[Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

By Nick DeNardis - Mon, Sep 13, 2010

General, Guest Post, Webmaster Tools

[Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

This post was written by Matt Herzberger. Matt is the Director of Web Communications at Florida International University and co-founder of http://BlogHighEd.org/

164 total responses

I wanted to thank all of you for filling out this survey. I hope you will all find this information as useful as we do. As you have noticed by now this survey was focused on web services teams or groups for hire to provide help for websites.

Below we have provided graphs and charts for each of the questions and some review and insight. For those of you hungry for numbers we would like to provide you with raw data. Here is an excel sheet and csv and here is the google response summary

How large is your enrollment

enrollment [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

Overall the range of institutions by size was evenly distributed except for the 1,500-4,500 column which is quite larger than any of the other sizes.

Type of institution

type [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

There is a large amount of public schools who are represented here.

What is your offices name

name [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

Other names of note include four offices don’t have a name, five are named Marketing and Communications , six named Web Development and five named web team

How many full time staff are on your team

fulltime [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

As you can see there is a great deal in 1 or 2 those are mainly from small institutions, in “other” there are between 8-17 which correspond with the larger schools in the survey. Any interesting thing is that there was one school with 0 and another with  0.5

How many part time staff are on your team

parttime [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

Similar to the full time question you can see most have 1-2 part time staff. In “other” we found that 38 schools have zero part time staff. The largest segment 12 part time staff for two different institutions.

What skill sets do your team members have?

Overwhelmingly design and programming are the two most common skills, followed by IA and UX.

Do you run core university web properties? IE homepage, calendar, directory

core [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

The results point the fact that web teams are involved in many if not most core university web projects. A few others worth mentioning are campus tour, catalog and cms.

How do you prioritize or choose which projects or clients to work on?

It seems most group choose their own prioritize based on the need / value to the institution. The reponses under other consisted of nine for all of the above and many combos of the others.

Do you use a project management tool?

What project management tool do you use

Basecamp seems to be the prodomment project management tool, there are many in the others catagory but not stand outs.

Where in your organization is your office located

Going along with the growing trend over past years most are located in Marketing / Communications followed by IT

How are you funded?

Do you charge for your services

charge [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

If “yes” to the previous question, please explain how you charge, hourly rate, according to project, etc and any other relevant info, are there any pro bono

  • We have an hourly rate competitive with many local design/development firms. A portion is billed at the start of the project and the rest after completion. However, we also occasionally receive requests for projects that aren’t funded but are high priority. These need to be approved by senior leadership and accounted for in the budget.
  • We charge a per project fee for departments outside of the Development and External Affairs division.
  • Our funding works as follows - some headcount (salary & benefits) are funded by University dollars and some which are not funded.  We have a target cost recovery dollar amount to reach every year to be able to cover our budget for the unfunded headcount and other costs.
  • We charge hourly, but are moving towards some fixed cost agreements for building some applications.  We have different hourly rates for different levels of programmers.  There is flexibility in what we charge - as long as we meet our recovery target.  We can charge no more than our published rates, but they can be adjusted lower as needed for projects.  Some projects are completed for no cost.
  • We also do not charge for any of our core service work (homepage, campus map, CMS hosting and support, etc).  This work is “purchased” by the University by funding a portion of the headcount in the department.

Do other groups on campus offer similar / competing services?

If “yes” to previous question, why?

otherswhy [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

Most others referred to why they serve, some are academics vs business, colleges only

Do you use or recommend third party services or vendors?

You can see that most of the web services teams don’t have the resources to meet all their likes need either because of a lack of resources or that they don’t have a certain services to offer

If “yes” to the previous question, why?

thirdpartywhy [Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey

What services do you offer?

Not surprisingly do to the main skill sets of the team mentioned earlier design is a main skill set offered web design is the main services offered. Something that I think is good to see is in second place information architecture (IA) followed by CMS implementation which shows a swing in the level of sophistication of web services teams.

Wrap up

As mentioned earlier we have made the raw data available to you to use and remix as you see fit. If you find anything of value please let us know and we would be glad to share it.

The things to take from this survey are the staffing numbers for these types of offices are not meeting the needs. This can be drawn from the staff numbers as well as the fact that most groups do recommend third party vendors and some have competing groups on their campuses. Another interesting thing to note is most all of the groups are university funded with very few who are funded from project revenue. Depending on your size of school it might be worth noting that most schools in the survey are approx 1501-4500 students

Raw data

Here is an excel sheet and csv and here is the google response summary

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This post was written by:

Nick DeNardis

Nick DeNardis - who has written 26 posts on .eduGuru

Nick is the Associate Director of Web Communications at Wayne State University by day. By night he hosts the video blog EDU Checkup where he reviews higher education web sites live. Nick is an active member of the higher education web community and is an officer of Refresh Detroit, a group of web professionals whose goal is to promote web standards, usability, and accessibility.

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3 Responses to “[Results] Web Services Department Structure Survey”

  1. Georgy Says:

    Great info, thanks for sharing. Have to say, it makes me sad to see the relatively low percentages allocated toward content creation (“editorial”) compared to other skills/services.

    Reply

  2. Ron Says:

    Great information!

    Reply

  3. Dave Says:

    Thanks for sharing. Can you provide a breakdown of the % of web staff for each enrollment category? That’s very useful for seeing how our FT/PT staffing numbers compare to institutions with similar enrollment.

    Reply

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