Re: estimates: x hrs per page but how many pages?

Subject: Re: estimates: x hrs per page but how many pages?
From: Barb Philbrick <caslonsvcs -at- IBM -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 19:35:41 GMT

>Okay, say 4-8 hours per page sounds reasonable.
>Any suggestions for estimating the number of pages?
Get as much information as you can. Then prepare the preliminary
outline. What follows is a rough outline I use to prepare a quote. Add
at least 1/3 to the page count (double it if you can; no one ever
complains if you finish something in less time, though they might not
give you the project if it's too high).

Other factors to consider are:

1. Who's doing the art? I edit most of the art myself lot, but rarely
create it from scratch. If you're creating the art, add time.

2. Who's doing the formatting? Add time if you're doing it yourself.

3. Are you editing it yourself? Add time.

The outline below is for hardware projects. For software projects, I
do about the same thing, but count every menu, menu choice, button,
and field in the project and figure about 1/2 page each to come up
with a quote.

Hope this helps!


I typically work on hardware projects, so my outline will look
something like this:

1. Cover and inside cover: Usually 2 pages.

2. TOC: Usually 4 pages.

3. LOF: Usually 2 pages.

4. LOT: Usually 2 pages.

5. Introduction: Usually 4 pages. Go more (never go less) if style or
product needs more background information.

6. Mounting: Get a sense for how difficult. If there are different
mounting instructions for different version, allow about four pages
for each type.

7. Wiring: Again, need information. How many terminals, input/output
lines, and so on? Estimate about a 1/2 page each.

8. Initial Hardware Setup: How many items need to be set (jumpers,
switches, and so on)? Again, about 1/2 page each. (BTW, I go 1/2 page
for everything because many options will need a one or two line
description, but others might require a page or two. It usually evens

9. Initial Software Setup: About 1/2 page for each parameter required
for initial setup.

10. Operator Interface: Estimate based on complexity. Again, 1/2 page
for each item on the interface.

11. Operation Instructions: Usually about 4 pages, but if it required
more diddling after the hardware and software setup, go long.

12. Software Guide: If there's a software interface, how many menus?
Are there parameters to configure? 1/2 page each.

13. Troubleshooting Guide: Usually it's about 15-20% the size of the
rest of the manual.

14. Index: Usually about 4 pages.

15. Back Cover: 2 pages.

Barbara Philbrick, Caslon Services Inc.
Technical Writing. caslonsvcs -at- ibm -dot- net
Cleveland, OH

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