Summary: boss asks for automation of task. Doing it manually will cost 30 developer-days of work, but creating custom CMS to automate it will cost 120 developer-days. How can I bring this to manager's attention?
I want to alert my boss to the fact that he maybe isn't using his developers (me being one of them) in the most efficient way. Basically he's asked us to build a completely custom CMS with a whole bunch of features and we've scoped out 2 months of time for this. That's 3 developers, working on a 2 month project.
The CMS is used to form a survey/quiz that can be selected or assigned at user creation. Now reasonably speaking, the company would make 30 of these surveys, at most throughout the year. With everything that's going on our director has actually said to expect a downturn of clients.
The surveys themselves aren't difficult to create. I could hardcode one in a day, maybe a day and a half easy. It's the automation that will cause the time sink and making sure those in the company who'd use the CMS would be constrained in what they can/can't do. Not to mention that 30 would happen over the course of the year, not all at once, and 30 is being really safe.
So that's 30, maybe 45 days of work vs 120 days of work upfront (not to mention maintenance & patches) being spent on an infrequently changed feature. Our plates are full too. There's much more stuff we could be working on.
That being said, I don't want to come off like I know the job better than him, especially given that he's likely privy to information that I'm not. I want to more so approach him with a food for thought mentality and let him make a decision.