Re: How much documentation for 1000 hours of programming?

Subject: Re: How much documentation for 1000 hours of programming?
From: Chuck Blessing <chuck -dot- blessing -at- CBIS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 06:49:09 -0600

To: TECHWR-L @ listserv.okstate.edu (Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L) @
CBISINET
cc: (bcc: Chuck Blessing)
From: KentN @ metrix-inc.com (Kent Newton) @ CBISINET
Date: 03-27-96 10:04:00 PM
Subject: Re: How much documentation for 1000 hours of programming?

On Wednesday, March 27, 1996 6:32 PM, Richard Mateosian quoted an
unidentified member:
>>For instance, if it's estimated that an enhancement to a given software
>>system is going to take 1,000 man hours to design and code; can we
estimate
>>how many hours to budget for a user manual (user only; no technical
>>reference or system admin manuals)?

He then replied"
>No.

>Your thousand-hour enhancement might be totally invisible to the user,
so no
>change to documentation is required.

>On the other hand, your enhancement might so thoroughly change the
product's
>relationship with the real-world application that you'll need a complete
>revision of your entire documentation set.

>There's no way to determine this information from the number of
programming
>hours. ...RM


Kent Newton then replied:

>I'll second that! I've had programmers spend several man-weeks on a
>project that required a one-line change in the documentation. Then I've
>had them spend one man-day adding a little field to several screens which
>required a week of my time to capture the screens, clean them up, pop
>them in the documentation, and add the relevant text.

Which over time when averaged out will give you an average amount of
documentation hours versus programming hours. The number you come up with, of
course, is merely a starting point which you then adjust with the particulars
of an individual project. This is the nature of a rough estimate and is I
believe what the original poster was looking for.

*********************************
Chuck Blessing
Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, Inc. (CBIS)
Cincinnati, Ohio
chuck -dot- blessing -at- cbis -dot- com
- OR -
cjb -at- one -dot- net


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