TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
The JoAnn Hackos book entitled Managing Documentation Projects does an excellent job covering the subject of estimating. Publisher: Wiley Technical Communication Library (ISBN 0-471-59099-1)
>>> Debi <debi -at- LAHIT -dot- CO -dot- IL> 12/02/98 01:25am >>>
Counting the number of pages produced is a problematic measure since it
doesn't address VALUE ADDED. The truth is - we still sometimes use 'number
of pages' as a pricing strategy (we offer documentation services to high
tech companies). However, we are not happy with this approach, since better
documentation is often shorter.
We are making efforts to evaluate 'value-added' in terms of meeting users'
needs. The extent to which we meet user's needs can be measured more or
less empirically. We are exploring the use of measures such as changes in
problems reported in the customer support database, questionnaires and
Janice Redish's article "Adding Value as a Professional Technical
Communicator" offers concrete suggestions for doing this. (Technical
Communication, First Quarter, 1995).
Looking forward to reading more about this,
LaHIT - Human Information Technologies Ltd.
Web Site: www.lahit.co.il; Email: debi -at- lahit -dot- co -dot- il
Tel: 972-9-7460 420
Fax: 972-9-7427 015
From: Susan Peradze [SMTP:susan -dot- peradze -at- PERI -dot- COM]
Sent: Tue December 01 1998 18:08
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Productivity Formulas
Our tech writing group has been asked by management to determine our
productivity in terms of number of pages produced (written, edited,
formatted). Our previous (but unpopular) group leader used functional
point analysis to come up with this statistic. He kept his analyses very
secret, so none of us knew what the procedure involved, but it seemed
incredibly complicated and lengthy. Our department manager believes that
the system may have some merit, however. We are looking for a simple,
yet accurate method.
Does anyone out there have a suggestion? Have any particular methods
proven successful? How does your company/organization determine tech
We have also been asked to quantify "major change" vs. "minor change" to
a document? Any suggestions about this?