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You have an idea of how long it takes your department to author books based
on past history. Try outsourcing two or three books and making a comparison.
Compare the time it takes, the interaction between the writers and their
subjects, and the look, feel, accuracy, etc. of the finished product.
I know of a couple of situations where in-house writers were taking four
times longer than outsourced writers. In both of these situations, that was
okay because outsourcing came out of an expense account that was tracked and
for which someone was responsible; the in-house overhead of tech writing was
not tracked and the salaries were not considered a penalty against any
particular person, project, or budget <g>. (Quality of the finished product
On the other hand, I know of one project where the contractor took
two-and-a-half times the quoted time to deliver the finished book, and
rework followed. Actually, I'm a little bitter about that one because I bid
on the job and didn't get it; a personal friend of a manager was given the
(This all leads to a couple of other issues, outsourcing versus in-house
writers and choosing the correct writer for the job. Both of these are
issues for another thread.)
sean -at- quodata -dot- com
>>>From: Geoff Hart (by way of "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>)
>>>[mailto:ght -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]
>>>Subject: Measuring writing efficiency?
>>>Peg Rickard has <<...been given the task to quantify the efficiency
>>>of our technical writing department. I'm not sure how to measure