AnswerRE: measuring productivity and QUALITY

Subject: AnswerRE: measuring productivity and QUALITY
From: Dick Gaskill <dickg -at- AG3D -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 14:40:50 -0800


Before measuring something like quality, you need to define it. Here is
the definition of quality I have written into my publications dept

"Quality documentation is defined as accurate, appropriate, predictable,
readable, complete, usable, effective, and timely."

accurate = the information is technically correct
appropriate = the information is written to the expected audience level
and is applicable to the product and the needs of its users (the right
type of information)
predictable = the information has the expected look and feel, is similar
to other company documentation of the same type
readable = the information is easy to understand, writing is clear and
complete = all needed information is included in the document
usable = the information is well organized and easy to find
effective = the document contains just the right amount of information,
gets the job done without overwhelming the user
timely = the documentation is produced in time to deliver to customer at
product release

One of the ways you can measure these is by setting objectives and then
checking to see whether they are met. Another way is through usability
testing. Usability testing will tell you if a product (including
technical documentation) is useful, learnable, and easy to use.

Usable products can make customers more productive. This can lead to
increased sales and repeat business (the ol' bottom line, of course).
And yes, they can definitely decrease support calls.


> ----------
> From: Gina Hertel[SMTP:Ghertel -at- ALPHA88 -dot- COM]
> Reply To: Gina Hertel
> Sent: Friday, February 20, 1998 12:14 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: measuring productivity and QUALITY
> This brings me to a related question...
> How do all of you measure QUALITY in a quantitative way?
> The only OBJECTIVE metric I can think of so far is:
> decreased number of support calls.
> Anyone know of any others?
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Miki Magyar [SMTP:MDM0857 -at- MCDATA -dot- COM]
> > Sent: Friday, February 20, 1998 3:04 PM
> > To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> > Subject: measuring productivity
> >
> > Kathy Borgtodd asked " how do you measure productivity in your
> department?
> > "
> >
> > Good question! Usually the answer is, we don't - we get evaluated on
> > whether or not we got the manual/help/etc. out on time, on budget,
> and
> > with approval from the client reviewers. Since we work on any given
> > project as a team, and are subject to any number of external
> constraints
> > beyond our control, this is about the only thing that makes sense.
> >
> > 'Productivity' on an assembly line makes sense. 'Productivity' in
> Tech
> > Pubs needs to be clearly defined. Or better yet, ignored. What is
> the
> > purpose of the measurement? Who is going to use the information, in
> what
> > way? The answer is in the question - if you are looking for process
> > improvement, 'productivity' is not necessarily what you want to ask
> about.
> >
> > That said, yeah but, and on the other hand -
> > Each case is different. If you're churning out updates of a catalog,
> > 'productivity' may be a valid measure.
> > You can't make improvements until you know where you are. Just make
> sure
> > your baseline and metrics make sense for your purpose.
> > If you're trying to evaluate tools, 'productivity' may be a key
> factor.
> > Again, be sure you know what you're measuring.
> >
> > I'm looking forward to the discussion on this one!
> >
> > Regards,
> > Miki
> > mikim -at- mcdata -dot- com
> >
> > !
> >
> >
> ~~
> > Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> > Search archives at:
> >
> ~~
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> Search archives at:

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