You may agree that teamwork is vital for achieving good results. Considering software development, it’s good to know what specialist is responsible for what part of works. Moreover, a good team shares experience and is more productive. So, how to create a dream team?
In our article, we’ll figure out the roles and responsibilities of members of the software development team.
The Structure of a Software Development Team
It’s obvious that the number of team members, as well as their roles, may be different depending on the company and used software development methodology. One of the most widespread methodologies is Agile.
Agile methodology tends to provide an opportunity to cooperate inside a team while developing complex software projects. The main purpose is to follow changing requirements in order to build an excellent product.
Schematically the team may look like this:
Preparing for the Project: Roles and Responsibilities of Team Members
Before starting the development process, you need to prepare. This stage is as important as the development one.
There are 3 required specialists — sales manager, business analyst, account manager. Let’s discuss their responsibilities more precisely.
If we speak about outsourcing development, the sales manager is a person who connects you with your future team. Moreover, sales manager provides you with all necessary data about the company.
As a result, this specialist can’t be underestimated.
Business analysis means the process of creating your application concept along with collecting the requirements.
Your project requirements can be different, e.g. there are user, functional, and business requirements of your project. Of course, you may have a good idea for your startup, so the business analyst tends to assist you and discover how your future product should look and feel like.
We’ve already mentioned various kinds of requirements. They are meant to help build the app concept and set the right goals for your team of software developers. So, the business analyst inputs your vision of the future app.
It’s high time to discuss the kinds of requirements in detail.
The business requirements usually describe the specific needs of your company. Let’s consider the example. For instance, you’re an owner of the travel agency and your final purpose is to gain new clients. As a result, your business requirement is the development of a user-friendly application that can promote your services and offer users tickets sales.
Speaking about the user requirements, their main purpose is to find out and satisfy the users’ expectations. Your travel app needs to allow users to book hotels. So, the business analyst explains how to implement this feature and make it useful for you and your future client. It’s obvious that business analysts should follow recent trends in software building and study human behavior.
The last ones are functional requirements. They tend to explain the necessary steps to fulfill your business requirements. What does it mean? Business requirements are always about ‘why’ for your company while functional ones answer the question ‘how’. Let’s consider the example of a functional requirement. There can be an inner process of the application, e.g. which payment gateway to use, what settings may need, etc.
The combination of all three kinds of requirements allows building a mobile or web app that meets up with your requirements along with your clients’ expectations.
This specialist is responsible for project estimation. So, when there are all the requirements, an account manager needs to calculate the final price. This process usually takes from one to two working days.
Roles in Software Development Team
Let’s move on with the technical side of your web or mobile development team. There are several required specialists:
- Project manager or PM
- UI/UX designers
- Quality assurance or QA engineers
Each specialist has different responsibilities that we’ll discuss below.
This specialist connects your business and technologies. So, CTO’s main task is to find the best tech solutions for your project. Moreover, this expert makes sure that your project is scalable.
PM has a lot of different responsibilities such as creating a project specification, develop a team, and so on.
A project manager is a very important specialist in software development. It happens because the project destiny depends on the PM. This expert makes a decision if everything is done on time and within your budget.
Moreover, they work on any unexpected difficulties that may appear during the development as well as cooperate with a team.
Good PMs should have several skills:
- They need to have knowledge of how business strategies should be built.
- They should have some technical background to find out what technology is better for a certain project.
- Project managers are usually experienced in psychology. This skill is obligatory because PMs need to understand clients’ demands and objectives.
- Communication skills are important to contact clients easily.
- Attentiveness is one more necessary skill. PMs check project documentation and ensure that the development process follows the specifications.
Their obvious tasks are drawing mockups and wireframes. Moreover, they develop a user-friendly UI and UX design for your project.
One of the designers’ responsibilities is to work with project documentation. In another case, they can’t create a good design for your project.
The number of designers can vary depending on the project complexity. So, the more complicated your product is, the more specialists you need.
There is a tendency among outsourcing companies to offer several variants of the interface. How does it work? There are several specialists that draw an interface of an app or website. After that, you may choose the best option. And the chosen developer continues to work on your project.
We’ve finally moved to the software developers. Project managers usually pick professional builders for product development. The engineers can be divided into 2 categories:
- Back-end developers are responsible for building the server-side of your project. There are three main parts of back-end creation: a server, an application, and a database. So, the important knowledge for such builders is Node.js. Of course, back-end developers need to have experience in working with various databases, e.g. SQL or MongoDB.
It’s necessary to mention that there can be full-stack developers. They are able to work with both — front-end and back-end development. So, their skills are good for creating prototypes.
The question is — how many developers do you need? Unfortunately, there is no certain answer. The number of engineers always depends on the complexity of your project.
Quality Assurance or QA Engineers
We need QA engineers to fill the gaps made by developers. It’s obvious that nothing is perfect. So, the main goal of these specialists is to make your project as good as possible. Quality assurance engineers test the code and interface to find the smallest bugs and offer product improvements. This work requires a lot of effort, so don’t underestimate it.
You can release the project only when QA specialists approved everything in your mobile or web application.
There are software development companies that offer post-release support. It means that your product will be maintained for a certain period of time. You can discuss the time of support with your vendor.
To sum up this part, the project development team can vary according to your needs and requirements. We’ve discussed the main members that are vital for creating a good software product. However, there can be more specialists, e.g. you can hire developers with special skills like Angular.js or React. Sometimes it’s necessary to involve two or more QA engineers to make testing part faster. So, it’s up to you to decide how many specialists will be in your web development team.
Why Involve Stakeholders
To create a successful and high-quality product, software development companies usually involve clients in the building process since they are the main idea generators.
Moreover, there are a lot of important details during development that you and your vendor need to consider and discuss.
As a result, software development companies have created several comfortable ways to communicate and cooperate.
Meetings become a part of everyday routine for stakeholders. Their main purpose is to ‘synchronize’ actions of the software development team with customers’ aims. Moreover, they tend to embrace various general questions.
During different stages of the project building, you may cooperate with different specialists. For example, there are meeting with sales and project managers.
The sales managers communicate with you before signing an agreement. They provide you with the estimations, costs and discuss the cooperation process in detail. The project managers start interacting with the customer after signing the contract. They are responsible for informing you about the completed scope during the project development.
As a result, sales managers collect data related to the project. For instance, various features, business model and so on. So, during the meetings, you can get information about prices and discuss possible challenges and solutions. Let’s discuss an example.
For instance, you have already had a ready-made design but it doesn’t follow Android or iOS guidelines. So, sales managers inform you about the problem and outline that the implementation of this design requires more development hours and the price will be higher respectively.
Speaking about project managers, they usually have meetings with you at least once a week in order to discuss the project progress or some other factors. To be more clear, let’s consider one more example.
There are several in-house developers in your company that develop back-end part of your project. However, due to a lack of time until the release date, you’ve decided to cooperate with an outsourcing company to develop a front-end of your project. In this situation, you need to conduct daily meetings (or at least every few days) in order to see and coordinate the progress of both parts of your team. In another case, the effectiveness can get worse and you may fail the deadline.
Moreover, these meetings give you an opportunity to discuss other challenges. For example, you need texts and screenshots for the App Store or Google Play. So, you ask your PM and you discuss possible variants.
Wrapping up this part, the project team organization tends to protect you from any possible risks. Meeting is important for controlling the work of your mobile or web development team.
It’s a good idea to divide the project into sprints. After each sprint, you can see a demo with features that were implemented. To provide you with the demo that works properly, there should be the testing stage. During this stage, QA engineers test an application to find bugs. If there are any, software developers work on fixing them.
The developers can start the next sprint only if you confirm all the features. They should work correctly and follow all the pre-agreed specifications.
Using this way, it’s quite easy to manage the project team and correct the project and its goals.
Working with an outsourcing company, you need to pay attention to communication. If you discuss all the communication ways beforehand, it’ll be comfortable and easy for you to contact your project manager on a regular basis. The companies usually choose calls, emails, and messages to keep you updated.
As a result, you can get feedback from the PM and discuss all the questions without unnecessary meetings or late calls.
Summing up our article, we can say that the team is a key factor for your project development. You need to understand the role and responsibilities of each member. As a result, your project will be delivered successfully.