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Essential facts about software development team structure

Software Engineering

7 minutes read

Nowadays we are surrounded by dozens of interesting and innovative apps and software, which makes us sooner or later generate another great software idea to bring to this world. 

A pure idea is only the beginning of the development journey, as creating a good team that can handle all your demands is a really important task. It has to be a team of necessary specialists who know their job and can offer a solution for you. 

To achieve the best result, in this article we will consider all the necessary information to help you compose your software development team that will fit your goals and requirements the most along with stages of software development. 

software development team structure

Stages of software development and what they have to do with the team structure 

Let’s start from the stages of software development. Typically, they are research, ideation, design, development and iteration, but our company has a slightly different picture. There are three stages of software development at ASD Team which were designed based on our 15 years’ experience of working with different types of clients and project types to help both us and clients achieve more efficient results during and after the actual software development.

  1. Initiate 

This is the first stage where we can get acquainted with the project. It is a time for our team to analyze, ask questions, and suggest possible adjustments if they are needed. 

Roles involved:

  • Stakeholders
  • Account Manager

Account Manager is responsible for constant communication with the client, which includes gathering information and feedback about the project and working process. It can be performed by the Project Manager as well, but it depends on who has tighter relationships with the client. 

 The Initiative stage includes the following activities:

  • setting the development environment (accounts, credentials, repositories, CodeStyle, additional tools, DevOps consultation, QA team);
  • backlog and board review;
  • knowledge transfer and communication plan of transferring the information from the client’s team to ours.
  1. Execute 

This stage is an important one in terms of detailed planning and further development process. It includes the following:

  • time required for the development testing and deployment;creating tickets and assigning them to the development team members who will be working on a certain task;

When we reach the development stage itself, here is where the coding process starts. Along with the coding, there are:

  • regular requirements review in the roadmap;
  • analysis of requirements and formalization if everything is clear for the PM, BA, and QA.

Our team presents all the developed features and functions to the client at the end of each sprint. That allows us to receive the feedback from the client and to clear the further steps and actions regarding the development of the software itself

Roles involved:

  • Project Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Developers
  • QA
  • DevOps
  1. Evaluate

The evaluation stage is not a single-time performance as we are constantly gathering feedback from our development team and the client to evaluate how the working process on the project is going.

After each sprint, commonly biweekly, there are retrospective meetings where the team discusses and shares feedback about the last sprint. It helps gather all the necessary information to improve some sprint drawbacks in the next one. 

Moreover, each month there is a separate meeting conducted by an Account Manager or Project Manager aimed at  gathering the overall feedback directly from the client to understand if the client is satisfied with our cooperation and how we can improve our services and the whole development process. 

Roles involved:

  • Project Manager or Account Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Developers
  • Stakeholders
  • QA

Product development: the ultimate team structure

  • Product Owner

It is the person who works with each side of the development process, from stakeholders to developers and users, to assure the product satisfies business needs. Gathering feedback and correctly transforming it to the product’s needed features or function is one of the Product Owner’s main missions

Also, the Product Owner constantly communicates between different sides of development, which guarantees that all of them get updated information and status about the product development process.  

  • Project Manager

You can’t go far without a professional Project Manager when developing software. The Project Manager is responsible for meeting each product development milestone on time and solving all the issues to make the development process and working atmosphere the most appropriate for the developers. It is important, as according to the Statista, unplanned changes or problems are 36% of the main challenges at work, but a good Project Manager cares about it.

  • Business Analyst

It is a wizard who conveys stakeholders’ non-technical ideas into well-written and clear technical requirements, which are transformed into a product’s features by software engineers. A strong Business Analyst expert is a must in the team as product quality directly depends on the quality of requirements that a business analyst has made.

  • Software Developers

Developers are the people who do the core job – develop the software. To understand their role deeper, we must outline that there are two main types of developers:

  • Front-end developers are responsible for developing the external side of the software, or in simpler words, the part users interact with directly while using the software.
  • Back-end developers write code and develop the core of the software, its algorithms, and business logic.
  • QA

The QA team’s role is to guarantee the best final product quality through precise testing and revealing all the bugs and issues the product has. It is important to fix them as soon as possible to make them cheaper and easier. 

  • DevOps

DevOps are practical combinations and tools that are aimed to make traditional development processes faster and more efficient through removing barriers between development and operations. It fosters communication and collaborations which makes DevOps model a great way for teams to work together.

Structures of the development team

It depends on the type of cooperation with the client. The development team can work:

  • Alongside with the client’s team (if there is a such)

In this case, the team is responsible for a certain amount of work, such as developing the specific functionality or feature. To achieve the best result we have a knowledge transfer to synchronize the work with the internal team.

  • Autonomously on the contractor’s side and report to the client

When working autonomously, here is more about the technical side of the development as all the organizational and other duties, such as sales and marketing, are on the client’s side. The development team gets clients’ demands, and Business Analysts transform them into detailed requirements for the team to develop them.

What does the typical development team structure looks like?

Why is setting the right team essential for project success

 When we are talking about setting the right team, it does not mean you have to hire the most expensive and expertised team. The main point here is to correctly define what specialists you need to satisfy all the project development needs, so each team member has its mission and value.

For example, when you decide not to hire business analysts, there is a high probability of poor quality requirements. That can lead to a long and problematic development process even if you have a team of highly skilled developers. Besides, such a move can affect not only the speed of software delivery but also the satisfaction of users’ needs. It is a total waste of time and resources.

Step-by-step process of forming a proper software development team  

  1. Conduct a deep analysis of the project needs

The discovery phase can help us with it. It is the phase where you can define all the needs of the product, and based on the information of what the software should look like, you can create a team. 

  1. Make sure there are no skills gaps

It is not hard to miss a tiny detail that can lead to unpleasant consequences in the future. If there are no required talents in your region or country, try outsourcing.

  1. Adjust communication within the development team

In this step, project management is a must, as effective communication can not be without it. Regular meetings and discussions on the development process positively affect the speed and quality of the development.

In sum, we have solid proof of a proper development team structure. When you want to achieve the desired result, it is essential to have a team where each expert takes its irreplaceable place and performs its aim to the fullest extent.

References:

statista.com

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