I received a very interesting e-mail this morning from one of my readers regarding yesterday’s post on policy deployment.
Here it is:
Have you started using some sort of speech-to-text software? There are several grammar/syntax errors in today’s post—and that’s unusual.
As always, the post is full of good information. Thanks for making it available.
Guess what. SG was spot on with his assessment. I had just updated my Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software, and had tried to put it to use.
Why? I am a horrible typist. I type something like three words a minute and two usually have typos in them. So I’m always looking for something to help me type faster. I tried Dragon out several years back, but it just did not have the accuracy I needed. But with advances in technology, I decided to purchase the most current version of Dragon. In testing, I was pleased with the results.
Unfortunately, as I began to get further into my article yesterday, I started using more of a conversational tone and less of the dictational enunciation and cadence that is required to get a high degree of accuracy with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
So I had to laugh when I saw SG’s e-mail. The grammar and syntax problems were obvious; I was just amazed that he could identify the exact root causes behind them.
There are two contributing factors to the completely unacceptable level of quality I released yesterday.
The first was that I was trying the new software out. While voice recognition software has been out for quite a while, it is probably still not at the level I need as an author—at least not with the current processes I have been using. The lesson: Only use proven technology in your process improvement efforts. And if you do decide to jump the gun a little, make sure you build some bulletproof processes around the unproven technology.
The second factor is that I am facing a few deadlines right now with product releases and consulting client work. It is probably not the best time to dabble with new software. The extra time I spent trying to get the software to work properly chewed up a lot of the time I normally reserve for editing. And if you read my Lean term that I released yesterday, you would have seen the results. (I have since spent a bit of time cleaning it up to raise the quality standard a bit.) The lesson: It is important to do continuous improvement regularly, but that does not mean you have to work on projects when you’re swamped. (Exception: If you are always swamped, you don’t really have a choice.)
There’s an old expression about failing and then failing better. I’m not quite ready to give up on voice recognition software yet. Today’s article was written, or more accurately spoken, with the same equipment and software that I used yesterday, but with some different editing processes. In fact I did not type a single word today.
So, SG…be honest… Were you able to tell that I used the same speech to text software today?
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By Jeff Hajek
August 10th, 2011
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