The Perfect Software Development Team Structure
Structuring the perfect software development team is not a simple task. Professionals do not form the ideal productive and scalable team by default and a certain structure should be in place to guarantee business processes run smoothly and efficiently.
When building a software development teams structure, it is important to keep certain aspects in mind, including the roles given to individuals, how individuals interact and how individuals will work together. Once these vital parts are in place, the ideal mobile development team structure forms and this team can perform at optimum levels.
Evidently, the structuring process is incredibly important, especially when managing virtual teams; the perfect software development team structure leads to finished projects faster and ultimately, business success.
The Importance of an Effective Software Development Team Structure
A recent study found that 75% of surveyed business executives admitted that their projects were almost always set up to fail right from the start. A major concern is that weak team structures contribute to this. The question now arises, why is the software development teams structure so important?
An effective structure, with clearly defined roles, responsibilities and functions, works more closely together, communicates better and works more efficiently to reach goals. Research shows that “frequent communication and close collaboration are necessary” for complete project success. This is only achieved if the software or website development team structure is correctly in place and the roles of individual team members are clearly defined.
Essential Software Development Roles
To understand the structure of any software development team, it’s important to consider the members that form part of it and their individual responsibilities. This will give you a greater level of insight when it comes to structuring an effective team. Some of the most important roles in the team structure include:
- Project Manager
The project manager plays the main role in managing, planning, implementing, controlling and closing the project. The project manager guides the team through different phases of the project and is also responsible for ensuring that it runs on budget, on time and within scope.
The architect, or software architect, is in charge of designing and developing the software product. This individual determines the technical standard and design, as well as other high-level decisions related to the project. The architect takes care of the systems, solutions, database, security and integrations involved in the product development.
This can be a UI or UX designer, and their role is to ensure overall user satisfaction of the product. The designer creates user-friendly interfaces for the software application and takes care of the branding, usability, design and function of the product.
The type and number of developers in a team depends largely on the type of project. However, most projects require an API, mobile, backend and frontend developer. The developer will identify, design, install and test the software product according to the final design.
- Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
You can either have a manual QA Engineer or engage an automated performance test after creating the software product. Either way, the QA Engineer is in charge of checking the quality of the product and giving helpful feedback.
Tips to Set up Your Software Development Teams Structure
Before setting up your software development teams structure, it’s always important to troubleshoot your current team structure. If you don’t know the problem with your current team structure, you won’t know how to improve it or rearrange it so it can be effective.
When businesses set up their development team, they usually make common mistakes that end up reducing its effectiveness. For example, when setting up a development team for a project with a new strategy or purpose, many businesses end up trying to work with their old structure even if it does not suit or serve the new purpose.
Another common mistake businesses make is employing individuals in multiple roles without understanding the responsibilities for each unique role.
Based on these problems, here are some tips to ensure an effective development team structure:
- Ensure the structure is relevant to the project
Consider the time, complexity and budget of your project before giving attention to setting up a team. As mentioned earlier, a team structure for a previous development project may not work effectively for a brand-new project with different goals. The structure should perfectly fit the new project’s aim.
- Define and establish the size of the team
The first step in setting up a development team is to define and establish the size of the group. First, identify exactly what needs to be done to complete the project; you will then have a better idea of the size of the team you require.
- Establish leadership and define clear roles
One of the main elements in a team is its leadership. It is vital to establish the leadership, as well as other individual roles in the first stage of structuring the team. This will avoid confusion and miscommunication during the working stages.
- Match responsibilities to individuals
Once roles are defined, everyone’s tasks and responsibilities should be established. Having individual responsibilities will help the team to stay focused and aid in building a solid structure.
- Put workflow processes in place
Teams cannot operate optimally if they are not completely sure about processes. Put road maps, communication funnels and smaller targets in place to ensure smooth workflows.
- Avoid a large and complex team
Large teams can quickly become difficult to manage and roles and responsibilities can easily become blurry. Smaller software development teams are easier to coordinate and allow you to identify good or bad efforts more efficiently. For large-scale projects, you can divide your team into sub-teams and place team leaders on each one.
- Use project management software
These days, software can save you a lot of time and effort and take some strain off your development team. When using project management software, time consuming tasks can be automated and your team can better keep track of their individual responsibilities. You can also include communication apps for better interaction. This is specifically effective when working with remote teams.
- Have a good reporting structure
Quality reporting is at the core of any project’s final success. Reporting reflects how effective your team works together and also helps you to keep track of the progress of your project. Reporting can be done by individual members or by the project members on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Once you understand how to troubleshoot your current team and have a better idea of how to set up a new structure, you are ready to put your team together. To ensure you have access to the best talent, it is advisable to make use of staff augmentation services. Mobilunity is an experienced vendor who can assist with team augmentation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Development Team Structures
Q: What Is a Team Structure?
A team structure is the composition of a team, either made up of individuals or multiple teams.
Q: What Are the Different IT Team Structures?
There are three common types of IT team structures: generalists, specialists or hybrids. Generalist structures are ideal for end-to-end projects that are not very complicated, while specialist structures focus on complex projects that need technical expertise. Hybrid structures combine the first two.
Q: What Are the Roles in the Software Development Process?
These roles may include a project manager, a software architect, developers, UI/UX designers, QA engineers and DevOps.
Q: How Do You Create a Software Development Team?
To create a software development team, you have to consider the project you’re working on and the size of the team you require. Thereafter, you employ the qualified persons into the different roles and structure.
Q: How Do You Augment Your Software Development Team?
Augmenting your team involves extending it. You can do so by dividing your team into sub-teams and employing more workers. If you’re unsure of how to get started, you can seek professional help from an experienced company like Mobilunity.
Tips to Manage Your Software and Web Development Team Structure
Once you have a team structure in place, the next step is to effectively manage it to guarantee workflow success. Development team structures, specifically a mobile app or web development team structure, require ongoing supervision and guidance.
- Build relationships between individuals
Not all individuals will instantly work well together. Therefore, you should nurture relationships between individuals. Accomplish this through frequent communication, establishing common goals, and setting boundaries.
- Set clear rules
Always showing up on time, participating in meetings and attaching the problem, not the team, are all examples of ground rules. To effectively manage a web or mobile app development team structure clear rules need to be in place. This guarantees that individuals know what the employer expects of them throughout the development process.
- Put effective communication channels in place
A team cannot function without proper communication. Set effective communication channels in place that are accessible at any time of the day and night. When working with remote teams, it is even more important to have open, practical communication tools in place. Channels that work well with both in-house and remote teams include Slack, Skype, Zoom, and InVision.
How Mobilunity Helps Clients Achieve Goals
Mobilunity has worked with many companies to help them set up their team structure to better achieve their goals. One company we have assisted successfully is XPLG Ltd.
XPLG is an Israeli company that focuses on developing DevOps analytics tools and has been doing so for over a decade. When trying to create its team structure, XPLG tried to outsource its members, but they ended up with more PMs than developers. This led to miscommunication and a waste of time and energy resources. What XPLG needed was a distributed team structure, and so they turned to Mobilunity.
Mobilunity was able to create a dedicated team of excellent frontend developers, exactly what XPLG needed at that time. This team could work on migrating the frontend of the application the company was working on. This saved them a lot of time and effort and they could more effectively work on projects.
Mobilunity Builds Successful Web and Mobile App Development Team Structure
Creating a solid and effective team structure is no easy activity. Luckily, some professionals specialize in assistance with the careful setup and management of teams. At Mobilunity this is exactly what we do. Whether you need advice or assistance with the employment of professionals for your team, Mobilunity has the knowledge and experience to help your business succeed.