How To Scale Software Development Teams Successfully

・7 min read
How To Scale Software Development Teams Successfully

If your entire business module stands on software development, sooner or later, you will get to the point where you need to scale up your software development team. Either your customer base starts growing faster, or the stakeholders have new goals that they want to implement the earliest, in both cases, the scaling of your business is essential.

If you have already aligned the foundation by creating best practices and gathering the competent people to develop software, things will work smoothly. When you start to scale up to a larger team, you will notice that processes and practices that worked well for a small number of people no longer work or work in a worse manner at a larger scale.

So, what can you do to augment your existing development team? Below you will find some tips to help you as a manager, leader, or product owner to grow your business with large-scale software development teams successfully.

Five Tips to Scale Software Development Teams Successfully

These five best tips will help product managers to grow and build products with large-scale software dev squads successfully. Let’s start:

Stay Agile

The adjective of ‘Agile’ is used for adaptability when it comes to referring to a group. The first thing you need to scale your software development team is the self-organization of all team members. Different members play an essential role in the completion of any product or project such as developers, designers, QA officers, etc. Agile teams are cross-functional teams who share a sense of responsibility for the end product.

If you are trying to scale your business using traditional methods, it will create silos and slow down productivity. Whereas, an agile methodology makes it easier for companies to respond to the challenges of scalability. Previously, it was considered by business experts that agile methods could only be implemented for a small scale project. However, the perception has completely changed now.

When it comes to defining an agile team, it is a collaborative effort to meet the end-goals. For example, by determining the priority of features, the team can understand the most important parts of a project that can deliver value. Using an agile approach, a group of software developers can deliver incrementally to a set timescale and cost, which means that a project can be released quicker and start generating ROI.

By working collaboratively, different company employees can gather to deliver the initial scope of work, i.e. MVP (Minimum Viable Product), quicker than expected.

Build a Strong Distributed Development Team

If you hire the wrong people for the job, you will never be able to scale your company successfully. As mentioned earlier, agile teams can only work when they perform tasks collaboratively. Finding the right talent in this market is not an easy job. The competition among businesses has made it challenging to offer above-average salaries and benefits. However, help is at hand, and the distributed software team could provide the answer.

A distributed team allows you to augment your existing resources from generalist to specialist. It also provides you access to a pool of global talent with more favorable salary expectations, which leads to ROI and productivity.

Now comes the hard part – managing a distributed team is highly challenging. As a business, you will be responsible for providing the necessary infrastructure and technology to your remote employees. Rather than hiring employees or freelancers, most companies prefer to opt for another option, ‘Outsourcing.’

Outsource Your Development Team

Hiring an employee takes a lot of effort, expense, and commitment. If you hire an employee, you need to give them benefits like medical, yearly bonuses, etc. Similarly, if you hire a freelancer, you cannot expect their full dedication towards only your project as they might be engaged in many other projects. The middle ground where you won’t need to put a lot of effort and money, but you will get complete dedication is outsourcing. Tasks that are excessive and burdening your existing team can be outsourced.

Outsourcing is a great option when building a distributed team due to a lack of internal skills or being overloaded with projects. Outsourcing has many benefits, such as no fixed cost; you will only pay for the work you will receive for a dedicated project. Moreover, outsourcing let you scale up and down (if needed) fast depending on your development requirements with no worry of letting people go when the project is completed or recruiting in hurry resources when the project is expanding.

Select the Right Processes and Technology

Managing a distributed group of people requires open communication and the right technology that fits the job. If you are implementing an agile approach, then keeping open communication with the right tools such as video conferencing and project management is necessary. All the tasks that can be automated should be automated. The automation of tasks will help the teams put their effort into high-impact work rather than mundane tasks.

If you are outsourcing some of the tasks, then your outsourcing contractor should provide the disparate developers with everything they need to do the job. You have to make sure that your in-house team is in sync with the outsource employees and have access to everything they require to do their job.

At the time, it becomes difficult to know what technology is the right one and should be invested in and when it is best to do so. Another great option is to lease the technological devices and tools, rather them buying them outright. With this option in your hand, you will get the equipment you need to succeed today, without worrying about financing the investment upfront. Pay a monthly cost per user per device.

When it comes to scaling your dev team, you need to align the strategy with your current business needs while preparing for future growth. The quicker your business adapts to the changes, the more agile your development team will become.

Inspect and Adapt

In any development project, you must be ready to accept that change will occur. A successful business always inspects the change and adopts a strategy to cater to that change by allocating budget, resources, and time. Create best practices and distribute them among all members or distributed teams. The more proactively you work to inspect the change, the more adaptable your business will become. The proactive approach also helps to identify dependencies across teams to spot potential risks and mitigate them. A company should adopt scrum ceremonies based on each team’s needs - choose the best approach which fits the scaled team. Use retrospectives as an opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness and productivity of your company’s ROI.

Another recommended practice for business is to conduct daily meetings to discuss how to improve communication and collaboration among the members and distributed teams. Monitoring each employee’s performance and the entire group as a whole is critical for the growth of your software development business. Monitor if the teams can work better together to understand and execute the requirements. If you find discrepancies, plan a strategy to address them.

Conclusion

The tips above are meant to offer managers and team leaders a set of actions to set up a successful development team from the beginning and scale up the existing resources.

It is essential to implement agile practices and put technology and process in place to identify collaboration across members and their dependencies. Bring the right people, either an in-house or outsourced development team, to ensure that best practices and strong partnership are in place to guarantee that there is a shared understanding of the goal to be achieved.

When it comes to scaling your software development team, you need a strategy that aligns with your current business needs. You need to build the alignment around shared goals using an incremental approach by delivering the value.

It is worth noting that each engagement and collaboration is unique, and the most important way to succeed with scaling your business is to stay agile and empower teams to grow continuously.

With Selleo by your side, augmenting your existing development resource is simple. We can guide you on how to scale your software development team successfully.

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