How We Form a Project Team That Can Breathe Life into Your Ideas
What value do you attach to the word 'Team'? I'm asking you because here, at Cleveroad, we think that teamwork is vital. No joke! I mean, just imagine how great it actually is - working hand in hand with someone, developing the same ideas together, and sharing the joy when your project bears fruit. We think it's priceless.
As long as you are here, I can assume that you want to know what your dream team should look like. Am I right? Are you interested in finding out how the development process would feel? Do you want to have insights into the secrets of a perfect work flow? Do you want to understand who is in charge of a project, or who is responsible for 'project synergy'? Finally, what is your role in this game? So let's not waste any more time and figure out what are the software development team roles and responsibilities at Cleveroad
Software development team structure
A number of team members (as well as their roles) may vary depending on a company and which software development methodology it employs. Because we are engaged in web and mobile development, Cleveroad is a strong supporter of Agile methodologies. Namely, Scrum.
Scrum itself is a simple framework aimed at providing a perfect team collaboration on complex software projects. The objective of Scrum methodology is to focus mostly on repeatedly-changing requirements to create a product that meets evolving business needs. So here's your first insight into IT project team structure.
Software development team structure at Cleveroad
Before the project start: Project team roles and responsibilities
Long before developers get down to coding, our the first stage of your project development is underway. This stage is no less important than bespoke development. That is why we gather top professionals that ensure your project will be successfully implemented.
It would be a mistake to underestimate a sales manager's importance - he is as valuable as anyone else on the team. In terms of outsourcing, the sales manager is a person who links you to your prospective team. He acts on behalf of the whole company and his main responsibility is to provide you with as much of the info as possible.
What is business analysis, first of all? Roughly speaking, it's a process of developing your app concept and gathering all kinds of requirements. By 'kinds of requirements' I mean business, user, and functional requirements for your product. Since you may have a vague idea about your future startup, the business analyst is a person whose main task is to help you find out what your future product should actually look and feel like at the end of the development process.
Speaking of business, user and functional requirements, these are actually what helps you define your app concept and set your software development team goals. So the next task of the business analyst is to input all your 'desires' (which may change repeatedly, by the way).
Business requirements are those requirements related to a specific need of a company. This need has to be addressed in order to achieve a final goal. Supposing you develop an application which is meant to help your business -- let's say it's a travel agency. Your final goal will be an increased number of clients, so your business requirement is likely to be to create an attractive and user-friendly mobile application helping you out with enhancing tickets sales and promoting your services.
Take a look how we deal with our clients' requirements and wrap them up into a great project specification document.
User requirements are mostly aimed at defining and satisfying users' needs. For example, your booking application is going to enable customers to make reservations and get all the necessary travel info on the go. That's to say, that our business analyst is going to explain to you what will be the best solution for both you and your prospective customer. Of course, our specialists would consider recent trends in the IT field and crowd behaviour in general.
I guess you want to know the difference between those two and functional requirements, don't you? So, functional requirements are requirements that break down the steps needed to meet business requirements. Whereas business requirements stand for the 'why' for your company, the functional ones answer the question 'how exactly'. These define the inner processes of your app. For example, whether your application should send a confirmation email while authorizing, or which payment gateway to involve to implement booking, or what kinds of settings your application may need, and so on, and so forth.
If a business analyst is responsible for the requirement process, what does an account manager do? An account manager is responsible for project estimation. So, after a business analyst has all the necessary requirements, an account manager gets down to calculations. It actually takes less than a day to provide a customer with an estimation list.
Roles in software development team after the initial stage is over
Now it's time to start implementing the technical side of your product. So, what software development team members do you normally expect to have?
CTO usually acts as a translation layer between the business and technology. He decides on what tech stack best serves your business objectives. Besides, CTO ensures that your product's structure is scalable and can be built and deployed easily.
Are you looking for more information about the project development flow? Start with reading how we decide on the tech stack for any particular project.
One may think that the only concern of project managers is to develop a project specification (on the basis of the requirements). In fact, that's the wrong conclusion. The project manager is by far the most important figure in this software development game. Why? Just because your product's destiny is in his hands, literally. He decides whether all the works will be performed on time, if everything will be carried out within your budget, and, finally, the dedicated software development team structure.
However, not only your product's well-being is in project manager's hands, he also bends over backwards to eliminate any emerging difficulties on the team might face. Moveover, he provides constant project team collaboration.
First of all, they are responsible for wireframes and mockups. Our designers create UX and UI design for the product. Not only will they create the most convenient user interface ever, but also they will do their best to make your app shine like a diamond.
Check out this video that explains how we deal with design challenges at Cleveroad.
How many designers do we have on the team? Well, it depends on the project complexity. However, it goes without saying that the heavier your application is, the more of them will be involved.
Interesting fact! Customers' needs are our main priority, that's why you we always give our clients the opportunity to choose. Choose a person who's on the same page as you! So what we do, is create several versions of your app interface drawn by our designers (by different ones, of course) and provide them to you for your careful examination. That's how you and your perfect designer can find each other. As an alternative, you can go check our digital artists' works on Dribbble.
Meet developers! These are highly professional coders carefully picked by our project manager. There are usually frontend and backend developers. In other words, they make your idea physical and visible.
And again, how many developers do you need for a project? The rules don't change: the more complex your idea and so on, and so forth. However, I want to assure you that we have all the necessary knowledge and resources to build web and mobile products to the highest standard.
Quality assurance engineers
These guys are always on the lookout to fill the gaps made by programmers. I mean nothing is perfect, but our QAEs try hard to make your product look and feel this way. They meticulously examine your product code and interface to find even the tiniest of the bugs and eliminate the smallest imperfections. Mind you, it's a hard work and it certainly shouldn't be taken for granted. Eventually, quality assurance engineers are responsible for the end product.
So what is post-release support? It means that you will be given a bonus service implying we look after your brainchild for a while. This 'while' can vary though. We just want you to know that we are always open for collaboration and your proposals. So in case you are not satisfied with the quality or just want, shall we say, to add some more features, we are glad to help you out of this fix.
The role of stakeholders involvement in the development process at Cleveroad
During the development of digital products, we are faced with a great number of details that require paying attention to. Since our customers are the main idea generators, we believe their involvement in the project development contributes a lot to final product's success and quality.
That is why, our agile software development team approach individually to customers. This way, we optimize the time and date for hosting events implying their participation, as well as provide them with an opportunity to contact us on a regular basis.
Meetings are kind of routine for stakeholders, they are intended to 'synchronize' actions of the development team with goals that were defined by customers, as well as cover some general questions.
It is worth mentioning that at Cleveroad we have clearly distributed project team member roles. This way, before signing the full contract customers communicate with our sales managers and only after signing they work directly with their project manager. The difference is that sales managers provide customers with estimates, prices and tell them in details about our terms of cooperation, while project managers regularly reporting about the completed scope of work throughout the project development.
The role of meetings with sales and project managers
Roughly saying, sales managers gather and process information related to the project (features, business model etc.). The meetings with them intended not only to provide you with the prices but also to inform you about possible challenges and their solutions. For example, if the customer came to us with the ready-made design that does not correspond to Android/iOS guidelines, managers will report him or her about that. Since the implementation of this design will take more development hours and cost more respectively.
Project managers conduct meetings with customers at least once a week but everything depends on a variety of factors. For example, let's say your company has several in-house developers that are focused on the back-end part of your product. However, you do not have much time till the release date, so you have decided to form a project team consisting of outsourced developers in order to implement the front-end part of your project. In this case, it is important to conduct meetings daily or at least every few days to coordinate the progress of both teams. In another case, it can affect the efficiency and total development time respectively.
Also, during meetings you can discuss the opportunity for reorganization of initial goals. Mainly, customers shift the set development plan because they need to present their investors a demo version of the product containing a certain set of features investors are interested in. Another widespread case is when customers want to extend the team of developers in order to get the final product faster for some reasons.
All the release details such as texts and screenshots for Apple Store/Google Play are also straightened out on meetings.
So, as you can see our project team organization intended to protect you from risks. However, the development process requires some attention from your side since meetings play important role in coordinating and controlling work of your mobile or web development team.
At Cleveroad, we divide the whole project into sprints. After each one, we provide our customer with a demo containing a preliminary discussed set of features that were planned to be implemented during this very sprint.
Have no idea what am I talking about? Learn more about sprints in our article related to mobile app development process
From our side, we guarantee the advanced software testing, in order you could get a bug-free demo. However, we cannot move to another sprint before your approval. This way, we send you the demo and you try it. The development will move to another sprint only if you agree that the features implemented on the current one work correctly and correspond to all the pre-agreed specifications. This way, you can flexibly manage project team and correct its goals.
How we move to another stage
Communication is a vital factor while working with the outsourcing company. That is why you are able to contact your project manager to ask your questions anytime it is convenient for you and get the feedback as soon as possible.
We are managing project teams effectively in order not to disturb our customers by undue meetings or night calls. So, depending on the project's size, our team schedules the adequate number of activities demanding the attention of stakeholders but at the same time able to cover all the necessary worth attention points.