Re: Estimating time needed for a project

Subject: Re: Estimating time needed for a project
From: "Rick Ramsey" <rick -dot- ramsey -at- east -dot- sun -dot- com>
To: "Robert Heath" <rheath -at- eGain -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 10:03:38 -0500


I won't even try to give you specifics, since for me estimating the length
of a project is an art form based on applying experience and intuition to
all the facts I can gather rather than a science based on metrics, but I can
give you a couple of pointers from 20+ years of tech writing:

1. Rewriting a bad draft is tougher than writing it from scratch.

2. Programmers are the Real Men of high tech. They have a difficult time
admitting that they don't understand something and they hate to ask for
directions. That doesn't mean they don't need directions. If you find one
in a moment of weakness and you buy him a few beers, he might confess to you
that your well written programmer's guide actually saved his bacon on more
than one occasion. Next morning, don't expect him to remember what he said.

3. Don't let anyone degrade you and your profession to that of typist by
even entertaining deadlines of such magnificent lunacy as the 10 days you've
been given for the programmer guides. When you get those engineering
drafts, roll them up, walk up to the engineering manager, knock him down,
and with your size 12's square on his chest, wave the rolled up draft in
front of his face and ask him, "Do you want to eat this nicely or ..."

Good luck,


----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Heath <rheath -at- eGain -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2000 1:21 PM
Subject: Estimating time needed for a project

> The Pubs team to which I belong has been made responsible for taking a
> collection of docs from our engineers and assembling them into two
> complementary programmer's guides. We won't receive the docs until Monday
> so of next week and the guides are due on the 29th of this month. ...

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