RE: Ratios

Subject: RE: Ratios
From: "Beth Agnew" <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 12:50:04 -0800


I've come across the 10:1 ratio before in a number of places. It seems to be
rather arbitrary. And as other posters have pointed out, the variables with
regard to technical communication are complex. They change based on the
situation, the team members, the objectives and so on.

However, the value of a standard ratio is that it helps you monitor and
evaluate what is going on with your writing projects. I'd recommend you
guesstimate a ratio and then over time see how it works out in your
situation.

In one company, I started with a ratio of 12:1. The situation was that it
was a small company, with only 12 developers and one writer. As the company
grew, we added staff such that the ratio got down to 7:1, with multiple
development teams. The best we ever had, on one particular project, was a
5:1 ratio. At that point, the writer was involved in interface design and
was in some respects a co-developer, an integral part of the development
team.

I think you can pick any ratios or standards that seem to make sense to you,
and then use experience to shape them to fit your actual situation.
--Beth


Sharron wrote:
> I'm trying to research the 'standard' ratios between developers and
> technical authors. Does anyone have any figures they can provide please?

Beth Agnew
Professor, Technical Communication
Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
Toronto, ON 416-491-5050 x3133
http://www.agnewcom.com


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