Re: Tracking document complexity

Subject: Re: Tracking document complexity
From: Jan Henning <henning -at- r-l -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 12:48:22 +0100

How do other people track these things? Our writers are spread out all over the place, and the management doesn't necessarily sit in the same building (or state for that matter), so they need some good way to understand how things are going.

I haven't so far come across a good metric for this kind of thing.

There is one problem with metrics in general: If you use metrics as a proxy for the general performance of people, they may try to work to the metric, not the real goals.

Example: If you count finished documents, writers will be tempted to split documents in two (which may or may not make sense). If you count pages, there is a temptation to split the text into short paragraphs, use large graphics and tack on unnecessary appendixes. If you count characters, writers may stop using illustrations. And so on.

I believe that the above is not just a shortcoming of specific metrics but a problem with proxy measurements in general, no matter how sophisticated they are.

If there is no alternative to metrics: Have you investigated measuring customer satisfaction? This isn't easy to do, but it is, as a measurement, harder to manipulate by the writers.

Jan Henning

Jan Henning
Am Schlossberg 14, D-82547 Eurasburg, Germany

Phone: +49 700 0200 0700, Fax: +49 8179 9307-12
E-Mail: henning -at- r-l -dot- de, Web:



RoboHelp for FrameMaker is a NEW online publishing tool for FrameMaker that
lets you easily single-source content to online Help, intranet, and Web. The interface is designed for FrameMaker users, so there is little or no
learning curve and no macro language required! Call 800-718-4407 for competitive pricing or download a trial at:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Tracking document complexity: From: Rettinhouse, Richardx F

Previous by Author: Re: outsourcing
Next by Author: Re: Bad para breaks
Previous by Thread: Tracking document complexity
Next by Thread: Re: Tracking document complexity

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads