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Mark Baker wrote:
> The business justification for most documentation is this: it
> reduces the cost of ownership of the associated product.
> Cost of ownership is not just what you pay for the product but what you pay
> after you buy it as part of owning it. The cost of ownership of a car, for
> instance, includes gas, insurance, repairs, etc. For many products, low cost
> of ownership is a significant selling point so if you can demonstrate that
> documentation reduces cost of ownership, marketing should listen to you.
> Documentation can reduce the cost of ownership of a product by reducing time
> to productivity for the new users, making time saving features apparent to
> the user, and reducing maintenance time.
> The cost of ownership impact of documentation is probably easier to quantify
> and certainly easier to sell. It would make a worthwhile study.
I don't disagree that the cost of ownership study would make a
worthwhile study. My contention was based on several instances of
having suggested to a project manager that this or that approach be
taken to providing documentation, pointing out all the anecdotal
information I knew, and having said 'project-Nazi' come back with "Prove
it!" I tried to find supporting literature, and found none of the
hard-numbers variety. I've since heard of several others who've had
differing flavors of the same experience.