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Albert Einstein & Technical Publications: Part 1

Calendar February 17, 2016 | User Steve Scheuber | Tag ,

Albert Einstein Said It Best

Albert Einstein has been quoted with saying,

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

While the attribution is open to dispute, the simplicity of the principle is certainly applicable to many situations—including how companies manage their technical publications, or ‘tech pubs’ for short.

Rarely is a company in business solely to manage tech pubs. Rather, tech pubs is a byproduct of businesses operating in a highly-regulated industry and/or using complex systems. Airline operators and high-tech original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) don’t manage tech pubs because they want to—tech pubs is an unavoidable cost of doing business.

Scalable Business Processes

When a company is small in size, with relatively few employees and assets, managing technical publications can be accomplished using simple tools, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Specifically, manual or human-intensive TTPs are effective when the number of assets managed are low and the data is relatively simple (e.g. data sources, data formats, data volumes, and frequency of change are all low). Storing a few unmodified, OEM, PDF documents in a SharePoint repository is a low-tech example.

While manual or human-intensive processes work in simple scenarios, they become a debilitating limiting factor for growth and effective operations as the number and variety of managed assets increase and data complexity rises. Processes that worked yesterday, or even today, need dramatic improvements to meet tomorrow’s business requirements. Most solutions are unable to scale effectively as growth happens. Thinking back to Einstein, process improvements become possible only when executives recognize they cannot keep doing the same thing over and over again, and expect different results.

Innovate or Die

Executives focused on day-to-day working ‘in the business’ don’t keep pace with innovations; in contrast, working ‘on the business’ is strategic and facilitates the long-term viability, productivity and profitability of any company. In today’s competitive environment, standing still for any length of time—failing to work on the business—gives competitors the upper hand. This results in competition with growing market share due to their higher efficiencies, lower cost and quality not previously available. Once-thriving companies will find themselves competing for market share because they fail to recognize, and adapt to a paradigm shift.

Advantage or Liability

Competitively-minded companies use our advanced solutions to create, manage and leverage tech pubs as a business advantage instead of a possible liability. Our solutions and services help companies effectively manage enormous amounts of technical publication data, reduce the necessary labor, shorten turnaround time and improve quality. The technology is our own—developed and enhanced each year to be the best in the world. Advanced software solutions and training empower our clients to rapidly advance the state of their tech pubs practices; authoring and illustration services relieve clients of the time-consuming change request and revision cycle. Our technology and solutions allow companies to turn the possible liability of managing their tech pubs into a business advantage. The alternative? Don’t innovate or update and open your operation and business up to risk—diminished content quality, unmanageable backlogs, the inability to react to urgent change requests and ever-increasing content turnaround times.

Whether change comes begrudgingly as a result of necessity, or flies in willingly on the wings of innovation, change will come. Stay tuned for “Albert Einstein & Technical Publications: Part 2” next week and learn how the ‘diffusion of innovation’ theory applies to your organization and how millennials could be the biggest change-drivers of all.

The photograph of Albert Einstein come courtesy of the Library of Congress

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