Re: estimating LOE

Subject: Re: estimating LOE
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Tara Charter <tara -dot- charter -at- physiciansmutual -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 14:58:30 -0500

I scope the effort by feature in the product, compare that against
what info we already have, add in all the overhead I know to exist in
a documentation project, and plot it all out on a timeline. I find
this the most effective means of estimating. The number of programmers
is irrelevent... it could take 20 developers each a month to create a
feature that takes only 10 minutes to document, and it could take one
developer a day to create a feature that takes weeks to document. Go
with the guts of the product you're working on and let the estimates
build from there. If you don't have the details to scope against,
well, looks like there's more work to be done on the design and
analysis stages. ;-)

But there's nothing like scoping out an effort effectively to get the
attention of those who are requesting features... "Your 'quick update'
request will take 370 person-days to complete" opens their eyes and
ears very effectively. ;-)

On 12/27/05, Tara Charter <tara -dot- charter -at- physiciansmutual -dot- com> wrote:
> I want to estimate the true level of effort for writing ALL end user documentation for two very
> large Portal projects. I am thinking there is enough work here for several technical writers, but I
> don't have a tool for estimating. I remember using a set of guidelines for other companies -
> something like 1 FTE writer for every 7 FTE developers. Do you use a tool or guidelines?

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
I support Char James-Tanny for STC Secretary.

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Don Norman on Manual Writing: From: Jens Reineking
Re: Don Norman on Manual Writing: From: Bill Swallow
Re: Don Norman on Manual Writing: From: Gene Kim-Eng
estimating LOE: From: Tara Charter

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