Re: "by the book"

mike shupp (ms44278@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Sat, 11 May 1996 11:28:56 -0700

> Holly Swyers wrote, in an aside:
> > Just a curious question a little off the topic - in how
> > many cultures is there a disparity between "by the book" and "the way we
> > actually do things"?
and then Judith M S Pine wrote:

> Finally, is there any case (given the existance of written regulations)
> where there is *not* a distinction between what is written and actual
> practice?

I used to work in software development. I've been in environments which
had very few and largely informal controls on configuration management
and software changes and in environments which had very detailed "cook
books" and forms and review boards and lots lots of meetings to discuss
what was being done (or undone).
Believe me, the latter worked best. (Granted it was also
expensive, but you can't trash a 500 million dollar spacecraft that's
halfway to Jupiter and tell your one and only Customer, "Well, the
version of the software that comes out next year will be better.")
Of course, we did write those cook books and set up those review
boards ourselves. We weren't quite in the position of taxpayers standing
in line at the county assesor's office.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge