Even though Agile software development teams are supposed to be adaptable, the reality is that no single individual can manage the full development process. Every project needs a team to put things together, even for little tasks.
A well-oiled software development team works as one unit, with each team member contributing significantly to the end product.
We'll explore how to build a strong software development team and what these positions should entail in this post.
What factors are important for the size and structure of a software development team?
Forming a development team isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. What works for one project may not fit another — even for two tasks within the same organization!
Several variables will eventually influence the size and architecture of a development team.
Type of Software
The nature of software might impact how one will set up the software development team. This is because each software application has its proprietary technology and necessitates the employment of specialized areas of expertise to function. Many tech experts today have specialized technical skills to identify the correct personnel for the technologies the team is working with. Many Agile initiatives use a blended team-based approach to integrate everything, using specialists and generalists.
If a project is minor, the client will probably just need a few team members to complete it. Relatively small projects are more likely to employ generalist teams, in which each member has a diverse skill set and can manage a variety of responsibilities. To finish each work on a major project, you'll almost always need to engage more professionals.
Client’s budget may restrict the sort of expertise and team structure one may use for the project. When it comes to budgeting, it is very important to be honest about what you can afford and figure out how to make the most of your money.
The approaches to product team structure
Let's begin with the fundamentals. There are three approaches to forming an agile software development team:
The "generalist" team comprises people who have a wide range of skills and knowledge. These groups are generally in charge of the entire project or a single feature from start to finish. For outsourcing organizations, this is the most frequent project team structure.
Generalist Approach Pros
- Every team member has a thorough grasp of the product, allowing them to concentrate on enhancing it as a whole.
- Each individual is capable of doing their tasks without the assistance of others.
Generalist approach cons
- In this approach, nobody has specific knowledge that may raise the need to onboard a new team member anytime in the project's development.
Experts with super-specific areas of expertise skilled at managing confined tasks make up a "specialist" product team structure. Everyone's an expert in their field and, as a result, is solely responsible for their part of the project. For software development teams, this is also a popular approach.
Specialist approach pros
- Complete understanding of all project components.
- The team can swiftly create sophisticated, high-quality systems.
Specialist approach cons
- Because everyone is working on their own, it's possible that the components won't fit in the first few versions.
- Due to a lack of common knowledge, there may be communication gaps.
The structure of a "hybrid" project team is essentially a mix of generalists and experts. These groups work on a project, but they can concentrate their emphasis as needed. By far the finest of both worlds is the hybrid approach.
Hybrid approach pros
- Some experts create individual components and generalists who ensure that the system is interconnected.
- The development process is maximally effective.
Hybrid approach cons
- It may be challenging to organize workers who have diverse workflow methodologies.
- Putting together a hybrid team takes time and money.
Structure of the Software Team by Role
During the recruiting process for a software development team, one needs to fill the following roles and responsibilities.
The client is typically a key stakeholder in the overall project who owns the final product and makes the investment. They typically have a broad vision of what the final product needs to look like and its impact on the end-user.
The client is the one person who knows it all when it comes to the requirement of the product, its uses, and the goal to achieve by developing the product.
The business analyst acts as a liaison between the technology and the business on the project. A robust business model is equally as important as good technology in ensuring the project's success. The business analyst developed a comprehensive market and consumer trends to see where the software project fits in. They also assist in determining how the final product will produce money and how development expenditures can be kept in check.
The project manager is in charge of figuring out who will be in charge of which duties and when they will be completed. They also help team members communicate and keep track of their progress for the product owner and other stakeholders. They may also be able to give resources to assist each team member in achieving their objectives.
At Selleo, we do not have a Project Manager. We have modified this concept and applied CTLs (Client Team Leads) and CLAs (Client Team Apprentices).
A Client Team Lead provides leadership and instruction to a workgroup to ensure that it functions properly. These people can play a variety of roles, including:
- Managers or supervisors: They are in charge of managing all team operations.
- Strategist: Determines how to approach things and develops a strategy for completing them.
- Communicator: This person is in charge of passing information to team members and stakeholders.
- Organizer: In charge of tracking and organizing numerous tasks, employees, and paperwork.
- Goal setter: This person is in charge of deciding what goals members will strive toward.
The appearance and feel of the software program are the responsibility of the UX and UI designers. The terms "user experience" and "user interface" are interchangeable. Some designers are experts in either user experience or user interface design, while others have expertise in both. The designer will decide on the aesthetics of the software application and how the functionalities interact. All through the project, they collaborate closely with the frontend development team.
Developers (Front-end/ Back-end)
These are the individuals that are responsible for coding. Backend developers take control of the product's functioning, which is everything the user doesn't see, while frontend developers focus on the customer-facing components.
The front-end developers are in charge of building the user-facing portion of the software. The developers are the individuals of the team who create code and manage the project's technical components. They take the designer's vision and turn it into a user interface. They also collaborate with backend engineers and other team members to ensure that the front and back end are correctly integrated.
This team member is ultimately in charge of ensuring a pleasant user experience. They must evaluate all conceivable user interactions with the application and any potential difficulties.
The front-end developers write the code for each platform if the software application is offered on numerous systems.
The back-end development team is responsible for the software's behind-the-scenes functioning. Although users do not see the backend of the software program, the software must function.
Backend software engineers have a lot of coding knowledge and are typically specialists. They collaborate closely with the rest of the development team to bring the app's features to reality.
During the development process, QA engineers conduct quality assurance on the software project. They make sure that the product is operating properly and highlight any issues that the development team may have overlooked. The QA team is always testing the software to see how it works, whether there are any flaws, and how it can be upgraded.
QA engineers also consider the product owner's and project manager's needs and scope and attempt to keep the project on schedule. They report on the program's overall quality and progress to the rest of the software development team.
A Scrum Master is a person who makes sure that the Scrum team adheres to the agreed-upon protocols.
The Scrum master expertly removes roadblocks and diversions that may prevent the team from achieving its objectives. This person serves as a liaison between the Scrum team and individuals or groups outside the Scrum team.
How is an Agile software development team structure different from a traditional one?
An Agile team has a few more extra job roles, such as:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change by following a plan
The core difference between the traditional and Agile team structure is how people cooperate.
What is an effective software development team like?
A mediocre team has never created an extraordinary product. As a result, any organization's greatest problem is to guarantee that its employees are driven to perform to their full potential. While almost anybody can recruit talented workers, not every company succeeds in creating powerful collaborative cultures in which its employees may thrive.
- They communicate well. Regardless of the sector, communication is at the core of cooperation, and software development is no exception. People in outstanding teams have all the tools and practices to communicate effectively and regularly.
- They work for a common goal. Top-down management isn't necessary for great teams. They have a common mission and defined aims. The team's success is viewed as the success of each person in such a setting.
- They have well-defined responsibilities. Even though the team has a similar purpose, everyone completely understands what they need to do to make it all work. Objectives, responsibilities, and areas of responsibility are established, and participants hold each other accountable for progress.
- They have a strong culture. Developing professional ties, supporting and appreciating one another, and feeling at ease in one other's presence are signs of a healthy culture. Such groups like spending time together at work and outside of it.
- They don't need to be controlled. Because exceptional teams with clear goals and a shared vision don't need to be forced, top-down management is becoming a distant memory. They perform an excellent job because they want to, not because they have to.
It's not enough to have a concept for a software application. To implement your project efficiently and successfully, you must recruit the correct individuals.
However, if you have any further queries, we are happy to assist you! Selleo has been putting together dedicated teams for a number of high-profile clients from all over the world running business in a variety of industries. We're eager to start putting together your agile team to help your project succeed. If you are willing to discuss, contact us now!