Pages Per Day

Subject: Pages Per Day
From: Jim Barrow <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 09:09:54 -0500 (CDT)

The software project that our tech pubs team has been working on has suffered from frequent delays and setbacks. As writers, we knew that we would have a tight deadline in regards to generating the end user documentation. During yesterdayâs âkick offâ meeting we discovered just how tight this deadline is.

A little background information to build the suspense firstâ

This software application is huge â a basic ERP system with four separate modules. There are 50-75 use cases per module. In my estimation thereâs going to be ~500 pages of documentation.

Back to yesterdayâs meetingâ

The project manager â and one upper-manager â gave us (are you ready for this?) four days to complete the end-user guide. The amusing part was that they scheduled five days to decide on a table of contents, and two weeks for review.

Four days.

Iâm in the process of composing my response to this timeline but, short of responding with âdear project manager, since you were obviously under massive amounts of narcotics during yesterdayâs meeting,â Iâd like to come up with something thatâs a little more like metrics and hard facts.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I seem to recall that the tech writing standard for producing documentation that is ready for publication is 2-3 pages per day. Seems a little low, but thatâs what I recall. Does this sound correct to you?

- Jim


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