Documentation Drives Success

This entry is part 18 of 18 in the series Interview Tom Marine Gets Right Upfront


Getting it right up front really sped up the
time-to-value. Thus, your end-to-end visual depicted the future-state of the workflow AND training modules with the right individuals already up-to-speed mentally and experientially on the new workflow—because they helped define their new workflow in analog on-the-wall fashion.

Finally, I recall for our conversation, you had the winning vendor train your operators to the specific workflows as defined by—initially—the rough draft user manual.

TM: Yes. So we wrote our own training manual.

MM: Yes. Fabulous. This gets the central idea of process maturity, where from the get-go you started off with a documented workflow, and then built training into the workflow.

TM: Yes. Well, training was definitely a part of the change-management.

MM: It’s also a part of the mindset called, “There’s no such thing here any more as an undocumented work.” And documented work without training is only half the solution.

TM: Yes.

MM: In the few remaining minutes that we have—as I recall—you installed your team installed the software on a Saturday and went live four or so days later. Take us through the startup process.

TM: Oh, boy. Originally, I think, we were going to do a pilot. But since we were working on live data, there were only a few minor mess-ups in the first two weeks, and we decided to keep everything live. I believe that within 60 days, we were already producing new catalogs. I forget the exact, right now, Michael. But it was one of those things where you go, “Okay. We’re going to take a short step,” and we ended up running.

MM: So from our previous conversation, you indicated that installed the software on a Saturday and started working on live data four days later, using the five days or so as to conduct final quality assurance and training. So in two weeks, you pretty much had operators in workflows producing commercial product.

TM: Yes. They were producing. They were in production flow.

MM: The hand-over process was relatively painless and fast.

TM: Yes. I think that we ran into some obstacles the first month or two, but nothing that was a showstopper.

MM: Excellent. Thanks so much.

Tom Marine holds a BA in Journalism from Marshall University, and has been involved in publishing/pre-press environments since 1977. He is currently the Special Consultant to the Owner of Johnson Ventures, Columbus, IN. Tom has been involved in DAM implementation for multi-channel marketers since 1997, including a 1,000-page catalog and 300+ page catalogs.


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