If You Missed Last Meeting…

If You Missed Last Meeting…

Sarah Baca

By Sarah Baca
Orlando Chapter STC

…You missed Paul Mueller of User Aid who presented his research on Estimating Technical Documentation Projects.

Have you been having a difficult time estimating the amount of time it takes you to complete projects? If this is a challenge for you, you are not alone. For October, Paul Mueller of User Aid helped us with this topic, as he spoke about his methods for estimating project times.

He said that estimations vary widely depending on the writer and project, but having a good general metric is essential. It is especially important if you are a contractor who gets paid by the job, as he and the members of his team are.

When determining the estimations for a project you have to consider three topics:

  1. The personality of the team that you are working with.
  2. The knowledge source that is available.
  3. The complexity of the user interface.
  4. The number of required reviews.

All of these metrics can positively or negatively influence the amount of time per page it will take to complete a project.

Depending on the project, and using the above factors, he says his team of experienced writers estimates anywhere from two to eight hours a page. He suggests this as a starting point for team members who are establishing their own estimations.

My team has been able to take the information we learned from Paul’s talk and can’t wait to see how it helps us with our estimations as we start our next Agile Scrum sprint cycle. We are very grateful to Paul for an interesting and informative meeting, and for the kind donation of his time to our chapter.

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