Setting up a software development team is relatively simple — finding and assigning tasks to the right talents. But getting them to collaborate to maximize their potential through joint efforts is much more challenging. Discover the best practices for building and managing software engineering teams.
Forming a Great Software Development Team: Where Do You Start?
It’s challenging to align the work in an offline office, with supervisors facing a lack of motivation, personal misunderstandings, incompetence, etc., as critical barriers to efficient teamwork. Building a successful remote software development team is even more complicated due to the lack of developed digital skills, individualized nature, and siloed communication. All of this results in decreased productivity, missed deadlines, and poorer outcomes in the long term.
With some practical experience, these challenges can be addressed, allowing you to build a successful software development team that will deliver quality digital solutions on time, with an innovative approach to disrupt your industry and make an impact. All that can be possible if your team operates as a single mechanism in which team members address potential pitfalls, efficiently share ideas and feedback and ultimately fulfill their roles.
That’s why it’s essential to define the overall and personal goals and promote self-organization, a sense of responsibility, advanced expertise in the chosen domain, and efficient and open communication across the team.
Business leaders who clearly express these principles at an early phase of team formation are more likely to set up the right culture, which increases their chance for success.
Related material: How to Manage a Software Development Team: Ultimate Guide
Tips for Building an Efficient Software Development Team
Explore several best practices that will help you to build a successful software engineering team:
- Define who you are looking for. Here are some questions to answer to define what team you are looking for. Do you plan to spice your solution up with emerging technologies? What’s the required scope of your team for you to meet the desired objective? What roles would you need to cover in the long term?
- Hire candidates with both solid soft and hard skills. If you look for technical skills only, you risk gathering a team of niche experts who won’t be able to collaborate because they lack soft skills. Hence, the chances of failure increase.
- Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your team and fill in the gaps.
- Set up and promote team culture. It can be anything from mutual motivational activities to empathy towards colleagues. The main idea is that they should promote teamwork.
- Encourage autonomy and transparency. The chances of building a successful software engineering team are higher if every team member acknowledges personal accountability for results and shares their progress and any feedback with the rest of the team.
Read also: 5 Stages of Team Development
What Are the Roles and Responsibilities in a Software Development Team?
Although team scope and expertise may vary depending on the project’s complexity, the roles and responsibilities often remain similar. Here are 8 major ones you may encounter in the majority of projects:
1. Business Unit Manager
A business unit manager is responsible for initiating a project, developing a general long-term vision, often together with a strategic plan, and ensuring its alignment with the core business and strategic goals of an enterprise. Often, they review the progress made, adjust the vision, and ensure key milestones are met.
2. Product Owner
Product owners oversee the progress of the product, ensuring it’s developed according to the predefined requirements and plan. Forming them is also the responsibility of the product owner, who also determines key product features. What’s more, they often translate the business unit manager’s vision to the team. However, the role is often skipped in smaller teams, with the responsibilities being transferred to the business unit manager.
3. Business Analyst
A business analyst is responsible for conducting data-based research to enhance the product and ensure it’s a market fit. In other words, they clarify product features, may think through business logic, and ensure the delivered product meets business requirements.
4. Project Manager
Project management is like business management but on the technical side of the development. In other words, project managers ensure the development team delivers on time, has all the required tools and resources for efficient collaboration, monitors their overall performance, and makes necessary adjustments.
5. Tech Lead
A tech lead is a supervisor of the technical team who closely collaborates with a business analyst and a project manager, ensuring the software development runs in accordance with the requirements and the team meets the deadlines and performance benchmarks. They may also decide on the tech stack and think through the technical implementation of product features.
Often, the biggest part of the team — software engineers — are responsible for the practical implementation of all the ideas and requirements. They may differ in terms of the tech stack, with every team member being responsible for their part of the project. For example, front-end developers may be responsible for the client side, while back-end developers handle the server side.
7. UI/UX Designers
UX (user experience) designers think through the user path, ensuring the product is intuitive and user-friendly. UI designers implement the graphical design with UX details in mind to ensure it’s both easy to navigate and appealing.
8. QAs (Quality Assurance)
Quality assurance engineers closely work both with developers and designers, eliminating bugs and errors. They also ensure the product meets the pre-defined requirements, is performant, and provides a quality user experience.
9. Support Team
The support team keeps updating and maintaining the product after it’s released and refined. It may consist of some representatives of the core team or be handled by your in-house team members.
3 Things to Consider When Building a Software Development Team
If you consider these three factors when you build a software development team, you can significantly boost the productivity and quality of the final product:
1. Location & Culture
It may be hard to manage team players from different time zones, especially if the difference is severe (3+ hours is already the norm). Besides, you need to promote empathy and understanding if teams are based in different cultures, to avoid misunderstandings that cause productivity losses.
2. Domain Expertise
You want your product to meet customer demand, be innovative, and help you make an impact in the industry, don’t you? To accomplish the task, you need to gather a team of experts with proven backgrounds in their fields.
3. Soft Skills
Extensive technical skills alone aren’t enough to build a successful software development team. Active listening, team collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and autonomy are some important soft skills that foster efficient teamwork.
10 Steps for Building and Managing a Successful Software Development Team
Follow these steps to build and maintain a good software development team:
- Define the objectives. They will act as major guidance for further activities, including team formation and development framework selection.
- Take part in hiring. This is especially relevant if you are a visionary of the project, so you can share the idea with talented engineers and other specialists.
- Set up a convenient remote working environment. It implies relevant access, data security, shared working environments, software licenses, and equipment.
- Provide efficient communication tools. You can work in shared spaces and collaborate via messengers or apps like Slack and Jira. The main point: the tool is convenient for all team members to actively communicate.
- Assign roles and responsibilities. If every team member knows their responsibilities, it will be easier to promote accountability, hence delivering a higher quality output.
- Ensure team members are aware of the overall and their personal goals. Often projects fail to deliver because team members fail to recognize the ultimate reason for building a project.
- Review the progress and teamwork to timely interfere if anything goes wrong. A proactive approach allows you to timely address challenges and minimize risks.
- Promote open communication. This will enable the team to efficiently share ideas and feedback, which is the backbone of innovation.
- Ensure the team refines the product. In other words, devote enough time for QA to ensure you release a performant product that meets user needs.
- Don’t neglect support and maintenance teams. It’s best to think in advance about who will join the support team. This helps ensure your product is updated and meets the performance benchmark.
Team Formation Methodology by Intetics
Hundreds of global clients managed to refine their team formation processes and optimize their investments. Adopt polished staff augmentation initiatives that are based on 28+ years expertise and industry best practices.
- Remote In-Sourcing® model helps you optimize performance and accelerate time to market by delivering scalable agile software development and data processing teams that are coherently integrated with your in-house staff. Capitalize on access to the best global talent with in-depth software engineering expertise and extensive industry experience and get a sustainable competitive advantage for your business.
- Offshore Dedicated Team® or ODT® is a proprietary delivery model in which Intetics creates a dedicated team for your project. The team consists of specialists with hands-on expertise to ensure your solution is built with industry-level best practices and innovative technologies. The whole process is completely delivered by the team, who helps you at every stage — from idea formulation to maintenance.
If you seek professional guidance on building a software development team, consider Intetics to be your reliable partner. You can find talents to join your in-house team or quickly set up a dedicated team of professionals who will develop a cutting-edge digital solution. Let’s make an impact in your industry together! Contact Intetics today to discover which team formation methodology will be the best choice for you.