If you keep probing, and ask ‘Precisely what is in the document? What is it for? Who uses it to make which decisions?’ then you discover that people do not know why. They are producing the document because it is the next thing to do.
If you recognize this behavior on your project, you may be working in a paper mill.
In a paper mill, every activity is marked by the production of a document, and progress is measured by how many of the documents have been produced—not by what the documents contain. The paper mill principle says: Just in case anyone needs anything, let's give everbody everything.
From the Book Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior, New York: Dorset House Publishing, 2008, page 217, ISBN 0932633676
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