Re: Estimating Quality Documentation?

Subject: Re: Estimating Quality Documentation?
From: Chris Kowalchuk <chrisk -at- globalserve -dot- net>
To: edunn -at- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 22:07:01 -0400

> But aren't the metrics based on quality documentation? The estimated page count
> should be based on the "time consuming" lowest possible page count.
In the best of all worlds, yes, but in reality, not necessarily.
However, this does suggest a solution to the problem: base the dollar
estimate on a time estimate, then justify the time. I.e.: does the
customer want 5 hr/page documentation, or 5 page/hr documentation? This
now gives you an opportunity to explain the difference, and hopefully
justify the expense.

This method, however, may have some pitfalls. Some clients use any extra
information about your process as an excuse to try to reduce time, and
therefore the amount they are paying you: "A copy-editing pass? You
don't need that; we'll read it over ourselves. Subtract that from the
estimate." I guess you have to base your estimating method on your
assessment of the seriousness of the client and how realistic they will
be themselves in budgeting for the project, or in accepting the validity
of your bases for estimation. Clients who are too silly about that sort
of thing are often best avoided in any event.

Chris Kowalchuk

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