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Perfect Software Development Team: What Is It?

Perfect Software Development Team: What Is It?

Perfect Software Development Team: What Is It?
Halyna Korolevska

Author:

Halyna Korolevska

Content Manager

Category: Business
7 min read

What makes a software development team effective? How to understand whom exactly you need to develop your startup project - we will consider this issue and also software development team roles in the following article.

Every successful technical startup is the result of tremendous work. And, probably, you will agree that the effectiveness of a technological business project largely depends on which development team the founders entrusted with software development and how roles are distributed in it. Rapid competition and the current economic status make the role of the software development team even more critical. In such a business environment, the quality of the software vendor’s team has a direct impact on the business project, and, we dare say, determines its fate.

Studying the causes of startup failures, we can conclude that the positive development of a business project is influenced by a number of factors, such as market research and target audience, business model planning, careful budget planning, choosing the right pricing and engagement model, checking competitive advantages, and using trial target audience and focus-groups, as well as right roles distribution. With all this, a successful startup is also the result of working with an experienced software development company.

This was confirmed by the survey results of respondents from 400 startups concentrated in the field of deep technology, conducted by the BGC survey. It showed that technical expertise is one of the key resources of tech startups.

he-most-critical-resources-of_tech-startup

An important note based on the data of CB Insights obtained from the analysis of the 101 start-ups collapse stories, the “wrong team” is in third place in the list of 20 main reasons for the new business projects failure.

Obviously, the degree of importance of working with a reliable technical company for software development is extremely important. At the same time, statistics show that more and more companies are using offshore software development, and for the vast majority of them, the key reason is the cost of services. According to Statista, in 2018, IT services outsourcing amounted to $ 62 billion.

So how do you choose and hire the one among thousands of companies to build the software for your startup? What is the perfect startup software development team? How to distribute roles in it correctly? Let's first focus on the classic qualities of an ideal IT company, and then consider the unique services that a software development company may offer.

 

 

The Perfect Software Development Team Must Have:

 

➨ Development of a unique product that suits individual customer needs.

Thanks to the development of custom software solution, your ideal team takes into account all the features, business processes and wishes. Due to this, your business project receives a competitive advantage.

 

➨ Extensive development experience and an impressive portfolio.

It is quite obvious that it is easier to entrust your project to seasoned developers who have already gained their experience, have their own achievements, rating, completed and ongoing projects. We recommend that the team have at least 3 years of experience in software development. If an IT company already has successfully developed startup products in its track record, working with them, you can count on quality services and well-coordinated work processes.

 

➨ Experience with projects from various industries.

This is a direct indicator that the team knows how to solve different problems and have a clear idea of software development in various fields. There is an assumption that highly specialized software providers work better. But the peculiarity of start-ups is precisely that these are non-trivial bold decisions that a team with experience in various industries will better cope with.

 

➨ Good customer reviews and adherence to deadlines.

The response of a satisfied customer probably speaks even louder than a portfolio, and is the best proof of quality. If the customer was satisfied with the product development, project management, team interaction, feedback - this means that your project is in good hands. And the observance of deadlines by the development team gives guarantees that your software product will be released on time.

 

➨ Having all the key people to develop a startup.

Make sure that the software development team has such employees as backend/frontend developers, UX/UI designers, QA testers, and project managers. These IT professionals will take care of all the stages and finite details of your project, such as communication with the customer, development, design, coordination, reporting, testing and error correction.

It is worth noting that the size and skills of the team are formed depending on the needs and scale of a particular startup project. Also, the perfect software team has full-stack developers in its "arsenal". Full-stack developer is the so-called the “universal soldier”, who is well versed in both backend and front-end development. Creating software, such specialists see the full picture of the product and, as a rule, have extensive experience in development.

 

➨ Key team members speak English at a sufficient level.

It’s important for collaboration, especially in offshore development. In this case, the startup owner without any obstacles will be able to transfer the goals and idea of the project to the team, manage the software development process and, if necessary, adjust the tasks.

 

➨ Constant communication with the customer and periodic work reports.

Communication, accessibility and transparency are extremely important in software development. One of the obstacles to communication in offshore development may be the difference in time zones. But do not worry, a good team of software vendors will organize cooperation in a way that you can always be in touch. The team will keep you updated on development progress and send daily progress reports.

 

➨ Signing NDA and guaranteeing the security of your data.

A good software development company will definitely make an agreement with you, where all the technical and organizational aspects, specialization and the number of necessary people in the team, cost-effective tasks, financial costs, and obligations will be fixed. The IT company a priori in the contract must ensure the security of your data. Through a Non-disclosure agreement (NDA), the developer company legally guarantees the confidentiality of all information with limited access to it by third parties.

 

➨ Ensuring the proper level of products cyber defense as a custom solution.

Along with the software development for startups, the development team thinks up and creates systems for protecting the software product as a custom solution against cyber attacks. This system includes features such as attack recognition, protection, detection, response and recovery.

 

 

Additional Items that the Super Software Development Team May Suggest:

 

➨ Offers several models of cooperation and provides transparent pricing.

For a software development a good IT company offers customers a choice of several engagement models, depending on the scope, goals and timing of the project, as well as the financial capabilities of the client. The engagement model defines a clear plan of action, according to which the customer and the contractor will work during the project, including how pricing will be formed.

 

➨ Provides IT consulting services.

As part of custom software development, the supplier can ensure strategic and tactical consulting of planning and creating a startup product, as well as provide expert assessment and advice during the entire process of development, implementation and maintenance of the project.

 

➨ Legally guarantees quality in the development contract.

Some software development companies provide a detailed development contract, where they provide some guarantees. For example, they legally guarantee the quality of the written code, the uninterrupted operation of the product, the ability to modify or fix functions during a certain period.

 

➨ Provides troubleshooting.

An IT team can go beyond the simple coding. The team can identify a particular software problem or a flaw in existing software, and most importantly, propose and implement an effective solution. For example, when the desired functionality is missing or processes are not established. The company analyzes your problem, offers its solution and, in fact, fulfills it.

 

➨ Provides an appropriate level of technical maintenance.

A good software development team develops new features and provides the necessary level of support for the finished product. Technical software maintenance includes developing new versions of a software product to increase productivity, working to expand capabilities, fixing bugs, removing obsolete features, and optimizing the software.

 

➨ The team is involved in the project at a maximum level.

The perfect software development team does not just code according to its assignment, it looks much wider. Based on its experience, software team offers its expertise, solutions, ideas and gives advice on improving the functions and software solutions during development. It also allows the customer to avoid possible errors in the project implementation.

Everything seems to be very clear with the services and qualities of a perfect software development team. There may be a lot of them, but we assure you that your business will benefit from working with such a strong partner. It remains to determine the size of a team.

In the table below you will see examples of real startups and the approximate amount of the necessary team members for each of them, according to AngelList.

 

Small Medium Large
Example: An application that creates routes for tourists who travel to different countries, allowing them to easily see and do what interests them, as well as get recommendations from local experts. Example: SaaS platform that specializes in cybersecurity. Startups help companies guarantee their suppliers and partners protection against cyber violations.

Example: A fitness platform that allows developing personal and lasting relationships with users based on their data profiles. An analysis of user behavior patterns allows them to create and recommend content tailored to their specific interests.

The number of employees: 1-10 

The number of employees: 11-50

The number of employees:  51-200

>60% startups

50% startups

56% startups

Stage: Seed

Stages: Series A, Series B

Stage: Series C

Necessary technical team:
1 project manager
1-2 developers (backend & frontend)
1 QA
1 designer
Necessary technical team:
1 project manager
1 team lead
2-4 developers, where 1-2 frontend developers, others - backend developers.
1 QA
1 designer
Necessary technical team:
1 project manager
1 team lead
2-4 developers, where 1-2 frontend developers, others - backend developers.
1 QA
1 designer

A few more words on software development team roles distribution and Agile methodology

 

Prior to that moment, we mentioned quite a lot about the importance of software development team members roles and the proper distribution of these roles for the successful completion of the project. The distribution of roles may differ from one methodology to another and this is a topic for a separate article. However, in this context, we will consider the differentiation of roles in Agile methodologies such as Scrum, since often they are best suited specifically for developing such a booming industry as startups.

Let's try to figure out what are the key roles in the development team.

 

Manager

The most surprising thing is related to the role of managers: what they should and what they shouldn’t do. In particular, managers should NOT:

  • assign tasks (in a non-agile world, probably the most important responsibility of a manager);
  • decide what functions should be implemented (also a traditional manager privilege);
  • distribute work among team members;
  • request reports on completed work.

The manager's role in task performance is simplified to some extent thanks to appearance of new roles, such as Scrum master.

What remains for the manager? Mainly, the manager plays a supporting role:

  • providing an environment that allows the team to work effectively;
  • organizing smooth interaction with other departments organization;
  • in this role, the manager represents the team for senior management and other departments;
  • resource management, including suppliers and outsourcing partners.

 

Product owner

Decisions on the product features in Scrum is the role of the customer’s representative, called the product owner. The owner is the face of the product, promoter of solution, and its he, who has the last word.

Specifically, the product owner is responsible for identifying and maintaining the backlog of the product - a list of ordered functions. This refers to the functionality at business level and not the individual tasks necessary to implement this functionality. These tasks are determined by the team at the beginning of each sprint. The owner of the product is involved in this work at the start and at the end of each sprint and retains responsibility for next decisions:

  • at the beginning of the sprint, selects user stories from the order book and explains their significance in terms of their business role;
  • at the end - evaluates the results of the sprint.

 

Team

A team is a group of people, but it can be considered as a single character. A number of traditional managerial responsibilities are assigned to its role, including such a critical one as defining step-by-step tasks that should be implemented. The team itself also has a certain distribution of roles:

Developers

The people who invent and implement the application and:

  • come up with an application architecture;
  • write code;
  • advise others on how to write code;
  • Peer review code for others;
  • write automatic tests.

It is programmers who often make decisions about how this or that functionality will be implemented in an application. And if the functionality is poorly implemented, then it’s programmers to be blamed. Or maybe not, since the final word in decision-making does not belong to them.

QA-testers

The role of these people is to find the bugs. The tester can write a note on usability, but his primary task is to make sure that the application works according to the requirements and specifications.

They can test applications either manually or using automatic tests.

Designers

These are the people who determine how the application will look like and how it will behave. The relative position of the elements, the scheme of movement on the screens, animations - all this is assigned to the role of the designer. If the application is large and complex, then there may be several designers. One of the designers can draw the interface, and the other can globally think over the whole concept of user interaction.

We hope now you have a better idea of what the perfect software development team should look like. We are sure you'll find your best technology partner to carry out your super tech startup! Now just go for it!