Re: Value added

Subject: Re: Value added
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Brierley -at- QUODATA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 15:23:24 -0500


My thoughts (as they apply to s/w and h/w computer documentation):

Tech writing is overhead unless you sell the books. For example, one
strategy might be to provide a useless rag with software and charge $30 plus
shipping for a useful book (let's call it a resource kit!). In this case,
value added can be measured a) in dollar sales of the Resource Kit b) the
value of the "useless rag" in its ability to cause pain and drive people to
buy the "Resource Kit."

Also, web sites and user guides can be measured in decreased calls to
customer support. Also, callers can be asked specific questions about their
frustration with the printed and/or on-line documentation. Such responses
can be tracked over several releases of a software or hardware product. Web
sites can also be measured by a change in sales activity. For example, if
you sell a web-site concept to a motorcycle dealer, you might guarantee that
the site will pay for itself in sales within a year (it did, within four
months on used bikes alone). You can measure such effect by polling
customers and asking where they learned of the store/information, etc.

Sometimes, included documentation makes or breaks a sale. For example, for
small or niche software companies, often prospective customers have a
checklist of features against which they evaluate a product. Often, printed
documentation is one check box and on-line documentation is another
(web-based documentation might be a third). The availability or lack of such
documentation might be the difference between a sale and not.

Just some thoughts.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

>>>From: Ben Kovitz [mailto:apteryx -at- CHISP -dot- NET]
>>>Subject: Re: Value added
>>>Kersten Richter wrote:
>>>>Hello, I'm currently learning about the value added by
>>>technical documents
>>>>in one of my classes. My professor told us that this value
>>>should always be
>>>>measurable. My question is--how do you measure the value added by a
>>>>technical document which is being used as a "show piece"?
>>>For example, a
>>>>web page designed to show off? How do you measure the
>>>client satisfaction?

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