How Do You Know When Documents are Ready?

So let’s imagine you’ve sent a document out to a bunch of people for their review and comments, and you’re currently going through the process of updating it with their corrections, clarification requests, and so on. How do you know when the document’s done? Well, how long is a piece of string?

I’d propose the following rule of thumb:

Take the number of valid review comments you receive from a particular person, and call that a. Take the number of times you recieve comments that require you to point someone at a part of the document they’ve missed (let’s assume it is well organised), and call that b. _ Divide _a by b - this is the review quotient.

As this number tends towards zero, you know that the document is becoming ready. For most purposes, 0.1 is probably a good threshold for determining when to stop making further changes. It’s close enough to zero that the S/N ratio is now overwhelming you, and your time is better spent on something else.