Re: Technical Writing Metrics

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Metrics
From: Ron Sering CDS <ronser -at- MANX -dot- CDS -dot- TEK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 12:20:57 MST

Donald Ray wrote
> I am looking for published articles that address technical writing
> metrics. How about it, can anyone help me with this request?

Estimating time is one of the all-time popular questions on this list. A lot has been written on it over the last couple of months right here in TECHWR-L. Check the archives under "Estimating Time" and "Hours Per Page."

Thanks to Bill Bledsoe for posting this summary from the Hackos book (I bought a copy on the company credit card and find it to be excellent):

Refer to p. 170 of Dr. JoAnn Hackos' book Managing Your Documentation
Project for the following estimates:

user guide 5 hours per page
software app ref manual 4 hours per page
hardware maint/trouble man 8 hours per page
classroom training 40 hours per deliverable hour of training
context-sensitive help 4 hours per topic of help information
comprehensive help 4 hours per topic, including hypertext links
videotaped instruction 30 hours per finished minute of prod time
CBT 60 hours per finished hour of training

Of course YMMV but I've found these to be dead-on... and considering
they're from the leading authority on documentation project
management... I'm confident in them. These include all of your project
management tasks: scheduling, production, research, etc. all tasks
associated with each unit. Again.. YMMV, but I don't think anyone on
the list will find them too out of line.

Hope this helps --Ron Sering

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