Subject: Users Views
From: fouts@BOZEMAN.HPL.HP.COM
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 93 12:54:18 -0800


 > > [Claim that editing E size documents is faster with AutoCad than
 > > by hand]
 > 
 > [Observation that some draftsmen can be much faster than computer
 >  tools.]

 Darin> [...]
 Darin> Computer based drafting tools really show off their stuff when it comes
 Darin> time to modify existing documents.
 Darin> [...]

This discussion only covers part of the productivity issue.  Let me
move back to letter writing to explain.  Many studies have shown that
as the turnaround time for a draft of a letter has decreased, the
number of drafts produced prior to actually sending the letter has
increased.  Also, more effort is put into what was previously thought
of as cosmetic aspects.  The net result is that the actual time to
communicate information via letters has rarely decreased, in most
cases stayed constant, and occasionally increased, depending on the
study.

Further, using higher technology equipment is more expensive (consider
the ownership cost of a Selectric compared to any PC) and more
consumables are used in producing the multiple drafts.

These studies have been replacted for most aspects of doing business,
and in fact, some go own to show that all of this extra effort isn't
producing a better result.  (The letter produced with a WYSIWYG
typesetting package don't communicate any more effectively than those
produced with a Selectric)

The upshot is that in over-all terms, when you include the cost of
training and maintainance, and the tendendcy to "beautify" as a result
of having the new tools, most of the business school studies show
little or no productivity gain *for the business* as a result of
introducing computer technology at the desktop.