Summation: writer/developer ratios

Subject: Summation: writer/developer ratios
From: Karla McMaster <mcmaster%pcmail -dot- cti-pet -dot- com -at- CTI-PET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 12:05:01 EST

Thanks to all who responded to my question about current (and prior)
writer/developer ratios. The answers were informative and funny. Following is a
summary of the results:

I received 11 responses.

Ratios ranged from a best of 5 developers:1 writer (one respondent wrote for 3
developers and two marketing types) to a worst case (from the same respondent)
of 120 developers:3 writers (plus editor and manager).

Most respondents seemed to feel that, although ratios had an effect on
documentation quality, they were not the sole determining factor. Other factors
were: new product vs updates, complicated product vs simple product, subject
matter overlap, and the "developer hostility toward writers factor (kind of
like a wind-chill factor)." A few respondents indicated, in fact, that they
felt better about their work when the ratios were higher, because of the other
factors involved.

Individual responses follow. (Note that there are more than 11 because people
responded with present and past ratios.)
11:1, soon hoping to become 8:1
120:3 (plus editor and manager)
5 (including 2 marketing types):1
5:1 (8:1 with developer hostility factor)
X:1 (multiplied by number of clients and how many require documents at the same
time--no hostility factor because they're paying by the hour!)
5:1 until layoffs, currently 10-15:1
5:1 (company average is 9:1)
past experience, 15-30:1

If you care for more detailed information, please feel free to contact me.

Thanks again...

Karla McMaster, technical writer
CTI-PET Systems, Inc., Knoxville, TN
mcmaster -at- cti-pet -dot- com

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