A Guide on Software Development Team Structure

A Guide on Software Development Team Structure | Optymize


Software Development Team Introduction

Great, you have an idea to bring your business online and you are actively looking for developers who can build a mobile application or website that can leverage your business by gaining a large audience worldwide, but wait do you think that one developer will be enough to build an application? think, well not really right, development requires a collaborative team who can work on the software application from its core by designing the development cycle to maintain the product’s workflow up and running till its deployment. If you are wondering, ok I can find the developers and other roles but how do I structure the team? well if you are stuck in such a situation where you don’t know how to structure a team our guide on software development team structure will help you out by providing deep insights into factors that should be considered before structuring a team and what are the different approaches to do so.

Need for Structuring Software Teams

As humans, we were born to work as a team and that’s how we evolved and built societies and communities. We work effectively in a team hence every other company hires employees to form a team that can collaborate and find effective solutions to the issues. Similarly, with software development, no single developer can handle tasks like UI/UX design and CI/CD pipelines and manage the whole workflow of the development cycle, as it can only be done by a team having people with expertise in different areas.

A team is required to focus on different parts of projects and the issues that arise within it, solving these issues with the help of the team and moving forward building the software solution and finally deploying it for the client’s use. This process could take months by a team then imagine even if one developer is capable of doing all these things how much time it will take him to complete, a lot right also the business loss you will experience while it’s under development will be huge.

For these reasons, delivering the software applications on time is important and only teamwork can help produce an effective software solution on time as they design the pipeline for the development cycle and follow accordingly for proper execution.

Factors to Consider Before Structuring a Team

There are some prerequisites that you have to work on before you go and structure a team, understand important factors and accordingly make a plan for proper execution. Factors will let you know all the necessary details for structuring the team and also will provide you with deep insights into how an effective team can be built.

1. The Complexity and Scope of Your Project

Get well aware of your project requirements and its scope, and note down the necessary resources that will be required such as tools and technologies if you don’t know any, get in contact with a technical expert who can walk you through the technical stuff. It will also give you an idea of the complexity of your project so you can able to decide if a small team will be able to sustain the project or not. This way you can grip over the project and will have an understanding of every step and accordingly decide whether you will need the new features or you can just build the model like every other application.

2. Time Required to Build the Project

This depends on how early you need this project complete and live on the internet to run the business. If you want it to be built within months then you may need a large team who can work on the different aspects of projects and cover it up little by little. Furthermore, if you want to develop the software application from scratch then it will consume a huge amount of time as you want it to be unique, whereas if you use a ready-made solution like prototype codes to assemble your software solution then it might take less time.

3. Budget

Your budget plays an important role as you will be spending a big chunk of money on developing the software application. It totally depends on you on how much money you want to spend on your project accordingly you can plan to structure a team. If you have a small budget then you can choose a small team and if you have a huge budget you can feel free to increase the team size and achieve the product development within months.

Approaches for Common Team Structuring

Now that you are aware of those factors that should be considered while you structure your team, it’s time to move ahead with the approaches to structure the software development team. These approaches will give you detailed info about their standouts and you can decide accordingly whether it suits your model or not.

1. Waterfall Method

The waterfall method has been around since the 60s and had shaped the software model when it was first introduced to the world, this method was previously used in every other software giant because it served a large software development team size of up to 15 members. Still, it was the most favorable method back in the 90s because of its 3 main principles such as low degree customer involvement, strong documentation and sequential structure of project realization which provided successful software team development.

2. Agile Method

The agile Software development team structure method has been around for 2 decades now. It originated in the 2000s as a team of developers came together to build a new methodology that can introduce flexible work operations, as the waterfall method required sequential execution because of which developers had to perform the cycle again and again, which was a frustration to all. Similar to the waterfall method it also operates on 3 main principles: a high degree of customer involvement, robust communication between team members and iterative structure of projects. The agile team always stays in touch with the customer as their needs regarding the project might change and this is not a rare case, as customers when they hear about new features always try to communicate with the software development team to introduce them to their application.

Agile Software Development Team Types

     1.  Generalist

  • The developers of this team are filled with immense talent as they work as an allrounder. They are capable of performing both the server-side and client-side solutions, they dig deeper and find effective solutions to the issue in the development cycle for flawless execution. You can consider them as full-stack developers who provide solutions to multiple issues and work on resolving and making the software solution more efficient. This development type is most suitable for small teams and simple projects.

      2. Specialist

  • As the name suggests the developers of this team have expertise in doing their tasks, they work on their daily tasks without any help hence they are known as the geeks of agile development. These well-experienced types of developers are required only for complex projects.

     3. Hybrid

  • Hybrid is the combo of both the generalist and specialist, as this team contains both the experts and allrounder hardcore programmers, this combination can help you greatly as it serves the best software development team structure and will allow you to perform operations on the development cycle more effectively. This might turn out a costly investment but is worth every single coin because of its effective operations.

Roles to Include in Software Development Team

As of now, you must have gotten aware of some of the team structure processes, but as you know the team will require people with expertise in different areas to carry out software development team responsibilities such as frontend, backend, server logic, team management, CI/CD pipeline etc. you need to find and hire different roles and following are the job roles you should consider including in your team to achieve the possible results of your project.

  1. Product Owner.
  2. Business Analyst.
  3. Software Project Manager.
  4. DevOps Engineer.
  5. UI/UX designer.
  6. Software Architect.
  7. Software Developer.
  8. QA and Testing Engineer.

Tips for Effective Software Development Team Structure

     1. Hire The Right People

  • The head start to structure your team begins with hiring the right people for your project development, you can use the above-suggested roles and post jobs on multiple employment sites and freelance websites such as Upwork, Optymize, and Fiverr. Once you find the right people with expertise in their area you can shortlist and interview to onboard and welcome them in your team. Finding the right people is always a tedious task so we highly recommend hiring remote talents from freelance platforms.

      2. Structure Your Team

  • After hiring different roles it’s time for you to plan your team structuring. You can use the above points to see if your project objectives align with methods or not and accordingly you can opt for the respective method. Make sure your budget matches your structuring as well, because you may have to invest as your project evolves.

      3. Set Software Development Team Goals

  • Goals will shape your project hence it’s important that you define the goal of the project in a concise way. Furthermore, the goals will help all the team members get aware of their area of focus such as delivering solutions that will enhance enterprise needs, so they can focus on performing effective development operations for the same.

      4. Assign Responsibilities To Team Members

  • Software development team responsibilities are another important factor as it defines who will work on what. You might say developers should work on developing software solutions. It’s that simple, well you are correct but there is more to it and hence the product owner should engage with the project manager to decide and assign responsibilities to every other member of the team in order to keep the development cycle up and running.

     5. Monitor Your Team

  • We know that you have chosen the right people for your product development and you trust them enough to invest your money blindly, but at the same time you should keep track of their activities as you might discover some flaws in the development cycle to discuss with the project manager to resolve it accordingly. Monitoring the team is a great way to get insights into the development process and track each phase so you can even make announcements about your product in public. KPIs(Key Performance Indicators) are the best tools by which you can monitor your team activities effectively, these KPI for software development team monitoring can greatly improve your insights on the project as you will be informed about the production phase of your product on a daily basis.

     6. Communicate and Empower Your Team Regularly

  • One of the most crucial factors is communication, if you don’t communicate well then the team might not get a relevant idea about your requirements and the product may turn out filled with flaws. For this reason, as the owner of the product, you should often engage with your team to take follow-ups on their activities to ensure the product development is heading in the right direction. If you captured any flaws do not take approaches of discouraging your team by speaking of their in-capabilities, rather empower your software development team members and get well known with the issues and discuss them thoroughly to find the solution, this way you will keep the development environment pleasant and joyful and of course it will boost your team’s efforts for faster and efficient product development.


Software development team structuring is an important process if you want your product to be made with efficiency and at a faster pace, not to forget the team will introduce a great level of features that will enhance your product capabilities and serve audiences with the best user experience. So take your steps wisely and opt for the relevant team structuring method for your product development. This guide will help you in understanding the factors, best approaches and methods for developing a team which you can use for effective team building.



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