Great team drives your business forward. Bad team drives you crazy.
We are sure you know this. Maybe you have already prepared a set of perfect crew’s characteristics. Can we try to guess them?
Everyone works in a mode of a full synchronization and harmony. Although each member does different tasks, they are constantly integrating. There’s no arguing and no whining. You will not hear ‘Can I leave earlier?’ and ‘I am tired’. They do not fail and make everything in time. Devs understand clients from the first seconds. They hear “ehm..would you please change the…”, boom! The basket icon is changed in 3 seconds and 20 milliseconds! What else? Oh, sense of humor! You don’t want to deal with bores, do you?
Sorry, not possible. We’ve just described robots. Do you want them? Then wait for the next 50 years and only then launch your project. If you want to initiate it now do not idealize. Read the following guide on how to build a software development team that is highly successful.
First things to consider when building a software development team:
- Budget. No professional wants to be overworked and underpaid. Giving minimal budget and demanding beyond-great results is like asking cats to bark because you give them bones.
- Time. “You, guys, do your job and I’ll go do mine” – not good. Your crew will not build itself. Be sure to make room for it in your schedule. They need to feel their leader’s support.
- Adaptiveness. People have feelings, needs, and fears. When you ignore their feelings-needs-and-fears, they will ignore you. Working with people = adapting to their personalities and searching for consensus.
As soon as you’ve ticked all three paragraphs, it’s time to tell you the main aspects of a good team.
The Golden Mean Size
The team’s size depends on the project’s complexity. A small setup doesn’t require many guys working on it. For big one three people is not enough. Our experience shows that 5-6 people in a team is an optimal number, and it should be no more than 10. Say no to big crews. More people – less personal responsibility they feel. Let’s look at it in terms of maths.
Supposing responsibility for the project is 100%. Divide it by the number of people in a group.
- 100% / 5 = 20% of responsibility by each member.
- 100% / 15 = 6.6% of responsibility by each member.
It’s easier to ignore 6.6% than 20%, right? 6.6% are less noticeable for Jack. He is working in a large group and makes a lot of mistakes. The guy got used to the fact that his teammates would fix everything instead of him. Another example – John, who works in a small team and cannot ignore his 20%. He knows that his screw-ups will be noticed. This dev tries harder to make everything in the best way. This division also explains why bigger projects require more people. 20% of responsibility on a small project is okay. On a big one, it’s overwhelming.
You know the size of your project and the number of people in it. The next step is to determine your development team roles and responsibilities.
Software Development Team Structure
Imagine it as one organism. Will you function well without a liver? No. Same here. Take one part out – some important functions will not be fulfilled. Let’s make an analogy with the human body more vivid. The development team anatomy is at your disposal!
Project Manager, a.k.a brain, controls all other members of the team and sends them (neuro)signals (“Hey, John, fix your bugs!”)
- create a concise and manageable plan;
- determine development team goals;
- manage schedule and deadlines;
- estimate budget;
- monitor progress;
- communicate with clients;
- support members in terms of emergency (errors, bugs).
Engineers/Developers, a.k.a. muscles (with team lead as a heart). No muscles – no movement! Without them, the project would not keep going. Devs get the (neuro)signals from the PM and turn them into actions (intensive keyboard tapping and coding).
- Front end developers convert data to a visual interface of a website (looks);
- Back end developers build actual logic of the application (functions);
- Mobile developers create apps with Android and iOS.
UX/UI Designers, a.k.a eyes, devise the visual part and are in a constant search for aesthetic. Usually, there are no separate UX and UI designers. One person fulfills the functions of both. Let’s say, the right eye is UX and the left one is UI.
- User Experience Design is about observing people’s behavior patterns and understanding their needs. UX designer determines what the user wants to have on the website and where it is better to place it. Convenience is the main aim.
- User Interface Design is about creating a visual picture. Analyzing users’ psychology, UI designer combines colors, structures, and shapes to arise emotions. Good emotions, hopefully.