Number of help topics per day?

Subject: Number of help topics per day?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Mary Elaine Lora <mlora -at- fugro-jason -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 10:07:48 -0400

Mary Elaine Lora wonders: <<Are there any statistics on average
number of help topics written per day?>>

There are statistics for anything you care to name, but most of them
are useless outside that specific context. In this case, the number
of topics is a meaningless metric. No, really.

To see why, ask yourself the following question: Does it take the
same amount of time for a topic that documents a function with a
single option (yes/no), or a topic that covers Word's Options dialog
(something like 10 tabs with dozens of control per tab)? Now ask a
crucial followup question: If the SME who can answer my questions is
in the next cubicle, and willing to let me look at his functional
specifications document, or are they off climbing Mt. Everest without
a satellite phone, having never bothered to create a functional spec
in the first place? Which help topic will be easier for me to research?

The better questions to ask are how much work is required per topic,
and what resources will be available to help you do that work.

<<I need to show management why a propose release schedule is
extremely unrealistic, as far as documentation is concerned. It
would certainly help my case if I could quote statistics from a
professional organization or recognized authority.>>

For a few thoughts on how to usefully make your point:

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
***Now available*** _Effective onscreen editing_


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


number of help topics per day: From: Mary Elaine Lora

Previous by Author: Website Reviewing Tools
Next by Author: What do you call it?
Previous by Thread: Re: number of help topics per day
Next by Thread: RE: Number of help topics per day?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads