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LinkLine: Fall 2014

Communicating Continuous Updates To Our Users

As of March 2014, SLE specifications are updated constantly and continuously. We had no sooner started this revolutionary process than the question was asked "How do we communicate what has been updated to our users?"

Quarterly updates coincided with the quarterly newsletter. In each newsletter we would generally write a summary of each section that was updated. However, continuous updating has provided improved productivity. It is not inconceivable that every specification in SLE may be updated within a given quarter between newsletter releases. How we inform our users about these updates has posed a real challenge. We could inform our users about major updates through emails or by posting descriptions on our website, but where do you draw the line between a major and minor update?

Then we realized we had the data our users needed in our production management software. All we had to do is print it out. So that is what we have done.

SLE has five types of updates, which we have listed below with descriptions of each type. Note that a "new" section will remain "new" until it receives its first update.

Update Type Description
New Section: A new section was added to SpecLink-E.
Ref. Standard: Updated reference standard and section content reviewed; updated accordingly.
Mfr. / Product: Updates to manufacturer product information and any subsequent content information.
Quick-N-Easy: Minor updates that affect the content and error management.
Internal: Content update. Any content update beyond minor changes requiring research and collaboration.

 

Below is a snippet of the update report for Sections 040511 and 04200. Users can see at a glance what has happened to each section since we started the continuous updating process in March of 2014.

UpdateReport1

For the next few months, we will have available for download quarterly PDF update reports and a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet report of all updates for all sections for all quarters since March 2014.

Links to the reports and the MS Excel download are below and they can be found on our website by clicking here.

Communicating Catalog Listings

Catalog listings will be updated monthly and can be found on our website here. We have a comprehensive listing of sections, listings by specific categories, and listings by division. As in the continuous updating reports, a section is "new" until it gets updated. Prior to continuous updating a section was "new" for a quarter.

Our intention is that within the next six months, the information in the continuous update reports and the catalog listings will be available in spreadsheet format on our website and users will be able to filter the data they wish to see in the way they wish to see it. Until that time, we have the reports described above.