Re[2]: Estimating time needed for a project

Subject: Re[2]: Estimating time needed for a project
From: Harry Hager <hhager -at- dttus -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com, rick -dot- ramsey -at- east -dot- sun -dot- com
Date: 17 Feb 2000 14:16:55 -0600


However much I agree with Rick's comments, especially the lunacy of
your predicament, they probably won't help you solve the problem THIS
time. The comments from other listers about doing the important stuff
first is the way to go now.

However, Robert, I hope you realize there is a bigger problem here.
(Unless this is a one time screwup due to some strange product
scheduling screwup or pubs team assignment screwup.) That bigger
problem is why was the "Pubs team" kept in the dark about this project
until it's time for release? To me, the battle you should fight and
need to win is the battle to have the Pubs team involved earlier in
the project so that these lunacy situations do not happen again. Your
managers need to be made to understand that what you do is not magic,
not trivial, and not easy, and you are not there to simply clean up
after the developers and engineers. They need to understand that the
pubs team has some expertise they bring to the table but that
expertise is virtually useless if the Pubs team doesn't get involved
with the project early in the development effort. If you don't or
cannot change this attitude, you can expect more of the same.

Good Luck.

H. Jim Hager
hhager -at- dttus -dot- com

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Estimating time needed for a project
Author: rick -dot- ramsey -at- east -dot- sun -dot- com at Internet-USA
Date: 2/17/00 11:32 AM


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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