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How we built our software development team

One of the things that define the outcome of any project is a development team. It can either make or break it if not managed properly. However, complex projects require more functions, hence, more team members.

Every product starts with the people, So building a strong development team is the first and major goal for any organisation. A healthy environment with competent and skilled developers is essential for success. 

Read also: Six strategies to encourage innovation in software development

What is a software development team? 

A specific software development team structure consists of professionals with great skills and experience, which includes a business analyst, a product owner, a project manager, a UI/UX designer, a product designer, software developers, test automation engineers, a DevOps engineer, quality assurance engineers and software testing engineers,

If you want to make a scalable mobile application, a complex cloud service or a software application for your in-house team, this will require a creative software development team to bring your idea to life.

Let’s dive into how we built a typical software development team structure. What to take into account? And the key factors of our development team’s efficiency we have picked. 

  • Formed a team that fits the project.
  • Created work processes that boost productivity.
  • Set up a comprehensive set of KPIs to measure the team’s performance.

Formed a team that fits the project

1. Chose the team structure relevant to the project

There are 3 popular development team structures: generalists, specialists, and hybrid teams. Each can be productive in one project and get stuck regularly in another. To prevent this, we consider the project’s complexity, time and funding and decide which team structure fits it most.

 Generalist software development teams consist of remote software engineers used with various specialisations, while a specialist software development team has members who are individually skilled at one core technology, language, or framework, and a hybrid software development team has the best of both a generalist and a specialist.

2. Build small teams

We observed that Small software development teams are more effective because it’s easier to organise their efforts and recognise the unique contributions of their members. Based on our experience in software development, 4-7 people is a perfect size for a team. And if it’s a large software development project, we divided one team into sub-teams, each with its team head.

3. Having a full set of informal roles inside the team

 Having such informal roles as intellectual leaders, several idea generators, critics, and social leaders benefited the software development team.  These roles fuel typical project meetings and help a development team to become more self-managed and collaborate more efficiently. 

Read also: What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and its Business Benefits

Created work processes that boost productivity

After following the above methods,  we established work processes to help prevent project blockages.

4. Using project management software

This helps to automate repetitive processes using the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI); routine tasks go through a predetermined set of strategies until completion. 

Managing a project without proper software is possible, but it will enhance the risk of errors and inefficiencies. Project management software allows for ease of visibility and teamwork.  For example, the ability to cross-reference tasks, work together on bugs, and see or report areas of difficulty or that need help is invaluable. This software gave our employees a clear idea of goals, tasks, and importance. 

Read also: 7 Best Products Management Tools for 2022

5. Keeping documentation updated and easy to organise

To build a successful software development team structure, you must keep business and technical documentation relevant to the project’s current state. This helps to keep the team informed about the project’s direction. We made meeting notes, coding and UX standards easy to address, and it helped raise the consistency of the team’s work.

One of our best practices is using knowledge management software for effective document storage, filtering and real-time teamwork.

6. Using  communication apps and creating regular offline interaction

What is a great team without effective communication channels? Building one was a key step towards a productive communication environment.

Using collaborative messaging apps like Slack, Skype, Google Chats, e.t.c. Helps to facilitate effective communication; instant messaging helps faster than writing emails or commenting under tasks in workflow management software; this allows the team to share ideas and discuss the working progress of the project. 

Regular offline interaction also helped to raise the team’s efficiency. 

7. Having a policy for resolving conflicts

Instructions for handling conflicts prevent their disruption. In case of conflicts between team members or sub-teams, a guidebook on a team’s culture with a section on conflict resolution helped. 

Set up a comprehensive set of KPIs to measure the team’s performance

An organisation without key performance indicators (KPIs) is like a journey without a map. When your journey doesn’t have a map, there is no way for you to decide how far you have come since you started.

Clear KPIs connected to the company’s ultimate goals help develop progress within a set time frame. It enables understanding of the contributions of team members and what needs to improve. 

Read also: Tips on best agile product management resources

Summary 

Organisations need brilliant product ideas; they need a skilled development team to fulfil their ideas to excel in today’s ultra-competitive business environment.

These key factors have helped us develop a great software development team structure which has contributed majorly to our growth; You can pick the right one for your business and hire the right people to fill these roles. 

If you’re looking for skilled and experienced software developers to join your team, Soar digital can help you achieve this! We have helped hundreds of businesses build and grow, having laid a solid foundation for achieving the best result in the digital world.

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