The Lowest Common Denominator

It’s weird because, a) I really wasn’t much good at maths so no idea why it’s stuck in my head and b) turns out my brain doesn’t default to the lowest common denominator.

Should probably explain what I mean. I was writing some instructions for a process, it was quite a simple task and one that didn’t need too much depth... or so I thought. Apparently - under review and use- they weren’t thorough enough.

Now looking at them they seemed very obvious to me, I followed the steps, it was easy. But other people didn’t think so- and the problem was I was talking to myself... more accurately, I was expecting the instructions to be used by someone who thought and worked like me and that’s not always possible or indeed probable.

Now think back to my original ear worm statement- working to the lowest common denominator- I know it sounds like what I’m saying is that you have to aim something like this at the less intelligent or that I’m super clever... I’m really not and that’s not what I mean.

What I am saying is that different people read things in different way- especially instructions so when you’re writing anything like this, that’s designed to be used exclusively by someone else then you need to make it as simple as possible. The only way to do that is to break it all the way down then build it back up.

Every key stroke, every notation, every move you make should be written out in full and in process order.

I would always heartily recommend review by a third party- someone totally unconnected (I often use my poor mother a guinea pig here!)

Oh and finally, stop reading it as you- you already know what you’re doing! Read it as someone else, be your own harshest critic... and simplify those fractions right down to basics.