Subject: Benchmarking
From: MSTSACX -at- GSUVM1 -dot- BITNET
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994 23:53:07 EST

The question has been raised: who should you benchmark yourself against?

Consider the genre of technical writing that you're doing and choose
examples that are considered best of the best. We typically think of
genres by industry--software, hardware, automobile-but a more appropriate
classification might be by purpose, such as user's guides, reference manuals,
and job aids. These correspond, more or less, to the categories in the STC
Publications Competition.

Charles Fisher also gives good advice by suggesting that you look outside
the seeming boundaries of the situation. LL Bean is the leader in mail
order; so even if you're selling computers, you might still look to LL Bean
for an ordering system.

Similarly, if you're looking for the best of breed software manual, you
might not limit yourself to Microsoft publications, but might also look
at after market publications, like those published by Que and Addision-
Wesley. Some companies are choosing these over company-provided
documentation, even for Microsoft products.

Saul Carliner Ph.D. Student
Instructional Technology Geo. State Univ.
Note new userid----> mstsacx -at- gsuvm1 -dot- gsu -dot- edu 404/892-3945

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