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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old February 21st, 2004, 07:18 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
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Dump Truck Theory

Paul Tauger wrote a comment that made me want to share my philosophy of contracts. Well, two, no three, actually.

Philosopy One.

Always write down your business goals for a specific contract and get the agreement of both parties before asking a Lawyer to write the final contract. The reason is that it is the responsibility of the involved parties to define the business case before they ask a Lawyer to participate.


Use what I call the Dump Truck Theory of contracts. That is, when both parties sign the contract and are then promptly run over by a dump truck, what does the contract say? If someone else then executes under the terms of the contract, they will execute what it says, not what the original two parties meant. So get it straight and ask yourselves, if we sign this and are no longer around, does what happens equal what we meant?


There is no 'Standard Contract.'
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
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Old February 21st, 2004, 09:39 PM   #2
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It's funny, now that I think about it. When I help someone write a training document, I always tell them to pretend that they have never done this before, then write step by step. Then I have someone else, who has no idea what the training involves to follow the training and accomplish the task to the required specifications. (this all equates to Mike's dump truck theory) However, my contracts aren't written to these tolerances. Thanks Mike. More food for thought.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 06:02 AM   #3
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Re: Dump Truck Philosophy.

This is a technique I used in Quality Improvement training. I would form two or more teams. One team would be assigned the task of writing a procedure and the second team would be assigned the task of performing the procedure per the instructions written by the first team without any coaching or input from the first team (other than the written instructions). This was in the health care setting and the types of procedures selected were simple ones given the time limits for training and propriety. I have also used making a peanut butter and jam sandwich as the procedure with great results (amazing how many people cannot articulate that there is more than one side to a slice of bread .... and dealing with two pieces of bread means there are four sides of bread).

Interestingly enough physician teams quite often were the worse and registered nurse teams the best. At any rate, this exercise usually provided a lot of laughs as team "two" tried to follow the instructions of team "one", but more importantly, the exercise drove home the lesson on the importance of writing exactly what someone else would be expected to do. Same principle as Mike's "Dump Truck" philosophy.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 06:12 PM   #4
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Mike, that's such good advice that I'm printing it out and keeping a copy in my office. Well done!
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