Time estimate for writing manual

Subject: Time estimate for writing manual
From: "Bonnie Granat" <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 15:31:25 -0400

A prospective client (the same one I wrote about some weeks ago) and I
are in the process creating a Statement of Work for the first part of
the project. This first part consists of a User Guide that contains both
end-user and administrator information.

While I have seen the application, I have not seen it yet in actual use.
The client will be coming to my home office to train me for 8 hours and
after that I will begin work. My problem is this: the client has
estimated the time for writing to be 120 hours, and I cannot tell at
this point how many hours will be required.

When I was asked to review the proposed Statement of Work, I told the
client the following in a comment:
These estimates seem reasonable to me, but it is impossible to be sure
without my having a good mental picture of the complexity of the
program. I would tend to go ahead and agree to this if I knew that we
could amend the estimates if I determine within one week or less that
they are not workable. I would probably have a good idea, actually,
immediately after the training.


Was there a better way to handle it? I thought of posting my question
before I made the comment, but that was yesterday and I concluded that
I'd just see what you all would say after the deed was done.

Bonnie Granat


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