Re: Productivity Formulas

Subject: Re: Productivity Formulas
From: Mike Starr <mike -dot- starr -at- PLATINUM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 10:58:00 -0600

Well, I'm a lone writer in my office and have never been in a situation where
my manager felt it was necessary to quantify productivity. I question the
validity of measuring productivity in this fashion. It smacks to me of a
management approach that says "I don't know what you do; I don't know how well
you do it but if you stack it up and I can put a ruler next to it, I'll pay
more for those who produce higher stacks". To me, a good manager (and luckily
for me that includes every manager I've had) is one who can evaluate more than
just volume measurements. Hell, a six-year old can do that. For this we pay
people big salarys and give them stock options and parking spaces with their
names on them?? Naaah.

I'm not a manager (and maybe there's wisdom in that, too <grin>) but I suggest
that the best measures of technical writing aren't necessarily productivity
but might be something more like:

Do you produce quality documentation the customer can use and produce it
in time to ship it with the product??

Is there enough work to keep you busy??

Can you keep up with what you're asked to deliver??

If there isn't enough work to keep you busy can you keep busy finding work
that needs to be done but that nobody got around to asking you to do??

Do you do what you're asked to do even when you disagree with something
about the assignment?

Do you voice your concerns when you disagree with something and if you do,
are you willing to accept the decision of others after they've heard your

Those, to me, are the things I'd look at if I were charged with evaluating a
technical writer who worked for me.


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