How to Plan Manpower on a Web Team

by Shane Diffily

27 Reader Comments

Back to the Article
  1. This was an interesting article but in my experience teams are a thing of the past and most websites are made by one person maybe two tops,unless your working for a big time organization CNN ESPN etc.And if your reading articles online on how to effectivly organize a team then your probably not going to get the job in the first placea nd more than likely all spots have already been filled at all the top organizations already.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  2. Umm…, this smacks of not taking into account the lessons of “The Mythical Man Month”: As you add people to a project the complexity of completing that project, no matter how simple, increases exponentially (my exteremely quick summary of one of the main lessons of the book). I agree that the basic math works out, but there is always a lot more to getting something done by division of labor amoungst other human beings which always manages to make things much more complicated than they need to be.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  3. I think many web developers have struggle with manpower planning, especially for large projects. 

    I often forget that the busier the website – the more time it takes to maintain.  You brought up some good points to keep in mind when planning web development projects.

    Thanks!

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  4. Good article! Resourcing has always been the bane of any system development. As someone who’s been in IT development for 33 years (yes I really am 38!), this whole question is not new and nobody has ever come up with an ‘A x B x C =  D people’ answer. Major consultancies still get it wrong so it’s no surprise smaller WebCo’s find it perplexing. I’ve worked on projects from > 300 people down to my current team of 5. Shane’s figures seem to fit our company as we’re involved in heavyweight, transactional J2EE Web systems — but then we have our own product for doing the development work which has taken 6 years to build and cuts our timescales and costs right back. Without it, I’d be looking at a team of probably 12 – 15 just to cope with current workloads, let alone other projects. I think anyone contemplating major transactional, high performance, high hit-rate Web systems should err on the high numbers side from personal experience. But then don’t ignore the increased management effect that higher staffing will require.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  5. Great article, but I wonder if you’re aware how alienating the language is?

    I’ve worked in a web-related job for over ten years now; for the first six I wasn’t part of a team at all – one of the reasons I was interested in the content of your article. In common with other public services, many of the people I work with either as editors or page authors are female. It might seem like a small point, but while the subject matter should be of interest to anyone on a web team, I didn’t feel you were really talking to me.

    It’s 2006 – surely we’ve moved on a bit?

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  6. I calculate the necessary mandays the following way: ask a developer of your team. Multiply his estimation with the number of years he is away from 5 years work experience. Triple the result and that’s a good start. ;-)

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  7. Great article, although a few years old, still relevant!

    Does anyone have a useful web based tool for resource management, I literally cannot find a thing. We use Basecamp for pm stuff, but would love a resource hook in.

    cheers

    Ian

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.