Plain English Document Assembly

Special Feature by Rose Rowland, Basha System LLC on plain english, manuals, and verbal brutality towards Basha staff

A few years back, the SEC, in an attempt to make prospectuses and other stock offering documents intelligible to those without a financial degree, regulated that all main offering documents had to be written in “Plain English.” They then created a manual to teach us all how to write in Plain English. Frightening thought, isn’t it? At the time, I was a paralegal working in private securities offerings and I was rather impressed with this idea.

A few years later, I am a partner in Basha Systems LLC and I am striving to bring the concept of “Plain English” to our document assembly and case management systems. Basha Systems, as many of you know, creates wonderfully innovative and interactive document assembly systems that can pretty much create any kind of document you would like. The dilemma with complicated systems is how to make them palatable to the non-computer professional.

This is where I come in. While new to the world of programming, I feel that I bring a unique insight to Basha Systems that might well be lacking in other computer consulting companies. I have not forgotten how frightening and frustrating the learning of a new computer program or system can be. At Basha Systems, I am in charge of the Quality Control and Manuals for all of our document assembly and case management systems.

I am absolutely brutal – as both Ian and Seth will attest. If a prompt is not absolutely crystal clear on a first reading, out it goes! If I find that any part of our system seems to be the slightest bit difficult to maneuver, back it goes for retooling. No obscure computereze is allowed in any manual written by Basha Systems. My feeling is that if you can’t pick up a manual, follow the instructions and begin to use the system immediately, we have not fulfilled the standards of Basha Systems. And, our standards are very high.

Not only do we strive to create systems with all of the cool technological bells and whistles the client desires, we also strive to create systems that anyone can use with an absolute minimum of training. A document assembly or case management system that’s too complicated to use is a system that won’t be used.