Re: Ratio of development to documentation?

Subject: Re: Ratio of development to documentation?
From: Jean Weber <jhweber -at- WHITSUNDAY -dot- NET -dot- AU>
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 17:29:11 +1000

I think you're right about that piece of string, because the ratio depends
on the scope of the documentation work. A user guide? Online help?
Tutorials? Integrated EPSS (electronic performance support system)? Other?
All of the above?

Before you can provide a meaningful answer to such a question, you need to
develop a documentation plan for each project, listing the intended
deliverables and the estimated length of time to create each of them. A
good place to start is JoAnn Hackos' book, "Managing your documentation
projects," John Wiley & Sons, 1994.

I've heard percentages ranging from 10% to 25% or more, but usually they
were in the context of "we're allocating XX% of the project budget to
documentation, now YOU figure out how to make it work" -- or, in some
cases, "... YOU figure out what we can get for that kind of money." The
latter was usually followed some time later by "but we absolutely need
xxxxx" (which I had cut off the list as impossible within the budget).

Regards, Jean
Jean Hollis Weber
The Technical Editors' Eyrie http://www.wrevenge.com.au/
mailto:jhweber -at- whitsunday -dot- net -dot- au


At 03:48 PM 5/14/99 +0100, Michelle Tuohy wrote:
>i think this is one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions, but
>my development manager is asking me for documentation time as a percentage
>of the overall development time on each project. i don't know how to go
>about finding/estimating such a ratio.

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