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"Based upon this 30% rule, a 3 - 5 day task analysis should result in a
manual taking from 9 to 15 days. It usually takes me many months (if not a
year) to write the manual for a complex software package."
Good catch! What I neglected to say is that the Task Analysis isn't really
part of the project. We, too, use a 30% rule, but we split our projects into
Analysis & Design, Development, and Production, with each taking about 1/3
of the time. The Task Analysis is a really short and abbreviated (another
way of saying "down and dirty") preliminary mini-project, which we do before
we begin the project itself. When the Task Analysis is completed (and we
don't do a Task Analysis for all our projects - often clients know exactly
what they want and exactly how they want it done), we deliver a report with
an estimate for the Analysis & Design portion (where we create our