My home town ice-hockey team lost the 5th and deciding semi-final game last thursday. They however won the faceoff statistics. Who cares!
In the current project we have had couple of faceoffs, and I think we have won both. We got a wireless communication protocol from outsider. We call this a stack, which is delivered as a C library. We decided to bring the software developer responsible for the stack to our premises for three days. We spent those three days around the hardware and laptops, not in the meeting room with powerpoints. On the fourth day we were developing full speed on top of stack API. Could we have achieved this with paper documents? I don't think so. There were documents available, but the knowledge of necessary initialization routines, timings, interrupt requirements, and so on, were achieved during these three days and not by experimenting according the document.
In other episode we needed to implement protocol support for a communication gateway. This time we brought a developer responsible for development of this gateway to our premises for three days. Again on the fourth day we were able to continue development full speed. This time documents were even mentioned to be "little out dated".
On earlier occasion when the hardware for the wireless communication was contracted to outsider, we used paper documents and emails to explain what we want from our prototype. This period took couple of weeks, at times a single email was waited for three days.
I believe winning at faceoffs is easy, even though it alone does not guarantee winning a game as we saw in this year's semi-finals.