How many writers does it take to ...

Subject: How many writers does it take to ...
From: Michal Berman <Michal -at- TELAVIV -dot- DDDDF -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 16:27:00 PST

Hello everyone. I hope this topic hasn't been exhausted already - if it has
been, please send me a digest and I will be quite content.

I'm looking for information on employee/workload ratios to
determine if my department is under/over/appropriately staffed. Obviously
this is quite subjective, so I'm looking for ball park figures - at least
I'll know where we stand in relation to other companies.

(Notes - I'm using number of pages as my unit for lack of any other
objective criteria. I'm also not saying how many people we have employed so
as not to bias your responses.)

Assume the following:

* Our writers do very little DTP other than picking the styles as they go.
We have other professionals dedicated to putting the final touches on the
format of the books.

* Assume each book we produce is an average of 200 double-sided pages (400
sides). We write/update approximately 60 books a year (90% of these are new
editions of previously-written books). This means we estimate that we
produce approximately 12,000 double-sided pages (24,000 sides) a year.

* The writers also create online help for each product on which they work.

Here are some questions:

* How does this compare to the workload in your company? Do you produce
similar amounts of output?

* How many technical writers do you have in your staff?

* Do you feel your staffing ratio is sufficient?

Thank you very much. Looking forward to hearing from you, either "privately"
(to my email) or "publicly" (via the list). I'll be happy to post a digest

Michal (Marta) Berman
Documentation Manager
New Dimension Software
michal -at- telaviv -dot- ddddf -dot- com

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