How to Structure A Software Development Team: Best Practices

by Noah Jackson

We’ve seen numerous Internet businesses establish their software development teams following the Spotify Model for software development team structure. However, research has revealed that this …

We’ve seen numerous Internet businesses establish their software development teams following the Spotify Model for software development team structure. However, research has revealed that this tribes and squads-based model has flaws. There is no such thing as a fail-proof model. This has raised concerns about how to organize a software development team.

In this article, we will go through the most popular software development team structures as well as the best techniques for creating an effective organization.

Three Approaches To Development Team Structure

Three Approaches To Development Team Structure

Let’s get started with the basics. There are 3 common ways you can organize your agile software development team:

  • Generalist
  • Specialist
  • Hybrid

Generalist

This team structure comprises individuals with a wide range of talents and expertise. Generalists are tasked with developing a particular feature or a whole project from start to finish. This team structure is used by the majority of outsourcing organizations.

Specialist structure

A specialist structure is made up of specialists who have highly specialized talents and are used to dealing with specific tasks and responsibilities. Every team member is an expert in one field and is assigned tasks in that area as they contribute to the broader project. This is the configuration used by the majority of software development teams.

Hybrid

A hybrid team structure is one that blends the generalist with the specialist structures. While a hybrid team focuses on the big picture, they can also become detailed as necessary. This hybrid construction combines the best features of both models.

Key Roles In A Software Development Team

Key Roles In A Software Development Team

Business Analyst

The business analyst enters the process early on, even before the software engineers begin working. They are in charge of establishing communication and developing a connection with the client, the customer who requires the software project.

This job is crucial in bridging the gap between the client’s needs and the reality and capabilities of a software development team in meeting those goals. The business analyst collaborates with both parties to collect needs and specifications.

They will collaborate with all team members, from engineers to sales people, to assist the customer in meeting all of their business objectives. They will also perform market research and narrow in on the product’s target demographic, building out a market niche.

Product Owner

The product owner (PO) collaborates closely with the business analyst but, as the name implies, owns the whole product. They perform an important role on the committed team, describing the desirable outcomes to the software developers and other stakeholders. They have a thorough awareness of the project’s importance and how it fits into the larger picture at the business.

While the business analyst speaks with clients, the PO collaborates with all essential stakeholders, including upper-level executives and those responsible for developing the product. Another significant distinction is that their concentration is restricted to a single project, whereas the business analyst’s function is more broad in scope.

The product owner is an important role on a team that operates with agile methodologies, in which collaboration is fundamental.

Project Manager

Project managers organize all of the moving parts of a project and effectively manage the entire process from beginning to end, keeping everyone engaged on track. Budgeting, defining timetables, organizing schedules, managing risk, and handling and gathering deliverables are just a few of their numerous tasks.

The project manager’s key purpose, like that of the other members of the team, is to guarantee that the client’s needs and specifications are met. Superior communication skills, as well as organization, are essential for the function.

UX or UI Designer

This is when your imagination comes into play. The user experience (UX) designer is in charge of creating an experience that appeals to end users. This includes aesthetic appeal, audio, navigation flow, animation, and other factors of usability and performance.

User experience (UX) design is sometimes mistaken with user interface (UI) design. This is due to the fact that the two notions do overlap. In truth, UI design is a component of total UX design, but the opposite is not true – UX design does not fall under the UI category.

One significant distinction is that UI only relates to digital products and the interface itself. Furthermore, although UX incorporates all parts of the user experience, UI focuses solely on the product’s appearance, interactions between the user and the product, and the functioning of the visual design.

In smaller projects, these two responsibilities are sometimes combined into a single position. However, they are occasionally divided, with both professions working on the same team.

Software Developer

You’re undoubtedly aware of the primary function of a software developer: they’re the ones who create the products. However, the roles and responsibilities are a little more intricate than that.

The front-end developer, for example, focuses on the product’s client- and forward-facing elements. They must be aware of the usability of the product as well as the subtleties of the design in their position. Meanwhile, back-end engineers work with the data layers that serve as the product’s core — the components of the program that customers cannot see or interact with but serve as the cornerstone of the product itself.

A full-stack developer is responsible for numerous areas of the product and does not specialize in either the front-end or back-end of the program. These are only a few of the broad development jobs. Others may specialize in certain fields such as mobile, web, blockchain, or AI development.

QA Specialist

Is your product of the highest possible quality? Quality assurance (QA) experts, such as QA engineers, analysts, and testers, are on hand to ensure that it is.

Their responsibilities aren’t only restricted to detecting defects and requesting that the development team solve them, but that is a big part of it. They evaluate a variety of various elements of the product, including its performance, functionality, usability, the loads it can withstand, and much more, using both manual and automated methods and technologies.

This is a critical step in the SDLC that should never be overlooked. It might imply the difference between a product’s success or failure in the market. QA professionals should be the first to notice any issues before your users.

Individual software development teams may have additional functions, but they are often the foundation for creating strong, high-quality software. If you’re thinking of outsourcing your product’s development to an outside team, or if you want to form an in-house team, be sure you grasp the important tasks involved.

5 Best Practices For Building An Effective Software Development Team

Best Practices For Building An Effective Software Development Team

An effective software development team is productive, efficient, and delivers valuable products on time. Let’s discover the best practices to build a team with this efficiency.

Choose the team structure relevant to your project

We’ve previously discussed the three sorts of development team structures: generalists, specialists, and hybrid teams. Each of them can work on one project while being dysfunctional on others. To avoid delays and project dysfunctionality, choose the optimum team structure for your operations and cooperation.

Split big teams into smaller ones

Smaller software development teams are easier to manage than large ones. This is due to the ease with which contributions and collaboration may be managed. We propose a team of 4-8 people based on our expertise. In the event of a major project, it is best to divide the team into sub-teams, each with its own team leader.

Empower team ownership

Allow your team to take ownership of the project. Several studies have found that when you empower your team, you indirectly improve each team member’s IQ. Controlling a team saps your team’s creativity. When you empower your staff, they will become more efficient and inventive.

How do you empower your agile team?

  • Allow your team to pull the agile initiative rather than pushing it. As opposed to imposing an edict on your team, this creates buy-in.
  • Educate business stakeholders on the agile model and the concept of team empowerment.
  • Use iterations in conjunction with team planning and retrospection.
  • Team ownership should be demonstrated rather than simply spoken.
  • Take away hero worship.
  • Reinforce team-focused goals so that everyone can achieve better and their intellect can be improved.

Hold team accountable

As you give your team members empowerment, require accountability from them in return. Provide platforms and tools where they can share their responsibilities and how they will fulfill them.

Keep your team balanced

Define clear roles and responsibilities for every team member. Assign roles correctly and  make changes when required.

Final words

It is not enough to just have a concept for a software application. To ensure the easy and effective implementation of your project, you must recruit the proper team members.

If your company is looking to hire remote software development teams, we can help!

CMC Global is among the top 3 IT outsourcing services providers in Vietnam. We operate a large team of more than certified 1,500 developers, covering all tech stacks, and can supply you with the right team, regardless of size, at a very reasonable cost.

For further information, fill out the form below, and our technical team will get in touch shortly to advise!