One way to determine time is to start keep tracking of your own time.
When you start working on a project, write down the start time in a
spread sheet. When you finished that session, write it down. So for
example, you could have a spread sheet that looks like the following:

Manual 1234

10/5 10:00 - 10:45  2:30-4:30
10/6 11:00-12:00 2:30 - 5:00

Through doing this, you can measure how long something takes you. For
example, by doing this, I determined that it took me 12 hours to do a
Quick Start Guide so obviously, I could only do 4 per week. When the
company wanted me to do 8, I justified the time and they hired an

Thank you,


-----Original Message-----
[ at] On
Behalf Of John Posada
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 10:00 AM
To: Courtney Collins; Framers List
Subject: Re: Formula for Tech Writing Lead Time?

--- Courtney Collins <courtney_shay_collins at> wrote:

> Is anyone aware of a formula for how many words/pages a Tech
> Writer can produce in a given period of time? I am being asked to
> take on additional manuals and upper management wants some numbers
> to justify additional head count that will be needed. I can
> probably come up with an estimate based on what we produce today,
> but I was wondering if some kind of standard already exists.

Courtney...think about it. There are so many factors that determine
how much a writer can write, that I couldn't even begin to figure our
how to quantify it. Off the top of my head:

Level of experience
Quality of the effort
Level of SME support
Writing environment
Subject complexity
Familiarity of the subject
Definition of "Produce" (first draft? Packaged book?)

Any one of these factors can affect to a factor of 2 or 3 just on
their own.

Besides...would my formula determine how quickly you work? If just
because my formula said you should be producing 20% more...would it
make it so?

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

"I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never
actually known what the question is."

You are currently subscribed to Framers as gflato at

Send list messages to framers at

To unsubscribe send a blank email to 
framers-unsubscribe at
or visit

Send administrative questions to lisa at Visit for more resources and info.

This message (including any attachments) may contain confidential information 
intended for a specific individual and purpose. If you are not the intended 
recipient, delete this message. If you are not the intended recipient, 
disclosing, copying, distributing, or taking any action based on this message 
is strictly prohibited.

Reply via email to