Don’t know how to structure your software development team?
We have prepared 5 well-tried techniques that will help you set up your software development team organization in order to maximize their productivity and catapult your business success:
The graph visually shows the complexity of managing large teams and the communication overhead it can bring.
It is easy to assume that the larger a team, the more productive it is, and the better results it is able to drive. However, large teams are often much less efficient than smaller ones. Larger teams often require additional communication channels, which in turn, can lead to increased communication and management overhead.
Create a perfect team-size-formula for different kinds of businesses, in our experience 4-7 members is as close to perfect as it gets.
Large businesses require larger teams. In this case, it is highly advisable to hire the needed number of developers and then divide them into two or more small cross-functional independent teams each led by a team lead. It is better to have two relatively independent teams of 5 developers rather than one large team of 10 team members.
To Sum up: In order to keep your team on the same page, make its size about 4-7 members. Remember, the more people that are on a team, the more communication channels you will have.
While building your own software development team, one of the challenges that appears is whether to build a team of generalists, specialists or a hybrid team.
A generalist is someone who possesses a wide range of knowledge and skills and is able to apply their competence across a vast range of areas within their expertise. Generalists can utilize a variety of different resources, perform different tasks and often have stronger communication skills and the ability to quickly acquire new knowledge.
Hire a team of generalists (the term "generalist" usually refers to "full-stack developers" in IT industry) if the product you are developing requires a variety of different skills to be completed successfully.
In comparison, a specialist has a specific set of skills and techniques or a preferred single methodology. A specialist possesses a high level of expertise and the ability to use this methodology while solving complicated business problems in areas where greater attention is demanded.
While working with software development teams, it is better to assemble a team of specialists, who are focused on a particular part of development, namely database specialists - for a database, Automation QA Engineer - for automation test suite, Manual QA - for manual testing etc.
In a nutshell, it is a mix of both. This kind of team will focus specifically on areas where your project needs the most work and will handle additional tasks if the need arises.
The answer depends on your business specialization and the project you’re working on. For software development teams, create a blend of specialists and generalists with a 3 to 1 or 75% to 25% ratio.
Define and document the roles of your software development team (developers are not the only role we are talking about) before you start recruiting. For example if you work with Scrum, three roles exist: Development Team, Product Owner and Scrum Master. It is reasonable to define specific roles inside of Development Teams: Architect, DevOps Engineer, Tech Lead, Tech Community Leader, whatever is most applicable to the engineering culture of your company. Additionally, here is a good interaction game to try with your software development team. The aim of this game is to define the roles and responsibilities by answering the following questions:
By doing this exercise you will be able to define the contribution of each team member and learn what missing aspect hinders your success.
Sure, you are not planning to provide your software development team with the full freedom of self-management immediately after meeting them, this option requires time and trust to be implemented. Apply strict management during the initial stage of team development, and self-organization—when the team has had experience working together. To make the best use of self-organization on your team, try to distribute control and delegate the responsibilities among your team members.
As soon as your remote developers understand what it is like to work as a united team, the idea of self-organization management can be considered.
Each development team typically undergoes 5 stages of development:
Starting is the hardest part. However, knowing what challenges you can expect during each stage and how to overcome them puts you one step closer to creating your self-organized dream team.
A product development leader should be a good communicator, able to set clear goals and requirements, and resolve conflicts. It’s also the responsibility of a project leader to make every developer understand what their role is and what is expected from them.
A well-tried technique to help you resolve any conflict is to let each side communicate their point of view while you facilitate a compromise. However, even a compromise is not always the best solution, since both sides have to give up their point of view for a consensus to be reached. In order to achieve win-win results, follow the ‘5 WHYs” method. It is an interactive technique used to define the source of a problem by asking questions starting with "Why?".
Start with a problem and ask your team members why it happened. Ensure your answer is substantiated, then ask "why" again. Continue asking until you find the real root of the problem and the appropriate solution.
Use this technique every time team members have an issue or a disagreement about whose solution is best.
Do you have any additional questions? Or would like to set up your own dedicated software development team? Contact us through the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
About the Author:
Juliya Mankovskaya is an avid Outreach Specialist at Daxx. She is passionate about Digital Marketing, IT and modern technologies. Julia is responsible for Daxx social media promotion and external publications.