RE: Ratio - Development to Documentation Hours

Subject: RE: Ratio - Development to Documentation Hours
From: Megan Golding <mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 23:30:35 -0400

Kris asked:
"I've been asked to look for information regarding
estimating documentation (user guides, training
manuals and materials) time according to system
development time. My reaction is that it doesn't
make sense, but I don't want to tell the "powers
that be" that without checking. I've searched
the Internet and the archives, but haven't found
anything that is a direct ratio between the two.
The closest I've come is percent of total budget.
Has anyone heard of this method?


I've seen ratios of QA time versus Development time but never Development
time versus Documentation time. In my experience, the QA time is typically
estimated anywere from 50 to 100% of development time.

Here is a link about QA vs. Dev ratios:,,12202_622891_1,00.html

I have to disagree with your initial reaction that a doc/dev ratio doesn't
make sense. From a project planning perspective, this ratio would help with
early estimates. At the least, the ratio could be used to check the
estimates of developers against writers and vice versa. As a fan of metrics,
I think a ratio could certainly be developed for estimating time to document
from time to develop. More to the point of the question, though -- I've
never seen such a ratio.

Good luck!

Megan Golding
Technical Writer
SecureWorks, Inc.


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