Re: Project estimates

Subject: Re: Project estimates
From: Sue Ellen Adkins <sea -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 05:28:11 -0800

Doug wrote:
> But, if you *don't* have the years of experience with the type of
> projects you're required to estimate, you have to start *somewhere*.

I've used similar documents to help me estimate the number of pages. When I
revised a software reference manual, I compared the number of software spec
headings to the number of pages. By applying this number (2 headings per
page) to the revised spec, I developed a rough estimate of the number of
pages. I knew the company expected me to use parts of the prior version with
few changes. I guessed 20% could be reused; I think I'm close but at least I
have associated a number with my guess.

Once you've identified your assumptions and developed your estimate, discuss
it with a colleague. I'm usually more concerned with overlooking something
than I am with making an hours-per-page estimate that's a little low.

As tech writers, we frequently put ourselves in the role of a user. Imagine
being a manager and having to evaluate a contractor's quote. How much detail
would you want to see? What questions would you ask?

Sue Ellen Adkins
sea -at- netcom -dot- com

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