Managing: Instruction vs. communication

I’ve found an enlightening opposition in Jurgen Appelo’s presentation “The Dolt’s Guide to Self-Organization“, slides 54-55:

Managing a lifeless system is all about instruction.
Managing a living system is all about communication.

What struck me was that we tech writers often consider task-based instructions in documentation already better than feature-based system description.

But seen from a managing perspective, Jurgen reminded me once again that instructions are at best an intermediary step on the way to a good user experience.

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