How long does it take to create technical documentation, especially software documentation such as user manuals, online help, and screencasts?
Often, products are almost ready for shipping but still lack documentation. But there’s no reason to panic when you read the numbers given below. If you have tight deadlines, we can provide a preliminary solution, which can be complemented later step by step.
The time that it takes to create technical documentation (user manuals and online help files) directly correlates with the length of the documents. You can use the same rule of thumb as for estimating the costs. For creating software documentation, it takes:
▪about 1 hour per page to revise an existing document
▪about 2 hours per page to write a new document
When hardware has to be documented and when complex drawings have to be made, the time required can be significantly higher.
When the texts are complete, usually there’s a review, which gives you the opportunity to verify the new documentation and to request any changes. The time needed for this review, plus the time needed to make the changes, must be added to the time calculated above.