How Many Pages Should Technical Writers Write Every Day?

write-every-day
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 Publishing Depts across the company were more or less then same.

How Many Pages Tech Writers Write Depends…

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 annual review?
  • What does it say about your colleagues? Is your performance being used to beat them with a stick, so to speak.

How to Calculate Page Count?

To be honest, I think this is a flawed strategy as tech 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 formatting.
  • 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 this question?

PS – How many pages do you think we wrote?

Download these templates to start

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan