Don’t ditch the system when things get tight

One thing I learned many years ago from a company called EEI (originally Editorial Experts Inc.), where I worked as a temp and later as an instructor, was “Don’t ditch the system when things get tight.” To maintain quality in publications, you have to have a system—that’s why it’s called “quality control.” Quality doesn’t just happen; it happens because we maintain control. We run a spellcheck and we use checklists as part of a system, for example.

However, you’ve probably found that publications production can fall behind schedule, with copy arriving late, changes to layout, or things totally out of your control such as severe weather or a power outage. That’s when it’s tempting to skip the quality control system. As Charlotte Brontë wrote in Jane Eyre, “Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation.” Or as the character General Lee said in the film Gettysburg: “Things will get out of control … That is why we have orders.”

When things get out of control, don’t give in to the temptation to skip quality control.

 

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