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Base it on billable hours. If you expect to bill X hours over a period, net
of earned time, etc., track your writers billable time. If they are billing
more hours, they are more productive (from your standpoint). Less
productive if they are standing around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for
work from engineering.
Since technical writing is considered a cost center, verses a revenue
generator (not my opinion), management would probably consider greater
productivity to be measured by reduced cost. Since nobody I know tracks the
delta in costs attributed to customer service or analyzes the affect TW has
on these costs, you're probably faced with the problem of showing that your
staff is completing all requests for documentation with zero down time.
> From: Tony G. Rocco <trocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Productivity Measurements
> Date: Monday, February 02, 1998 8:42 PM
> One of the principals of the company I work for, Navis Corporation, is
> asking my techwriter compadre and I for a measure of our productivity in
> relation to "industry standards." Apparently, he wants to know if we are
> performing as well as other tech writers doing similar work. I think he
> also wants a baseline against which to measure our future productivity so
> he can determine if what sort of raises we deserve, etc.
> Can anyone help out with A) providing a standard for measuring tech
> productivity, and B) providing a basis for comparing our productivity to
> "industry standards?" How productive is the average tech writer doing
> end-user GUI print documentation? Be much obliged for any helpful info.
> - Tony
> It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for
> what we do not do.
> - Moliere