This paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to Barry Schaeffer© 2005.
Published here May 2006.

Editor's Note | Introduction | First Things First | The Heart of Today's Effort
Markup Protocols | Pressure to Produce | The Consumer Side is the Most Important
Holistic Markup Design | Stakeholder Involvement

Holistic Markup Design

Markup must be conceived and designed in a holistic way and better metrics are needed to assess the impact of changes in markup on the entire information life cycle. We must evaluate each candidate markup scheme, taking in account its interaction with every part and participant in the flow of content from thought to final consumption. Some will, and should, fall by the wayside, but those that survive will make a significantly greater contribution to society.

Moreover, markup development efforts should include representatives from all sectors impacted by the results. There is no more incendiary confrontation than the meeting at which the authors and their managers learn, for the first time, what is to be expected of them. However seductive it might be, the presence of a markup team member who used to be an author does not suffice.

The realizations that design, production and consumer resources must work more closely together became apparent in the "bricks and mortar" product world in the 1950s, culminating in the Concurrent Engineering (CE) movement during the 1980s. CE is based on the philosophy that all considerations related to the design, manufacturing and market acceptance of a new product, must be integrated into the design effort from the outset. Previous sequential design approaches had created endless rework and redesign cycles as new product designs were found to be incapable of effective manufacturing or carried a price tag too high for market acceptance.

CE, by bringing all involved disciplines together in "multifunction teams", assured that critical considerations were not missed and the resulting designs could be efficiently produced and sold at a market-friendly price. CE even had to deal with the fact that design engineers typically held manufacturing or process engineers in low esteem, a feeling that was returned by the process side. This insularity further exacerbated the design-build-sell equation by preventing even the informal exchange of important information. "We don't talk to those guys" was a phrase often heard throughout the pre-CE world.

The Consumer Side is the Most Important  The Consumer Side is the Most Important

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