Re: Project estimates

Subject: Re: Project estimates
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 07:49:00 EST

>>Does anyone have any information on estimating headcount for a User Manual?

>Almost all user manuals are best handled by a single writer. Only gigantic
>manuals like those for FrameMaker and Word benefit from adding writers.

>>I'm looking for an industry standard for hours per page when estimating User
>>Manuals produced on paper.

>There's no such thing. ...RM

>Richard Mateosian President, Berkeley STC
>Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro

We use 2-3 hours per page, the estimate depending on how many whistles,
bells and elves we have to include.

It sounds as though the original poster needs a course in project
management. JoAnn Hackos' book on documentation project management would be
a good supplement once the poster learns the basics of PM.

"Headcount" is a slippery one, BTW. Putting two people on a project won't
get it done twice as fast. Experience and research shows that increasing the
count by 200% will result in approximately a 150% increase in throughput.
And just tossing more people in is probably worse than admitting defeat up
front. It's the "nine women in a room having a baby in one month" syndrome.

If the original poster would like a fuller bit of help, he/she can email me

Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
Technical Documentation and Training
Voice 317.899.5882
Fax 317.899.5987

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