Developing websites and applications have become crucial for business growth and reputation. This encourages them to onboard developers for the creation of webpages, web apps, and mobile apps. If you have decided to begin work on your software development project, you might need to expand your development team or fill in the IT skills gaps by hiring a dedicated development team. It is not as easy as it seems.
When hiring a dedicated development team for your project, you might have several questions. How many members do I involve? How do I manage the team so that it will perform effectively? How do I assign roles?
The success of your project depends on the team that is working on it. Despite, expertise, experience, and talent play a huge role; software team structure often affects the development process in the project.
A poorly organized team hurts your chances to maximize opportunities and can lead to serious financial consequences. A few issues, if your development team structure is fuzzy, are - Confusion within roles, failure to share ideas, unbalanced debits on feature development and slow decision-making that brings unnecessary stress, conflicts and complexity.
As a business owner, you must understand how to structure your team to perform at its best. We, at Clarion, build an effective structure for our truly efficient teams for each of our projects. With our experience, we will be laying down the best practices of assembling the right team structure and related facets of how to build the right team.
Organizing Team Structure
The right team with the right structure is not just about achieving results of the project, but also getting effective performance from the development team as well as keeping them dedicated towards the goal.
When deciding on the size of the team, the optimal size of the application development team can be 5 to 7 members, based on “two Pizza rule”. But the team size can exceed based on your project requirements. In case your project needs more team members, you can split the team into sub teams. Each sub team must have its own team lead who reports to the overall project manager.
When structuring the team, make sure that it is all following agile methodology. In general, the agile team looks as follows:
Every project, regardless of its size, type and nature need three important roles:
- Individual contributors: Project team members who work directly on the assigned tasks and they collaborate with the project manager. The team members can be developers, testers or designers.
- Project Manager: An exceptional team needs an exceptional leader. He/she can handle other projects as well. The project manager has line management responsibility for the individual contributors. He/she has ultimate authority and reporting to the project board and client. The manager is responsible for the outcome of the project and provides guidance & leadership to the team.
The role of the project manager involves leading, training, recognition, rewarding, motivating and other activities, which supports team members to perform the assigned tasks.
- Senior Leader: The senior leaders are into the roles focused on vision, culture, strategy, planning and cross-team communication. Leaders help develop the project by providing valued suggestions, consultation, and expert judgment. They oversee the entire project and ensure effective and successful completion.
When structuring the project team, there are two common methods: Function-based model and project-based model.
It is the common development structure used in small companies when they are working on a small and simple project. The main idea behind this structure is, assembling the member based on their specialties and working on one project. The main benefit of this team structure includes increased overall effectiveness and easy accountability. Weakness includes poor inter-department communication, inflexible to change and unclear responsibilities.
Here is how the team structure looks like:
This model is an appropriate example of a cross-functional team and an optimal solution for bigger and more complicated projects. Here, the key focuses are the quality and final result, with each specialist applying their unique talents as the piece of the puzzle.
Each member of the team has different skills no one else has, and they report directly to the project manager or team lead. It benefits in completing complex and urgent tasks.
Making different specialists work together is imperative to solve complexity in the project and ensure timely delivery while increasing quality.
For application development, you can form a team with:
- Solution architect
- Front-end developer(s)
- Back end developer(s)
- UI/UX designer(s)
- QA tester
- Project Lead
You will need a Project Lead to act as a coach and make the whole team succeed. Solution architect plays a key role when your project includes several development squads. Of course, this is not exhaustive; some variations based on your project are possible.
An important rule to understand is you should feel free to change the team based on your needs. The most common scenario that requires reshuffling the team members:
- Starting a new additional module
- Increase or reduction of a number of resources
- Team needs an additional role to address an issue
Also, you can keep the resources, full-time or part-time. The strong side is distributed responsibilities, as the team members clearly know their own roles. It is possible to work on different areas of the project simultaneously.
Do you have the right skills on your team?
Learning Team members' core competence, level of pressure taking, soft skills, rely on flexible methodologies and range of professions are few steps to discover effective delegation.
Many development teams try to be agile, but they fail. In order to be agile, you should expect some important qualities:
- What is their core motivator? – The agile teams should be motivated by customer-centric goals and outcomes. Individuals who are handling ambiguity and solving complex problems are more likely to succeed in the development team.
- How do they work as a team? - A successful agile team is entirely based on teamwork. The team members should be flexible and adaptable in the way they support each other.
- Are they customer-centric? - The teams should interact with the customer to understand their goals and needs. Each individual in the agile team should consider the customer.
Besides, the traits of the project manager include Strong Communication & Interpersonal Skills, problem-solving skills, handling failure, passionate and Curious.
Adaptability, fast learning, meeting deadlines, and teamwork are few vital qualities of the team members. Being agile is all about automation and efficiency. The team should use some tools for manual tasks for better completion.
To achieve the above qualities in your development team, hiring the right talent is important. Hiring “A players” is not just about onboarding the most experienced. True “A players” have skill sets much more than that. Leveraging Top grading methodology with most revealing interviews & solid verification can help to hire the right person for your project.
Explore more about how Clarion hires TOP Talent in the Top-grading way
Benefits of Right Team with Right Structure
- Increased Productivity – Instead of concentrating on self-achievements, the team strives for a project goal and quality delivery. The team members tend to focus on the task assigned without dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy. It enhances productivity with higher profits.
- Fosters Creative Work Culture –Creativity and innovation increase with peer influences, process improvement discussions, and brainstorming sessions. The diversity in the views, knowledge, and perspectives helps the team be more resourceful.
- Better Communication – As the walls between different departments are torn down, employees move freely and share valuable information. The clear lines of communication lead to more collaboration among the team, which typically results in timely project completion.
- Problem-solving - They can solve problems easily by collaborating with their collective experience and knowledge. Improved communication ensures the sharing of information at a faster rate and accelerated responsiveness.
- Clear reporting relationships – The project-based hierarchy makes the reporting relations very clear among the team members, and they know to whom they’re accountable. By knowing their scope of authority, there is no chance for overstepping the bounds and interfere with other’s responsibilities.
- High performance with Agile – The dedicated development team with agile competency focuses on rapid iteration and experimentation. The shorter development cycle achieves a faster time to market, reduces risk, and responds to new requirements & trends.
The type of team structure you follow will significantly affect the entire project development. The individuals involved in your development team must acquire the skills that the project highly needed.
When you have the right team with the right structure, you can drive innovation, continuity, ingenuity, and high-quality results. The highly organized structure with strong communication, an acute degree of empowerment and free flow of information ensure the best coverage for all activities related to your project development.