chip manufacturing process. To reduce the number of bad chips, Motorola looked for flaws in the manufacturing process. A process flaw resulted in defects in the chips. By fixing the process, they could lower the likelihood of failure and improve the quality of the product.
How does Six Sigma relate to technical-information development? As communicators, we produce information, not chips. But the problem of flaws is just as critical to our processes as it is to the manufacturing process.
The Impact of Culture and People
Our company has worked in a wide variety of fields—pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, information technology (IT), radio communications, telecommunications, defence, and television. It is interesting to make comparisons between the different jobs and to consider what intangible factors seemed to play a part in the progress or outcome of the work. Two of the most striking factors appear to be the culture of the company and the real background of the people contributing to the work.
According to the first communication law by Osmo A. Wiio (a Finnish researcher of human communication), communication usually fails, except by accident. Although being a tongue-in-cheek kind of law, similar to Murphy’s law, it does point out that communication is never easy and often fails. Disturbances prevent the message going through from the sender to the recipient. In this article, I look at the disturbances and what they can mean for customer documentation.
The Center For Information-Development Management
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