Project estimates

Subject: Project estimates
From: Alexander Von_obert <avobert -at- TWH -dot- MSN -dot- SUB -dot- ORG>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 1995 10:54:00 +0100

Hello Don,

* Antwort auf eine Nachricht von Don Edwards an All am 21.12.95

DE> From: Don Edwards <don -dot- edwards -at- cbis -dot- com>

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

Much depends on the circumstances. But a few rules of thumb, always
referenced to the final output without any DTP work:

- Authors in big companies do some 1-2 pages a day.
Remember that they have LOTS of correction cycles
and people influencing often about every word.

- I have found that for quality work I cannot do
more than about five pages a day.

The last time I published these figures here, I got several messages. One
thought I would be lasy and incompetent because he did some 20 to 25 pages a
day. But geniuses like this one were rare and others agreed more or less to my

DE> Does
DE> anyone have any information estimating other technical writing
DE> projects, such as online help or CBT?

I have not done CBT, but some online help. You might do some 5-10 topics a
day. This is MUCH less text than you would write for paper documentation. But
writing texts for online documentation is even harder and you need LOTS of
time for testing.

When talking about software documentation: If you have less than one writer
for 10 programmers, the writer has absolutely no chance to do anything else
that documenting everything - including any nonsense he or she is told.

If you wish to use the writer as a user representative influencing the design
of the software, you need a writer for every three or four programmers.

Greetings from Germany,

|Fidonet: Alexander Von_obert 2:2490/1719
|Internet: avobert -at- twh -dot- msn -dot- sub -dot- org

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