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Wasting away with Word!

Wasting away with Word!

It has been my personal experience that the average procedure writer in the processing industry often would rather eat flies than spend all day formatting documents.

Very talented subject matter experts with tons of operating experience just don't get excited about trying to get Word to cooperate when they insert text or attempt to renumber, and then watch the procedure decompose.

Check out a recent search. "I hate Word" results in 153,000 hits (in 0.12 seconds), while "MS Word rocks" and "I love MS Word" comes up with a paltry 91 and 415 hits, respectfully.

John G. Faughnan, noted blogger, sums it up for thousands of writers across the world:

Microsoft Word is a beast. Word is an evolved creation, the bastard offspring of marketing, some original thoughts on how to create a word processor, and generations of Ziff-Davis (PC Magazine) induced rapid mutation to fit someone's distorted checklist. It is to software as the Irish Elk was to mammals. It is an inherently incurable mass of contradictory impulses, which are fully evident in Word's formatting model. It is the single most miserable piece of software that I absolutely must use."

In the high risk processing industries, the vast majority of procedure writers struggle with MS Word formatting each and every page and each and every step. It must be good, cause everyone's doing it, not to mention our IT department decided it was good for us!

When writers' spend their day struggling against the beast, procedure content quality and the overall vigilance decays. While Word often has good intentions working hard to protect us against ourselves, we're left frustrated.

The hidden costs of this struggle are staggering. Poor quality procedures and resultant misuse or non-use often are the root cause of expensive incidents. The time has come to evaluate new technology, change paradigms and re-allocate the wasted time to maximize safety and operational excellence.