Metrics (Re: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?)

Subject: Metrics (Re: How do hiring companies view TW resumes?)
From: Paul Goble <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 09:06:29 -0500

Another useful metric to track is "business enabled" by your documentation
process. For example, a recent employer made a $5 million deal which was
contingent on getting a complex system up and running within a very tight
deadline (for a customer with billions of dollars at stake). If it had not
been possible to create the documentation on time, using innovative
processes, the deal would not have been possible. Sure, the deal depended
on many other factors, but I can honestly say that "my documentation process
enabled $5 million in new business." Or even, "my documentation enabled a
customer to release a multi-billion-dollar product on time which resulted in
a measurable uptick in the Dow Jones Industrial Average."

This isn't a comprehensive way to measure your value, but it can lead to
impressive numbers to put on a resume or to share with an executive.

The best metric I've seen came about when the whole company embarked on a
Single-Unit Marketing Model study to evaluate which factors drove customer
decisions. It was based on an elaborate survey which asked customers to
allocate a theoretical budget between us and our competitors, then asked how
that would change "if X were improved" or "if X declined," where
X=documentation, usability, ease of ordering, etc. During the few years
when the data was valid, it was easy to say, "If we make our documentation
better, we will gain $Y in revenue; if we let it get worse, we will lose

Paul Goble
Omaha, Nebraska
pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com

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