How Many Pages Should Technical Writers Write Per Day?
How many pages can a Technical Writer write every day?
Technical Writer's performance based on
their output (i.e. the number of pages they can write) seems like an
After all, there are so many things to consider. How difficult is the
subject, are there images involved, do you have access to the latest
version, are you waiting for reviews?
Do they mean
writing the User Guide (which may be
easy) or something more complicated, for example,
writing Functional Requirements or Specifications
which may be very slow to produce?
How To Measure a Technical Writer's Productivity?
If I asked you how many pages you wrote every day, would you know? We
calculated how many pages we wrote per week and then divided it across
the team. It was less than we had thought.
Actually, we felt guilty that we were performing so poorly. It turns
out that other
Technical Publishing Depts across the
company were more or less then same.
Why Measure a Technical Writer's Productivity?
I’ve also seen this question asked on LinkedIn this week. I’m not
sure what the background was but you need to be careful who’s asking
this question and WHY.
For example, why would HR need to know how many pages you can write.
- Are you getting benchmarked?
- Will this be recorded against future performances?
- Will this impact your
- What does it say about your colleagues?
- Is your performance being used to test their performance?
How to Calculate Page Count in a Technical Document?
I think this is a flawed strategy as most technical writers do more
than write but, if you are asked…
- Calculate the number of pages written over 30 day period (min)
- Calculate the number of images and/or multimedia that was created
for each doc. For example, Release Notes rarely have screenshots
whereas most User Guides will.
- Break out the amount of time for research, setup, review and
- Add in other variables as you wish to give a more rounded picture.
You can work to a rough ‘guesstimate’ based on this approach.
What am I missing? And what would be your reaction if you were asked
PS – How many pages do you think we wrote every day?
About the Author: Ivan Walsh shares
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