Using four months as a beginning, add two months. No project ever runs as planned, and
when the inevitable delays and problems crop up, those extra two months will be needed
to deal with them. In his book On War, published in 1832, strategic theorist Carl Von
Clausewitz recommended that military staffs allow for a 1/3 margin of error in their
planning: A leader who thinks it will take 2 days to march somewhere must allow for
three days. This general rule works well for Web site planning, too: If four months is the
lower limit to build a site in-house, allow for six.
Allocate time for team members
An average Web site takes Web development firms around 200 hours to build. If your
organization s Web team is composed of people who have never built Web sites full-time,
allow 250 man-hours or more. If there are five people on the Web team, that s at least 50
hours per team member.
Also, when it s time for a team member to work on the site, that team member should be
given at least twenty hours a week to work on it. If site construction is less than a half-
time project, distractions and intrusions from other work tend to crowd it out.
Maintaining a site after it s built takes time, too. When allocating people s time for a Web
project, remember that time will be needed daily, weekly, monthly, or at some other
interval for site updates and maintenance. After the site is built and the site maintenance
guide is created, time for maintenance can be estimated more accurately.
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