How to Build a Successful Software Development Team
Software development team structure Before you will roll up your sleeves and start recruitment, you need to decide on the structure of your team.
Firstly, define the tasks your team is expected to solve. What kind of projects they’re going to work on? Which technologies they’re expected to use? Will they develop software from scratch or rather examine and fix the existing code?
Secondly, define the scope of competences within your team. You may hire:
Generalists – members having a broad range of skills and expertise, able to contribute to projects in many areas of responsibilities. However, sometimes they may lack advanced knowledge in specific areas.
Specialists – highly skilled professionals having a deep understanding of one specific area. They are more efficient in project requiring technical expertise, however, they are supposed to work only with narrow tasks.
Of course, depending on the specifics of your project, you can build also a hybrid team combining both specialists and generalists. This approach will provide you with access to various skills and competences.
Finally, decide also on the size of your team. According to the HackerLife publication, the optimal size for a software development team is 4-6 members. This number allows to include most of the necessary skills, but still ensure the satisfying communication and efficiency.
Software development team roles and responsibilities Regardless of the structure, there are a few roles which usually appear in software development teams. These are typically:
Their major role is strategy planning. They lead the whole vision of the project and define its scope.
They design the entire solution and its functionalities, including UI/UX.
They write the code. Basically, they are those who have technical knowledge and skills crucial to produce the software.
They ensure the right flow of the project. Typically they are focused on assigning the tasks, resources allocation, sticking to deadlines and staying with budget.
Of course, you can add some other competences and roles if only you decide that it will help you to successfully complete your project.
Software development team goals Once you have your team structure and competences defined, it’s time to move on to the next step: setting up their objectives and goals.
Let’s get it straight: if you want your team to work efficiently, you must clearly tell them what they’re expected to do. The goal of KPI is not to control or judge. In fact, this number will help you to find out whether your team is doing well and what you can do to improve their work.
How to set KPI? It can be related to various factors such as quality of the code, time spent on work or efficiency of cooperation. However, it should always be correlated with business goals and measures important for the project flow. Choosing the right KPIs will strongly contribute to planning, defining the scope of work for the upcoming days and weeks, and will help you and your team to stay on track and stick to the deadlines. It will ley you quickly detect and eliminate reasons of delays and drawbacks and increase the overall efficiency.
However, there are also much more enjoyable reasons for having KPI. Don’t forget to prize your team once they reach their goals! It’s a great way to build up their motivation, loyalty and engagement – which is obviously a must if you want your software development team to be successful and effective.
Staff augmentation, team leasing and IT outsourcing But what if building a software development team seems too much for you? Of course, strategy planning, recruitment and HR management require particular skills, resources and budget. If you’re not sure whether you’re capable of doing all of this on your own, don’t worry – just keep reading.
If building an in-house software development team sounds challenging to you, this is not the only option. There are a few solutions which may help you to achieve successful technology project development:
Working with a software house
Software house is a company specialized in software development. They will provide you with the expertise and tailor-made solution without the need to recruit and build the team. To learn more about why and when it it worth using their services, read our article with tips and recommendations.
Staff augmentation or team leasing
What is staff augmentation and team leasing? Those are processes related to hiring external specialists temporarily to work on a specific project. Click here to learn more about such services and to check whether it’s the right option for you.
You can also delegate your projects and processes to an external company which will build and manage the team for you in-house, without your active contribution.
We wish you good luck on building your successful software development team and in case of any questions, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to advise you on the right solution.