RE: Documentation development as a percentage of product development budget

Subject: RE: Documentation development as a percentage of product development budget
From: "Dan Hall" <dhall -at- san-carlos -dot- rms -dot- slb -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 08:49:48 -0600

Documentation should account for about 90% of the total
project cost. :)

Actually, I think you're correct in saying that the different
scopes are going to make it rough to come up with a single
estimated "percentage" that will work for all projects. I'm
sure you can't have a hard-and-fast rule, and I'd be willing
to bet you can't even have a rule of thumb that works more
than 50% of the time.

It's conceivable that a project that requires very limited
coding might require extensive documentation. For instance,
if the GUI completely changed, but the underlying software
and data architecture remained the same, you might have to
completely rewrite the doc set. Conversely, if you left the
GUI mostly unchanged while doing a complete revamp of the
engine, you might not need much in the way of new
documentation.

In my opinion, you're much better off collecting information
about each separate project, and then basing your estimates
on information specific to the scope of each. Otherwise, you
risk a serious miscalculation.

Dan

Dan Hall
Sr. Technical Writer
SchlumbergerSema RTEMS

-----Original Message-----
From:CPower -at- ztr -dot- com
Subject: Documentation development as a percentage of product
development budget


Hi all,

Is there any way to determine:
- the ratio of documentation development budget to the overall product
development budget

I understand that I have to research and recommend the types of deliverables
as well as how to estimate a budget for these deliverables. (That criteria
alone might make it unreasonable to come up with a rough ratio - given that
each product is different in its scope.)

>From your years of experience, can you roughly estimate what percent of
development budget might be put aside for documentation?

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

Take care,
Craig Power
Technical Service and Support
ZTR Control Systems
1940 Oxford St. East, Unit 1
LONDON ON N5V 4L8
519.452.1233
fax: 519.452.7764
www.ztr.com




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References:
Documentation development as a percentage of product development budget: From: CPower

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