I am the manager of a team of 11 software developers who look after my company's web sites / web applications, running up to 4 concurrent projects plus day-to-day support at any time. Within the 11 developers there is a mixture of technical skills, job titles and experience, although the team structure is flat with all 11 developers reporting directly to me.
The whole team having a single manager is starting to prove not to scale very well. I am starting to be spread too thinly so want to reduce my number of direct reports. All the ways I can think to do this have significant downsides:
- Have junior developers report to senior ones. This reduces the time spent on development by the best technicians.
- Split the team by software product, e.g. developers 1-6 work on intranet and 7-11 work on external sites, with each section having new team lead (possibly a new job description with more management / mentoring / coaching responsibility than the current senior developers). This adds artificial silos and might make it difficult to get an "intranet developer" to work on an external website if I want them to.
- Keep the structure flat and add managerial support in the shape of Project Managers / Team Administrators just to take the pressure off. This doesn't solve the problem as the team can't go on growing like this forever.
Is there a standard way of solving this problem which I am missing?
If not, how have others of you solved this problem?