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How to Build an Effective Software Development Team Structure? — QIT

May 18, 2023 11 min read
"How to Build an Effective Software Development Team Structure? — QIT"

Your key to success is a development staff with exceptional talent and productivity. Every software development project depends on it as its core driver. Here are some things you should be aware of when you develop a software development team if you are new to the sector. Even before you begin the process of hiring your staff, take into account these factors. But don’t worry, you’re insured by us. The following information on building a development team and the positions that must be filled is important to know.

Key elements behind a software development department structure

The success of your project will probably depend on how you relate the positions in a software development team to your business goal. Therefore, while creating a structure for a software projects, make sure it takes into account things like:

The kind and level of difficulty of your project

You must determine the scope of your project before jumping into the recruitment mania. Four people could be enough to complete the work of creating a product prototype. The number of team members will undoubtedly grow if you want to launch a new application with several features and external connectors. Here are some examples of how a software engineering team structure and a project’s scope may relate:

The amount of time you have to finish the project

The structure and size of your team will also depend on how rapidly you need to turn around your product. It goes without saying that the project can take longer to finish with a smaller staff. Therefore, if you have a vision for a cutting-edge product that must be created from scratch and within a short timeframe, you may need to assemble a large team of senior engineers or a group of full-stack engineers to meet all requirements and produce results fast and effectively.

The money set out for development

The available budget will undoubtedly influence every choice you make because it is tightly connected to the aforementioned criteria. It will determine everything from how many team members you can recruit to the seniority of specialists you can bring in to how feature-rich your final product may be. Choose one of the Agile project management approaches to save costs while maintaining quality throughout the early phases of development. You might have greater cost flexibility by delivering in small, prioritized chunks initially.

Software development methodologies and how they impact the structure of the development team

Your processes and the structure of your software development team will be strongly affected by your choice between Waterfall and Agile approach. The team size, member roles, and interpersonal relationships are all influenced by the project management approach you select to use. Let’s review the salient points about Waterfall model and Agile model before examining how their unique characteristics are represented in the makeup of the development team.

Agile Waterfall
Software development process There are two to four-week sprints in the development phase. The creation process is broken down into distinct, consecutive parts.
Project scope During the development process, scope adjustments are anticipated and permitted.6 The scope is established upfront. Typically, changes are limited.
Client involvement Demands client involvement throughout the project. Customers must be available at milestones for the acceptance of deliverables.0
Feature prioritization At the beginning of each sprint, features are prioritized, and issues are managed based on those priorities. WBS is used to prioritize features at the beginning of a project.
Focus and mindset Product mindset. Delivering value to the consumer is the main priority. Project mindset. The project’s completion is the main priority.
Quality assurance Testing is done concurrently with development. Software engineering is followed by software testing.
Pricing model Effective with Time & Material Fixed Price minimizes risks.

Then how do these variations affect the structure of the software development organization?

A standard Waterfall project team is built of supervisors and subordinates who have well-defined roles. This structure is based on the hierarchical relationships between team members. A project manager has better influence over the project workflows with such a team structure. They share responsibility for important choices.

Agile teams, on the other hand, operate independently of one another. A Scrum Master or a Service Delivery Manager are examples of organizational leaders, respectively, in Scrum and Kanban. They focus more on building connections within the team and cultivating an atmosphere where each team member may be productive, hence their duties differ significantly from those of a standard Waterfall project manager. Agile team, which can have a maximum of nine to ten members, provides for some autonomy, allowing team members to choose their own priorities and design their own processes.

The fundamental distinctions between teams using sequential tactics and those adhering to Agile development are outlined in the table below.

Waterfall team Agile Team
Top-down management. The project manager is in charge of producing outcomes Self-management. Each team member is accountable for the outcomes produced
A team may work on many projects at the same time One project is the focus of the team
Consider analyzing each person’s performance Concentrate on evaluating the performance of the entire team
Distinct roles and titles Cross-functional talent
No team size limit Two-pizza approach with four to ten people per team
Vertical hierarchy and a greater team size results in a lower level of team synchronization High levels of cooperation and synchronization among small teams

Development Team Roles and Duties

You require a group of technical specialists with the following important roles if you want to make your product successful:

  • Product manager
  • Engineering manager
  • Software architect
  • Software developers
  • UX/UI designers
  • QA engineer
  • Business analyst
  • Scrum master
  • Testers
  • Team lead or Technical lead

It’s crucial to note that each team structure in software engineering has unique duties for the software development team. As a result, the duties and responsibilities of a project team differ from those of a product team. Since our business specializes in creating internal engineering teams for product tech firms, we will focus on the structure of the product team that adheres to the Agile concepts in this post. The specific descriptions of the expertise you require for your own product team will now be discussed.

Product manager

The person in charge of overseeing product development and market introduction is known as a product manager. Their duties include creating and implementing strategies as well as planning and monitoring product KPIs.  Typically, product managers aim to use their products to achieve the company’s goals and aims. For this, PM experts focus particularly on rivals and do in-depth market research. Product managers also come up with concepts, oversee pricing practices, and organize and schedule work. PMs work closely with stakeholders, the product owner, marketing experts, salespeople, and developers. Since PMs work closely with everyone, they are also responsible for calling meetings and facilitating them. Accepting and rejecting ideas, supporting technological execution, documentation, maintenance, etc. are examples of extra-typical tasks.

Engineering manager

Engineering managers are also necessary for the duties and responsibilities of the software development team. They interact directly with each team member in their capacity as managers, therefore these experts are aware of the dynamics affecting the team’s performance. Notably, engineering managers create dependable working environments so that all team members feel free to provide opinions and offer suggestions. Additionally, they take part in the tutoring of new engineers and enhance the organization of the software development team. Since these team players select the finest engineering solutions for product implementation, a good technical background is a need. They use technological tools to identify possible problems and find solutions.

Software architect

When it comes to the internal organization of the software in line with product needs and acquired resources, this specialist assumes the position of a decision-maker. Architects define the technical and functional tools needed for product development based on business demands. They also participate in the development process because designing the system is one of their main duties. As they handle the planning of the software upgrade, expanding, and adding new features, these individuals must have a strategic vision. An ideal software architect can identify the greatest technological solution for your product.

Software developers

The importance of developers in a software development team cannot be understated. These are the individuals that really code the program. They employ a variety of programming languages, frameworks, and libraries to do this. Coders fall into one of three categories based on their level of experience: junior (1-3 years of coding), medium (3-5 years of coding), and senior (8-10 years of coding). The extent of the labor depends on the level of competence, and product tech businesses often employ a majority of senior and middle engineers. Juniors enter the team at a time when elders don’t have the time to do numerous easy jobs. Software developers might be full-stack, front- or back-end developers due to their various expertise. They all work closely in tandem with other team members, including designers, testers, the product engineer, and other core team members.

UX/UI designers

Although closely related, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are still two distinct concepts. Both of these instructions call for both creativity and technical expertise, which is what they share in common. By examining the surfing habits of the intended audience, UX designers make sure that the features and browsing experience are usable by end users. Additionally, they take care of every component of the user interface so that it is naturally obvious where to click to log in, change the filters, etc. In a nutshell, a UX designer’s job is to facilitate the user’s journey through the product. Designers of user interfaces (UI) work with layout and visual elements such as fonts, colors, forms, audio, and animations. In a software development process, these are two team jobs, however the UX/UI designer is often one specialized.

QA engineer

The testing phase of the development process is managed by these experts. They make sure the program is functional and meets quality requirements. In addition to having coding abilities, quality assurance automation engineers need to be familiar with testing theory and types. With the use of the script they have built, QAs test the product, automating the testing process. After that, they perform some analytics and create a bug report in which they list all the events that contributed to the problem in question. A well-written report helps the developer avoid more errors and saves a ton of time.

Business analyst

Business analysts research and compile all available data on the product, identify the demands of the target market, and serve as the link between the market and engineers. They examine user behavior and issues before compiling suggestions for product development and improvement. As soon as the product is complete, BAs evaluate its value to users and its ability to address market issues.

Scrum master

These experts use scrum concepts while adhering to Agile methods and standards and to lead the team. A scrum master plans daily stand-ups, collects input from the team, and holds one-on-one meetings. The purpose of a daily standup is to provide team leaders with an individual’s status report, but the purpose of a daily scrum is to enable developers to swiftly remove obstacles and create what the official Scrum handbook refers to as an actionable plan for the next day of work. Scrum masters assist the team in planning sprints, their duration, and the tasks to be completed throughout these cycles by using the scrum methodology. They manage the backlog during the sprint by posting the allocated tasks on project management tools like Trello or Jira. Following that, the development team and scrum master review and assess the prior sprint, taking into consideration all errors and successfully completed tasks. After that, they jointly determine the following one, and the process is repeated. A scrum master’s tasks also include inspiring the team and fostering communication among its members.


Testers play a part in software development teams as well. They manage the manual portion of the testing phase, which represents the usage patterns and behaviors of a user. As a result, both testers and QAs are accountable for the quality of the final product.

Team lead or Technical lead

These positions deal with two crucial areas: technical and human resources management. The skilled programmer who oversees tech chores is known as the tech lead. This position entails code review and improving the technical proficiency of the team by coaching the developers. In the course of the development phase, they also deal with technical concerns and resolve real-world issues. The task-prioritization, cross-team communication, composition, and process organization are all done by the team leaders. Team leads need to be familiar with the tasks and responsibilities of a software development team in order to distribute the jobs fairly. Additionally, they provide comments, raise employee morale and motivation, and answer common inquiries about holidays and vacation days. These two responsibilities, as you may guess, are about leadership from various angles.

To Conclude

Build your own research and development facility with a group of developers now that you have a clearer understanding of the important functions of a software development team. Staff augmentation in QIT will help you identify the greatest, most devoted IT professionals!