Re: Return on Investment for Training and Documentation

Subject: Re: Return on Investment for Training and Documentation
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 13:54:22 -0800 (PST)

--- Joanna Williams <air2jaw -at- ups -dot- com> wrote:
> I am thinking of trying to enlist the help of a few actual end
> users. Have
> them attempt to perform certain tasks in the new system without the
> training
> or documentation. Then have another group attempt to perform the
> same set
> of tasks with the documentation and training. I can then quantify
> the time savings into dollar savings.

ROI is different than "are users happy" or are they fast.

Just becuase the user's are deleriously happy doesn't mean you have a
positive ROI and because the user can do something faster does not
equate to ROI unless time is money or time is more sales dollars/less
return dollars. Does them being happy equate to more money in the
corporate pockets after you're done? THAT'S a positive ROI.

ROI is Return on Investment. Investment is how much I spend. Return
is how much do I get back. If I get back more than I invest, I have
positive ROI

First, you cannot do an ROI without knowing what your costs were
prior and you cannot do this without knowing what it cost to create
the documentation.

Things you need to check out are:

- How much time was being spent by the help desk prior to the
material you are evaluating and what cost/per call does your help
desk assign to each call. Call Desk has a figure.
- How many returns where you had to give back profit and incur cost
because the user couldn't/wouldn't use the product because they
didn't understand how to use it. Accountants have a figure.
- How much developer resources were devoted to fixing or addressing
things that weren't clear because of poor/no documentation.

You get the can come up with others.

Now that you know what the number is and after you crunch it through
your bean counters to know what the real amount of loss is (they have
VERY complex algorithyms for this, including thisns like taxes, good
will, defered costs, and all kinds of stuff that makes them look
forward to getting out of bed in the morning and would make you and I
put a bullet in our heads), you can start to compare your existing

- If you had 100 calls per month before and 50 calls now, that loss
is 50%
- If you returned 20 products before and 5 now, that cost is 75% less

Add up the reduction in cost, subtract it against the cost of the
documentation. then rerun it through the beancounters.

ROI is a number. If is a black number, that's good and they will kiss
you. If it is a red number, that's bad, and they will tell on you.

John Posada, Senior Technical Writer
Current gig ending 4/31
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com, 732-259-2874

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Return on Investment for Training and Documentation: From: Joanna Williams

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