Re: How long does it take you?

Subject: Re: How long does it take you?
From: John Hedtke <jhedtke -at- OZ -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 18:58:37 GMT

Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- genesis -dot- odvte -dot- state -dot- ok -dot- us> wrote:

>Hello gang

>I'm sure this has come up recently, but I didn't need the info then
>so I didn't pay much attention to it :-), but I need it now.

>How do you estimate how long it will take to complete a project? What
>criteria do you use? What are your benchmarks? I'd appreciate any
>responses, either personally or to the group if this hasn't been
>covered recently.

>Thank you!!!

>Tracy Boyington
>Technical Communication Specialist
>Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
>Stillwater, Oklahoma

Good estimating is one of the harder things I had to learn when I
started writing. Now, some 3 million words later, I've come to the
following criteria:

** 2 hours/page for new material; 1 to 1-1/2 hours/page for heavy
revisions; 1/2 to 1 hours/page for light revisions.
** some additional fudge factor if the project is highly technical,
the developers exceptionally difficult, or the schedule particularly
** some reduction if I've done something like this before or if the
customer doesn't need anything polished.

Making good estimates is a highly subjective operation. The best way
anyone can get data is to make their best estimate of everything up
front (they don't have to reveal it to anyone, but they should write
it down for themselves), do the project, and carefully map their
actual results against their estimates. If you do this scrupulously
for 3 projects, you'll have refined your estimates to the point of
being able to hit your hourly projections bang-on at least 80% of the

Yours Truly,

John Hedtke

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