Putting a Software Development Team Together: Clues and Best Practices
Create a great experience of working with a software development team with the help of these tips.
An involved and dedicated software development team is key to the success of any digital project. Whether you hire in-house specialists or resort to outsourcing, it’s important to understand the key roles of your dream team and how to ensure its efficient work.
Here we share some proven tips to organize a team for a software development project and empower it to be the most productive.
Choose The Right Strategy to Find Candidates
Looking for a remote software development team, you will most likely use freelance platforms like UpWork and Fiverr. It’s a wise step, though, you should think about your search strategy in advance. Fively team recommends you to consider the following:
- Be specific about your needs and project;
- Set an hourly rate for complex projects and a total price for simple tasks;
- Prepare screening questions to identify whether the candidates’ values are compatible with yours;
- Check ratings and reviews;
- Provide a paid test assignment to figure out the real level
It would be useful to make portraits of your perfect team players - describe their expertise and relevant personal qualities. We will talk more about the key roles below, so you don’t miss anyone.
Outline Roles and Size
Establishing a clear software development team structure will help you to understand what kind of specialists you need and how they are going to collaborate. You may be unaware of the nuances, of course, as software projects have different peculiarities, challenges, and need the involvement of various specialists. We will give you the outline, anyway, that will help you to navigate.
In general, a software project team comprises 5-7 members. This is an optimal size when a team can delve into the details, establish a scope of work, and assign responsibilities on its own.
The teams usually include the following players:
- Software developers or engineers are responsible for building a front-end and back-end part of a solution by applying different programming languages, frameworks, and tools. They are the core part of any software project team.
- A team lead guides developers and controls the technical delivery of software projects.
- UI/UX designers create user experience and provide opportunities for interaction with a solution for its users.
- QA engineers analyze the work of a solution at the initial stage and detect the bugs. The aim of their work is to make a product ready to launch and use.
- A project manager plans the development process, organizes teamwork, monitors it, and ensures communications with clients to facilitate projects’ completion.
- A business analyst obtains and formalizes clients’ requirements, works with data-related issues, organizes a discovery phase, and encourages the conduction of User Acceptance Testing.
Promote Regular Communication
Building well-established communication channels is a significant part of work with contractors, especially in the case of software development outsourcing teams. We recommend you conduct weekly check-ins when you can exchange views with team representatives, get updates, and make sure that everyone is involved in the project. Needless to say that weekly updates should be organized as video meetings.
Use messengers for incidental communication. Tools like Basecamp and Slack will help you to collaborate and exchange additional information between regular meetings. If you exchange technical documentation and detailed information on the project, send it via email.
According to a McKinsey survey, 80% of the respondents are convinced that they could have improved relationships with their remote teammates with more frequent communications. Fively team has already felt the impact of regular communication with customers, you should also try to prioritize it.
Evaluate Team Performance
When you decide to hire a software development team, you should not forget to define the criteria for assessing its performance. Process and results are the two basic things we recommend you focus on.
Team processes largely determine work progress and resistance to internal and external obstacles. To evaluate your team’s process, use the following methods:
- Benchmarking - compare your team plans with similar plans of other teams you might have considered;
- Ongoing team discussions - let your team participants regularly speak on their processes;
- Project debriefing - your team members should analyze their completed tasks, some positive points, and the things that could be improved.
You can define the success of team results by comparing them to the objectives that must be set before the work. The main objectives of a software development project include compliance with client requirements, more or less fast delivery time, high quality, and the quantity of the used resources.
Make a Dedicated Team Your Superpower
Finding people for a project is like putting a superhero team together. Every character should have powers, by combining which you will be unbreakable. And it’s in your hands to make it real. Pay attention to the places where you look for your superheroes, understand their responsibilities, set regular communication, and get ready to evaluate the results.