Re: hours per page

Subject: Re: hours per page
From: David Orr <dorr -at- ORRNET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 12:51:52 -0600

Part of the training of our new writers is to keep personal data on how
long it takes to do tech writing and training development tasks in
projects. We ask them to guess up front how long things will take and
note their assumptions; then we have them compare the actual time with
the guesses and the actual conditions with the assumptions. Usually
writers can see where they went wrong, underestimated, overestimated,
etc. After six months or a year of this discipline, writers get very
good at estimating.

Many writers are afraid of being pinned down on hours, but developing
the skill to be accurate is actually a great source of power and
credibility for writers. After a while, people who know their numbers
get reputations for being right, and their estimates are accepted as

M. David Orr
Orr & Associates/Usability Management

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