TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:$ per word - quantifying TW From:"Dimock, Dick" <red -at- ELSEGUNDOCA -dot- ATTGIS -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 17 Jan 1996 10:01:00 PST
The Second Tech Writer asks:
> WHAT do we DO to quantify our production?????.....
Second TW, old buddy, this quantification question
has bugged me for 20 years. I have tried to quantify
TWing as Pubs Manager, and have tried to quantify
TWing as Writer.
I have tried:
counting review comments,
counting times I question SMEs,
counting inches of hardcopy stack,
number of copies distributed,
number of requests for information,
milestone bonus points for reviews and publishing,
and occasionally, counting words and keystrokes.
I am not satisfied with any of them, and only somewhat
satisfied with combinations of them. The right counts can
give valuable insights as to what slows production, what
speeds production, what should be pushed faster, what
should be kicked out of the way.
This is genuinely a Billion-Dollar question! And NOBODY
NOTICES! We tippy-toe around this issue.
It seems that if we measure each of the smaller actions going
into doing a book, the resulting count *should* reflect the ??
work?? effort?? time?? value?? effectiveness (well..no....)??
There must be a composite of measurements that indicate
REAL production, REAL effectiveness. And By Gosh/Goshess
this group is the right group to figger it out!
If we don't, we are stuck with the time-worn Final Pages
Per Day, with all the problems it entails.
There's GOT to be a useful way. I wonder what Joanne
Hackos would say if she were asked? What do you other
sage techwr-lers have to say?
THIS is the key**, gang! This is how we get our professional
recognition! Bottom Line Effectiveness - how do we quantify,
how do we improve?
Arlan, you typed before about our contribution to the
company/client Bottom Line profitability. Any thoughts?
Others have mentioned it too. The Intel / HTML study IS
Sorry I didn't have time to make this more concise, but
I HAD to jump in here. This is vital**.
Best regards, y'all
Dick Dimock Who really IS worth $400/page,
$.50/review comment fixed,
$40,000 /stack-inch, and $0.02 per
twr-l post from
NCR Corp. In beautiful, sunny
El Segundo, CA Where the Chevron Refinery measures
in MBarrels and parts per million.
richard -dot- dimock -at- elsegundoca -dot- attgis -dot- com
**This topic relates closely to the Laws of Survival