Re: Metrics for Technical Writing.

Subject: Re: Metrics for Technical Writing.
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 20:35:39 -0400

Smith, Kevin T wrote:

Are there any examples available for metrics that represent
technical writing? I would like to collect baseline numbers
and track our activity in an IT Development Shop.

I'll have to agree with Geoff Hart (who says metrics can be
useless), only perhaps louder. The metrics can be worse than
useless, occasionally even very damaging to the project as a whole.

Any method that writers perceive as smelling like micromanagement
can threaten or even destroy the overall product. "They
want keystrokes per day? They'll GET keystrokes per day."

I'll have to say, though, that a good writer or tech pubs manager
can develop a feeling for the amount of effort that will go
into a particular doc project. Still, it's a metric that's
accurate to no better than one significant digit. "A 23%
improvement over last yeat's doc effort," is meaningless without
careful supporting evidence. The evidence is of course selected
to support a foregone conclusion.


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Metrics for Technical Writing.: From: Smith, Kevin T

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