Software Development Team: How to Get Exactly What You Need

Software Development Team: How to Get Exactly What You Need

It is the software development team that turns your product into a reality. You’ve got a promising idea or maybe even done feasibility research for a potential product. And now all you have to do is make this fantastic new product and launch it in the market. However, there is an important thing you need to do between the idea creation and product launch stages.

If you are a newcomer to the software development domain, IT staffing might be a challenging task. When tech startups plan to build a product of their own, they tend to envision a self-managed, dedicated development team that is fully devoted to their work. But how can you get the right specialists and assemble the product development team that will be both productive and creative to make your product a best-selling one?

Today, more and more software projects are successfully implemented with the help of outsourcing and staff augmentation, as these options allow someone to get the right specialists for reasonable money, and teams can be scaled later without problems.

Though numerous resources help find the right IT staff vendor or calculators of software development costs, there is something that is often not clear for those who don’t deal closely with remote software development. It is the structure of the software development team and the roles of its members, important for setting up a product development team that would make your project a success.

Let’s look at the types of software development teams, how they structure their work, what the roles and responsibilities of each team member are, and how you can check whether your team is working diligently on your project.

What is a Software Development Team?

Generally speaking, a software development team is the people who build the software itself, implementing a solution through efficient code. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg as there are three approaches to product team structure – generalist, specialist, and hybrid – depending on the qualifications and skills of team members.

Generalists

Such a team consists of Jack and Jills of all trades who have a broad range of knowledge and expertise. Usually, they are used to handle end-to-end solutions. It is the most common dedicated software development team structure for outsourcing companies. The advantage of this structure is that such a team can provide a complete solution, as every team member has a good understanding of the product and is competent enough to complete their work without dependency on others. But there are obvious drawbacks of generalist teams – the possible lack of specific knowledge may result in the need to onboard a new team member with the required skills in the middle of the project.

Specialists

A specialist product team structure involves members that are highly skilled in a particular field and can only handle narrow tasks. It means that every member is dedicated and responsible for his/her element of the project. This type of team structure is also fairly common, as the team of pros can address a specific matter with all their knowledge and expertise, resulting in more efficient and effective work and faster development of complex high-quality systems. However, there are some disadvantages of highly-specialized teams - such as communication gaps, lack of understanding of the roles of other team members, and the resulting imbalance of tasks done.

Hybrid

As the name implies, a hybrid project team consists of generalists and specialists. Ideally, this approach combines the best of the best – specialists focus on functional parts and separate components, and generalists are responsible for the communication and cooperation inside the team. But there’s a cloud hanging over everyone – this type of software development team is harder to gather, and it takes more time and money unless you find a remote development team provider with a team with great chemistry that is ready to work on your project.

When you are going to hire a dedicated development team, evaluate your needs and choose the best structure for your specific goals. Ideally, better results are achieved with the balance of generalists and specialists within your team.

Who is who in the software development team?

Every product begins with the people. The knowledge of collective roles and responsibilities is critical in software development teams to allow for the effective development of your product. So, when hiring a dedicated development team, make sure its structure meets your needs and if there are people to perform all tasks at every stage of product development.

Who exactly makes up a software development team? Below are the key positions.

Business Analyst (BA)

The BA dives into business processes and translates customers' needs into requirements to shape a software product for maximal business value. This team member formulates goals, analyzes needs and solutions, and documents the core processes and systems to ensure the alignment of the business model and technology.

MORE ON TOPIC: How does adding Business Analyst affect the software development lifecycle

Project Manager (PM)

It is the head of your project. This person makes sure everything is done on time and within budget. The PM is responsible for all the processes as he/she delegates the tasks among other team members and ensures that everyone stays on track.

UX Designer

The UX designer creates the appearance of your product while transforming a conceptual product vision into user-friendly designs while creating user journeys for the best user experiences. This team member determines how the product will look, how it will work and how the user will interact with the product.

Software Architect

This person designs high-level software architecture, selects the appropriate tools and platforms to be used in product development and sets core quality standards. This team member defines which services and databases should communicate together, how integrations should work, and how to ensure that the product is secure and stable.

Developers (Front-end/Back-end)

These team members do the actual coding on the project. Front-end developers work on the elements of the product visible to users, and back-end developers take care of product functionality and things the user doesn’t see.

Quality Assurance Engineer (QA)

This team member makes sure your application performs according to requirements, tests it to make sure that it works as expected and meets the quality standards. QA detects errors and bugs before the product is delivered to its users.

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Why is business analysis important in software development?

What is the ideal team size?

To decide on the software development team size, you have to keep in mind your product complexity, budget, timeframe (deadline) and available resources. The advantage of smaller teams is that they are easier to manage, but in this case, you can’t lose any team member as everyone is crucial for the project. Bigger teams mean more challenging communication management.

With a Scrum development team or an Agile development team, the optimal team size is between three and nine members, which is “small enough to remain nimble and large enough to complete significant work within a sprint.” As a rule, a productive software developer team consists of 5–7 people. In a team of this size, every team member can be fully immersed in project details and understand the scope, challenges and possible solutions.

An efficient software development team

Getting the right software development team is crucial for a project's success. It is not enough just to hire a distributed team - you have to balance roles and responsibilities. How can you check if your team is effective? Here are some tips:

  • Good communication between team members. Communication is always crucial – ensure your people have all the necessary tools and processes for regular communication. The most popular project management tools include Jira, Trello, Hive, Smartsheet, and messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Verbal communication – video conferencing and regular project briefings – can help resolve misunderstandings and boost the quality of communication.
  • A common goal is required. Motivated teams don’t need strict top-down management. All team members have clear goals and a shared mission.
  • Well-defined responsibilities. Every person knows what he (or she) needs to do to make the whole thing work. From the beginning of the project, team members have defined roles and areas of responsibility.

How does it work with Cprime Studios?

At Cprime Studios, we can use our well-established hiring process or implement the hiring strategy of our clients. When hiring a dedicated development team from scratch, you go through several stages of software development team hiring. Here is how we can help:

  • We define your business needs, necessary team structure, and descriptions of the jobs needed for your future team.
  • We scout the market and find appropriate candidates, screen them and assist in interviewing them.
  • You get a dedicated team of developers - and we take care of the onboarding process and deal with administrative tasks such as payroll, taxes, employee records, vacations, sick days and the like.