Eight Key Elements for Building Software Development Teams

Software development

Having a software, app or website is becoming a prerequisite for businesses looking to succeed in this ultra-competitive business world. Hiring the right software development team is one of the most critical factors in determining the success or failure of any business. Whether you have a large business or a small startup, having a software development team that understands your purpose goes a long way.

Eight key elements for successful recruitment of software development team

Project specifics

The project team is organized for its implementation, so such a characteristic as the specifics of the project is one of the main ones in the formation of the team. The specifics of the project determine the formal structure of the team, which is approved by the management: role composition; a list of knowledge, skills, and abilities that team members must possess; terms, stages, and types of work on the project.

Organizational and cultural environment

The organizational and cultural environment of the project team is divided into external and internal. The external environment includes the background of the project in all aspects. The internal environment or organizational culture of the team itself is determined by how team interaction processes are organized and run (such as coordination, communication, conflict resolution, and decision-making activities, establishing external relations). The formation of organizational culture is also influenced by the distribution of roles in the team, methods of delegation of authority, cohesion, and connectedness of team members. An important role is played by the presence of norms of behavior accepted and shared by all participants.

Features of the personal style of interaction between the leader and other team members

The project manager must be flexible and confident in himself and his employees. His influence on the team should not be based on status or position but professionalism and competence. It is also helpful to consider that the central concept of modern leadership is to increase subordinates’ ability to self-leadership.

Human resource planning

Human resource planning is carried out to determine the roles, responsibilities, and accountability in the project, and one of its main results is the development of a project staffing plan.

Roles in a project can be defined for both individuals and groups. These individuals or groups may be recruited from within the implementing organization or from outside.

Distribution of roles and responsibilities

When implementing a project, its participants can be considered abstract acting agents that perform specified functions. Here, a function is understood as a specific action during the execution of which certain resources are consumed, and a particular result is produced. A functional view of the participants in the project’s development makes them interchangeable and impersonal within the competence corresponding to the function performed. It leads to the concept of a role assigned to an employee to perform the corresponding duties.

Project Team Recruitment

Recruiting a project team is acquiring the human resources needed to carry out the project. The project management team may control this process, but this is not required.

Here you can use the inner resources of the company or consider outstaffing as a better alternative for a software development team.

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Financial issue

Financing a project is an essential aspect when designing a software project. Financial security guarantees that the work can be done from the beginning to the end. Thus you can rely on the smooth and rhythmic passing of the project. Financial stability allows you to unfold the plan’s full potential and reach your aims.

Support after finishing the project

Not everything ends with the fulfillment of the project. The performer team or company usually are involved with further support if any problems arise. In this way is kept the connection between the contractor and the performer for eventual new projects.

Distribution of roles in a modern IT team

Product Owner

Target:

Positioning and promotion of the product on the market, achieving business goals.

Tasks:

  1. Definition of the product concept
  2. Creation of Go To Market strategy
  3. Market segmentation and analysis, value determination
  4. Analysis of competitors
  5. Task list (backlog) management and requirements pyritization
  6. Monitoring the development status
  7. Choice of product strategy and monetization methods
  8. Generation of hypotheses to improve business performance
  9. Assessment of the achievement of business indicators
  10. Building a process/feedback loop from users and product quality assessment

Project Manager

Target:

Product development on time, not exceeding the selected budget, and with good quality.

Tasks:

  1. Team management (formation, motivation, control)
  2. Creation of RoadMap (development plan)
  3. Development cost estimation
  4. Design and distribution of functions, control of execution
  5. Organization of team activities
  6. Conducting interviews and meetings with clients
  7. Solving organizational issues
  8. Participation in the acceptance of the product
  9. Making decisions on complex issues (all)
  10. Making decisions on the publication of a new version of the system (together with the Technical Leader)

Business Analyst

Target:

Creation and optimization of business processes to achieve business goals

Tasks:

  1. Development of the concept of a software product
  2. Definition of user roles and their needs
  3. Description of the subject area (including the main objects and relationships between them), creation and optimization of business processes
  4. Software requirements management
  5. Conducting interviews with customers and end users
  6. Analysis of competitors
  7. Development team consultation
  8. Participation in product acceptance and user behavior analysis
  9. Development cost estimation (together with PM)

System Analyst

Target:

It ensures the system’s efficient operation to fulfill users’ goals successfully.

Tasks:

  1. Definition of user roles and their needs (if BA does not do this)
  2. Description of the subject area (including the main objects, their attributes, and relationships between them), business processes, data flows
  3. Software requirements management
  4. Development of prototypes and UX (together with the designer)
  5. Conducting interviews with customers and end users
  6. Forming a stack of tasks (backlog) (if the PM does not do this); Development team consultation

Data Scientist

Target:

Revealing hidden patterns in data to optimize business processes.

Tasks:

  1. Fixing business indicators
  2. Organization of data collection and monitoring of indicators
  3. Building models
  4. Testing hypotheses to improve business performance
  5. Making report

System Architect

Target:

Designing a system architecture that satisfies the requirements (both system functions and system loads)

Tasks:

  1. System architecture development and technology stack selection
  2. Monitoring compliance with architecture recommendations
  3. Acceptance of complex technical solutions
  4. Development team consultation

TechLead

Target:

Technical team coordination.

Tasks:

  1. Creation and distribution of technical tasks, control of implementation
  2. Consulting programmers on narrow technical issues
  3. Code review
  4. Making decisions on the publication of a new version of the system (together with the PM)
  5. Journal of the system in stores
  6. Development cost estimation (together with PM)

Programmer

Target:

Development of a software system following the requirements.

Tasks:

  1. Development of a software system (writing code, developing a database structure, etc.)
  2. Making decisions about the development method
  3. Quality control of growth and code review
  4. Code testing
  5. Writing technical documentation
  6. Release of a new version of the product
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QA

Target:

Minimize errors in the system.

Tasks:

  1. Requirements testing
  2. Writing test cases and test plans
  3. System testing (regression, load, functional, etc.)
  4. Development of auto-tests
  5. Search for bugs based on feedback from users

UI/UX Designer

Target:

Development of a convenient and attractive user interface for the software system.

Tasks:

  1. Development of screen designs
  2. ScreenFlow development
  3. Development of a design concept and guidelines
  4. Development of screen prototypes
  5. Optimization of user interaction (creation of recommendations)
  6. Development team consulting

TechWriter

Target:

Development of user and technical documentation.

Tasks:

  1. Development of user documentation
  2. FAQ development
  3. API description development

TechSupport

Target:

Minimize software user dissatisfaction by providing help and answering questions.

Tasks:

  1. Answers to user questions
  2. Solving user problems
  3. Collecting feedback from users
  4. Fixing bugs found by users

System Administrator (DevOps)

Target:

Minimization of technical errors during system operation, hardware and software support for the development team

Tasks:

  1. Maintenance and analysis of server load
  2. Creation of the necessary conditions in the infrastructure for the normal functioning of the software
  3. Assistance in deploying the system and setting up the environment for the rapid publication of new versions
  4. Log control
  5. Setting up tools to automate the development and testing process

Marketing Specialist

Target:

Promotion of a product (software system) on the market.

Tasks:

  1. Market analysis
  2. Product website promotion, SEO
  3. Assistance in publishing a software system in stores
  4. Preparation of PR materials
  5. Social promotion networks
  6. Organization and conduct of advertising campaigns

Outstaffing as a better alternative for a software development team

Outstaffing of personnel is required when the employer does not see the point in hiring employees in their own company but needs labor. In this scenario, he needs to find an intermediary to provide the required number of people.

At first glance, it may seem that this approach is more complicated because the intermediary also has its benefits. In practice, it turns out that using outstaffing can save a lot.

How outstaffing works

Outstaffing, in essence, is an opportunity to attract employees to work in a company without registering them as staff. That is, the employer legally uses freelance workforce. This form of relationship between the employer and the employee is called outstaffing.

For what purpose may an enterprise need an outstaffing service? This allows you to optimize the company’s activities because:

  1. The personnel department is relieved of part of the load
  2. The amount of work (and hence the costs associated with them) related to the execution of migration documentation for foreign employees is reduced
  3. The possibility of fines (and other risks) for employing foreigners is reduced to zero
  4. Less money to spend on salaries and taxes

Companies providing personnel outstaffing services select employees for the customer enterprise who are entrusted with particular work (permanent, seasonal, or a specific project).

These employees are on the staff of the outstaffing company.

That is, legally, the employer’s role here is a company that provides outstaffing services. But the staff works for the company that ordered the service. The customer determines the scope of duties for third-party employees, manages the process, and controls the execution of work.

You agree on the outstaffing of personnel, according to which you get the necessary employees at your disposal. You do not need to register them in your state. Under this agreement, you will be billed, including the salary of employees hired in this way. It turns out that this is just an expense (not a salary expense), which means you are entitled to a significant tax deduction for income and a VAT refund. The benefit is there.

As part of staff outstaffing, a specialist comes to work in a company but is not included in its primary staff. Legally, he is not an employee of this company, but he performs all the duties assigned to him. What are the positives of this? The only thing that can be called is the exact observance of all the requirements of the Labor Code (if we are talking about a responsible outstaffing provider). Most of these firms care about their reputation, so they do not allow violations.

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Pros of outstaffing

  1. More expenses go through accounting, which means lower income taxes.
  2. The cost of maintaining full-time personnel (stationery, equipment, consumables for it, software products, etc.) is reduced. This becomes especially noticeable in the HR and accounting departments. Small firms often altogether remove their HR department. Outstaffing companies have enough resources to handle the work of this plan on their own.
  3. Simplifies the process of personnel management. There are precisely as many employees in the company as required. Nobody walks without work. And if you need to quickly add people to the staff, there is always such an opportunity. For example, this is often practiced when it is necessary to quickly form an IT department.
  4. Facilitates the search for qualified personnel. This is a valuable resource that outstaffers have already formed.
  5. Management continues to directly manage employees, but the administrative and financial burden is significantly reduced.
  6. The number of insurance and other unforeseen accidents decreases in the team.
  7. The company does not resolve labor disputes with employees.

Cons of outstaffing

As cons of outstaffing can be pointed to the more complex control and that the fulfillment of the tasks to some extent relies on the consciousness of the employees of the hired team.

Situations when it is appropriate to resort to outstaffing of personnel

The need for outstaffing of personnel arises in cases where, for some reason, it is impossible to enlist an employee in your staff. Still, you need a person who legally performs particular work in your company.

It makes sense to use outstaffing in cases where you need to:

  1. Reduce costs and free up additional resources. The smaller your staff, the lower the taxes on salaries and the cost of maintaining the personnel and accounting department.
  2. Stay on the Simplified Tax Payment Scheme (STS). If the number of employees exceeds a specific limit, then the taxation system for the enterprise changes. Therefore, the number should be monitored and reduced if necessary.
  3. Employ migrants. This, as a rule, is beneficial, but here one should be well versed in the legislation and avoid violations. It makes no sense to hire a competent HR specialist for this (it will cost a lot). And if you deal with an excellent outstaffing company, then it will deal with such issues independently.
  4. Feel free to accept any checks. Legally, the outstaffer is responsible for the provided personnel and participates in labor disputes (if any). The bodies exercising control, or the employees themselves, cannot make claims against the receiving party.
  5. Establish a more extended trial period. This helps to understand whether the hired employee is suitable for the company and whether his presence is vital.
  6. Have your employees in other regions. Thanks to outstaffing, you can not open your remote branches but simultaneously carry out activities wherever it makes sense.

According to recruitment agencies involved in the supply of personnel, outstaffing is most in demand in the following areas and professions: restaurant business, trade, repair, construction activities, equipment installation, cleaning services, security, logistics, food industry.

Basically, as freelancers, companies hire low-skilled personnel, namely loaders and cleaners, storekeepers, drivers, security guards, maids, construction workers (painters and plasterers), and many others. Now middlMiddlMiddle managers are rough outstaffing, but, perhaps, not so often.

For example, it makes sense to resort to outstaffing for large shopping centers, where staff turnover is relatively high. People don’t work long hours in low-paying jobs. Of course, you can easily find others to take their place, but you will need both an accountant and a personnel specialist for appointments and dismissals. It is more profitable to simply contact a specialized company, which will supply ready-made frames as needed.

Conclusion

Software development, in its essence, resembles a corporate game in which its own rules must operate in the form of norms and regulations that determine the rights and responsibilities of each participant. Every company can choose between permanently recruiting a software development team or the version with outstaffing.