Monday, February 20, 2012

Focus and Leverage Part 92

I finally received my free author's books that came with my publishing deal and I have divergent feelings.  The story and the appendix are fantastic and I'm convinced that you'll all love the book, but having said that, there are mistakes in it.  I was worried about this prior to it being printed because Bruce and I never received the final version to review before it went to print.  Yes, there are silly grammatical errors and an occasional spelling error, but the real mistakes are in the graphics, mostly in the appendix.  Bruce and I are making a comprehensive list of these mistakes and will be sending them to our publisher, but it's disheartening that these mistakes had to occur in the first print at all.  So if you receive some of the first books, I want to apologize for the mistakes in advance.

Books should be like any other product produced.  I mean you wouldn't knowingly send your product out with defects would you?  I wouldn't either, but this is what happened with our book.  Perhaps I'm being too harsh to say that our publisher "knowingly" sent them out with defects, but that fact is, they did get printed and shipped with the mistakes in the book.  This tells me that our publisher's quality system must have holes in it.  If the mistakes were all minor, that's certainly one thing, but when they're major defects like unlabled boxes in an Intermediate Objectives Map or an Interference Diagram or arrows pointing to nowhere that take away from the meaning and understanding of what's presented, then this becomes problematic.

I'm not a big fan of rework as I'm sure most of you aren't either.  Rework costs money and assuming the defective product reaches the customer, it causes ill feelings and delays.  Your quality system has to be designed to prevent these kinds of mistakes, even if they are picked up in a final audit or in our case, a final book review.  It's always better to delay a shipment than it is to ship defective products.

Bob Sproull

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