Using Metrics to Estimate Documentation Projects

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Using Metrics to Estimate Documentation Projects by Mind Map: Using Metrics to Estimate  Documentation Projects

1. Who Needs Reliable Project Estimates?

1.1. Managers – Team resource planning and budgets

1.2. Team Members – Buy-in and realistic commitments

1.3. Consultants – Business depends on it

2. Why Develop and Use Metrics?

2.1. Inconsistent, difficult to reproduce estimates

2.2. Hard to train team members to estimate projects

2.3. Unsure of commitment levels

2.4.  Hard to defend estimates

3. What Are Metrics?

3.1. Metrics are ways to quantitatively assess and measure a process.

3.2. A metric includes:

3.2.1. How the measurement is calculated

3.2.2. Range of values considered normal

3.2.3. − Target value

3.3. Metrics (key performance indicators) are used to track trends, productivity, resources, etc.

4. Common Problems: Underestimating

4.1. Myth: Estimate the time it would take me to do it… 

4.1.1. What knowledge/experience does the team have? 

4.1.2. What relationships does the team have?

4.2. Myth: Estimate 40 hours a week of work… 

4.2.1. What about meetings, breaks, other commitments?

4.2.2. What about vacation/holiday/sick time?

4.2.3. Is overtime a consideration?

5. Common Problems: Overestimating

5.1. Myth: A book takes 60 days to produce…

5.1.1.  How many pages will actually change?

5.1.2.  What type of source/knowledge is available?

5.2. Myth: A product requires 1 writer per 7 developers… 

5.2.1. Where in its lifecycle is the product (new, maint.)? 

5.2.2. How efficient is the development team? 

5.2.3.  Does the product have complex concepts?

6. What Do We Need?

6.1.  Reliable/repeatable metrics for defined units of work that we can use as a base for estimating

6.2.  Flexible model to adjust as we learn and as our team or environment/process changes 

6.3. Common ways to adjust processes that reduce metrics (fewer reviews, different personnel,…)

6.4.  We use Excel to plan/review/evaluate/learn… could use Microsoft Project or other tools

7. Process: Estimating a Project

7.1. List tasks based on units of work & estimate 

7.2. Compare estimate with gut-level (OK?, review?)

7.3.  Record actuals, variances, actions outside process

7.4. Compare actual to estimate… decide why different

7.5. Adjust metrics for future, if needed

7.5.1. − By unit of work

7.5.2. − By personnel (experience, ramp time, …)

7.5.3. − By client or development team (dynamics, requirements, …)