On 7/6/06, Gillian Flato <gflato at nanometrics.com> wrote:
> Guys,
> I need to provide my engineers with a document release date schedule
> they understand when I need information by. I think that they think
> they can give me info two days before the release date and expect an
> updated manual with the release. Does anyone have something I can use
> a template?

Hi Gillian

I don't have such a template, I'm afraid. However, the situation you
describe needs more than that. You need to be involved in the process
from the beginning, so that you have input into specifications, GUI (if
it's software), and so on. Then your documentation estimation process
occurs simultaneously with the product development estimates. Given
proper management of the whole project, you should be able to finish the
docs at the same time as the product is finalized, and without stress.
The project manager should at least be aware of your needs and the
timing. Decent specifications will allow you to estimate and to create a
draft ToC. From that point you can develop your docs iteratively,
incorporating the review process.

If there is no real project management, you have an education job on
your hands which could take years if management don't get it yet. (This
is the voice of experience!) You will need to call meetings and keep
expressing your needs. But sensible estimating, based on requirements
and specifications, should allow you to at least give ballpark dates for
your various stages. There are resources around for estimating; I've
seen industry standards set at 1 page/day (including everything),
although we work on something less than (more than?) that - more than a
page a day, I mean!

Hope this helps, and good luck!


Roger Shuttleworth
Documentation Team Lead
Activplant Corporation
140 Fullarton St.
London, Ontario
N6A 5P2
Tel. 519 668-7336
Fax. 519 668-3227


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