Criteria to justify a new writer

Subject: Criteria to justify a new writer
From: Phila -at- VIPS -dot- com
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com, stcmgmtpic-l -at- stc -dot- org
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 17:01:53 -0400

Hello, everyone -

(I'm cross-posting to Techwr-L and the STC Management SIG)

Our team is looking at a massive collection of new projects looming in the
autumn of this year, and we're debating the wisdom of calling for another
writer. Of course, there are the usual justification issues.

As background, our team documents a single product on three levels:
- one writer is producing the system-admin material, which is due for
a major expansion
- one is producing the end-user and power user manuals, which will
require significant changes due to a GUI redesign
- the third is documenting two large standalone modules, one of which
is new, and the other is about to be totally restructured

The projected deadline for the next release is sometime in mid-November,

In addition to these changes, our product team is merging with another in
our company, and our team has been assigned to document two new, large
products, revamp beta documentation for a third, and organize a document
repository. Deadlines are undetermined at this point.

As we lack the data to estimate work based on planned system changes, our
newest writer has suggested that we justify need for a new writer based on
the potential writer-to-SME ratio. Does anyone know whether any studies
have been done on this issue - what is the ideal ratio, is there an ideal
ratio? My instinct is rather to approach such logjams using a
project-per-writer ratio.

We'd much appreciate any thoughts you'd care to share!

Thank you all!,
Philomena Hoopes
VIPS, Inc.
Phila -at- vips -dot- com <Phila -at- vips -dot- com>
(410) 832-8330 ext. 845

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