Re: Rule of thumb for doc time based on development time?

Subject: Re: Rule of thumb for doc time based on development time?
From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Faith Weber - ESC <faithw -at- esystem -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 10:30:42 -0800 (PST)

Faith:

There are no development time to pages of
documentation rules-of-thumb because, for a given set
of end-user functionality, the development time can
vary radically depending on the quality of the
developers - sometimes by more than 100 to 1.

What I would do is decompose the tasks into equal
sized pieces, each of which can be described in about
a page of text. You then simply determine how long a
typcial page takes to document and then multiply time
per page by number of tasks.

Of course the trick in the above is coming up with the
one-page task chunks. This is an analysis issue.

Create a flow diagram of the tasks. Rechunk the tasks
until they each have about the same number of input
and/or output flows. The number of inputs and/or
outputs to a task is a good indicator of task
complexity - and tasks having the same number of
inputs/outputs are roughly equivalent.

Tony Markos

--- Faith Weber - ESC <faithw -at- esystem -dot- com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Have you ever worked with any rules of thumb for
> estimating
> documentation time for a project based on the
> estimated development
> time? If so, what were they? How well did they work
> for you?
>
> This is intended only for a broad estimate to be
> done before all of the
> project details are in place.
>
> The documentation involved would be task-based, and
> probably paper/PDF.
> It is for a complex product involving more than a
> dozen interrelated
> applications.
>
> BTW, it's not clear to me yet whether it's possible
> to do a reliable
> estimate on this basis without additional
> information. But I've been
> asked to provide a metric along these lines (by
> someone who has sensible
> reasons for asking), so I'm just trying to find out
> as much as possible
> before responding.
>
> In addition to any feedback you may have, I plan to
> obtain some data
> from past projects to see if a pattern emerges.
>
> Thanks!
> Faith Weber
>
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