Re: Windows Help Estimate

Subject: Re: Windows Help Estimate
From: Bill Bledsoe <taft!bledsobl -at- UUSTAR -dot- STARNET -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 1995 08:15:16 -0500

Jane, Techwrlers,

Just recently took JoAnn Hackos' class on how to manage documentation and
instructional design projects. In it, she teaches a methodology that
allows the project manager to predict the length of time a document will
take, within 5% on average. The methodology has many details, to many to
read through in a post. However, JoAnn has published a book about the
subject, it is called: Managing Your Documentation Projects, published by
John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-59099-1. I would highly recommend it (and
I have no affiliation with the book or the class other than attending the
class and reading the book). It really covers how you should manage your
projects in a professional, organized manner.

On page 170 of Hackos' book, it gives the industry averages for all kinds
of document development. For context-sensitive help development, it says
an average of 4 hours per topic. This includes all planning,
writing, design, and research time for a topic. We've developed over 7500
topics in Window help using RoboHelp and I find that pretty accurate. It
is not a quick slam dunk into a help file if you want to do it right.

Good luck on your Robocising. :>)

Bill Bledsoe
A.G. Edwards & Sons
Systems Administration Center
Technical Writer

+ Bill's opinions are Bill's opinions, not Ben's or anyone elses at AGE.+

On Tue, 11 Jul 1995, Jane Fallander wrote:

> I'm just starting a project with RoboHELP and I'm looking for some time
> estimation guidelines.

> The project I'm working on is a fairly simple database that tracks sales
> prospects and customers. Lets say one needs to document three screens with
> about 15 data entry fields each. There's not a lot of complex interaction
> between them. There's also a pull-down menu that lets you define about 20
> codes. Oh, and a few reports, none of which are user-defined.

> This is my first RoboHELP project, so there's a learning curve. However, I'm
> a quick study (as most of us are). Any rules of thumb?

> Thanks for your wisdom, advice and guidance, oh experienced helpmakers.

> Jane Fallander
> Technical, Corporate and Business Communications
> jfallander -at- aol -dot- com

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