Re: Project estimates

Subject: Re: Project estimates
From: "John P. Brinegar" <johnbri -at- PRIMENET -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 11:51:30 -0700

Don Edwards <don -dot- edwards -at- CBIS -dot- COM> wrote

>Does anyone have any information on estimating headcount for a User Manual?
>I'm looking for an industry standard for hours per page when estimating User
>Manuals produced on paper.

Even if there was an industry standard (which I sincerely doubt), I
wouldn't want to use it. There are just too many variables that affect
staff-day estimates. These include the quality of source info, user needs,
the quality of the human interface, the documentation process, the
documentation tools, the complexity of the topic, the skills and work
habits of the staff members, the stability of the product design and
functions, and much more.

Several years ago, I created a spread sheet that used weights assigned to
factors like those above to calculate staff-days ("man-days" before we got
so concerned about gender). This satisfied management's desire for a
"scientific" method while allowing me to apply my years of experience to do
"seat of the pants" estimates. Consciously or unconsciously, I applied
weights that made the spread sheet value equal my "seat of the pants"

John P. Brinegar,
Consulting and development
-Performance support systems
-Technical communications

Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
(602) 278-7398
johnbri -at- primenet -dot- com

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