There is task that from the business point of view is really critical but, even it has been estimated in 40 days of works [of course worst case], involves a really small part of the project (a couple of java classes, some JS and JSP pages) and, in my opinion is really complicated to be assigned to more than one developer. Working in parallels in this task probably will have a huge cost in terms of team management in particular because the two developers assigned to this task will work on two complitely different timezones (pair programming not possible).

I shared that with the PM but it seems not acceptable for him so, my question at this point is: how can I justify a situation like that to the PM(s)? How can I manage this kind of situation?

  • recommended reading: How do I explain ${something} to ${someone}? – gnat Aug 11 '15 at 12:04
  • You aren't going to start a two month effort without some kind of plan of attack, are you? In fact, you already have the start of a plan: a couple of java classes, some JS and JSP pages.That already has a bit of a parallel development flavor to it. Saying that this can't be assigned to multiple developers doesn't sound right. – David Hammen Aug 11 '15 at 17:34
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    In current comments and answers, people think you are wrong when saying the task is too difficult to split. However, there are times where tasks are inherently irreducible: splitting them has a negative effect. You might be right that the task can be better done by a single person (and have others review it), but currently your question does not give enough reasons for people to trust you on this. Explaining why you think the task is irreducible might help here. Your PM saying it is not acceptable is another problem: will he change his mind if you insist, even with good arguments? – coredump Aug 13 '15 at 12:17

Something estimated to take that long can be shared, something that was estimated at more than a month of work for one person has not been properly broken down and tasked out. You've mentioned that there are a couple different pages involved, at the most naive level this could be broken down by page if you define the expected data passed between the pages if any.

It sounds like your real problem is you have a distributed team and don't have a working communication solution, which would make working together on the same thing extremely difficult to impossible. This is what you should be talking to your PM about, and its also something he should have the power to do something about. Trying to argue that a month long task can't be split up among multiple developers is futile because its entirely false, arguing that splitting this task among developers that can't communicate effectively will increase risk is something a PM will understand.

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If it's that mission critical don't break the task, but have someone review what you write.

The PM will be happy to have devoted more resources to one of the most important parts of the project and the code will be more robust.

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