Re: Estimation of the number of pages to be written per day

Subject: Re: Estimation of the number of pages to be written per day
From: Chuck Martin <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 15:38:34 -0800

Abhijit Sinha wrote:

There are two queries:
1. How do you estimate the optimum number of pages
that a technical writer may write per day with all
information available using MS Word, RoboHelp, and
Framemaker so as to generate minimum re-work after
2. Can u please let me know if there are any
standards, methods, links that provides u such
standard measurements or estimations to plan work for
your team?

As Gene mentioned, this is absolutely the wrong metric.

While I've seen some estimates that suggest that the best technical writers can produce about a topic and a half per day (this is for onine help, and includes research time, editing, testing, and debugging; do your own translations from online topic size to printed page size), the useful metrics include things such as:

- The capability of users to find correct information
- The usefulness of such information
- Whether help desk calls are reduced
- Whether tech support calls are reduced

The best way to "generate minumum rework" is to have someone with the appropriate skills and experience (and ya pays for that level of talent) to do the first drafts.

Oh, and before I forget, the answer also is: "It depends." As in, it depends on the work, its complexity, the audience (do they need a lot of hand-holding?), etc.

Chuck Martin
User Assistance & Experience Engineer
twriter "at" sonic "dot" net

"I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
The day may come when the courage of Men fail, when we forsake our
friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day!
This day, we fight!"
- Aragorn

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you."
- Gandalf



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