Creating a new software product is an exciting endeavor. At the same time, the number of possibilities and choices to make can be overwhelming. For example, finding the optimal team for your project is an important stage in the process - one that needs to be approached with care. In this article, we’ll look at the options for building product development teams, and when you should consider each of them.
Developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Most products, especially the more innovative ones, start as MVPs: stripped-down versions with limited features that are representative of what the final product will be like. Taking this approach allows you to put the software out there fast, gain traction, impress investors and collect valuable feedback - all without overinvesting in an untested concept.
From the technical perspective, the most important members of the development team for your MVP will be the software developers and a lead developer. The benefits of clear leadership within the team are more focused efforts, with all developers heading in the same direction, and a simplified communication flow for the product owner. Both of these things can significantly speed up work.
An important question to answer is how many developers the project needs. This is never straightforward, as it depends on deadlines, project requirements, technological complexity, tech stack, and similar factors. It might be best to talk to your software development partner and trust their expertise when solving this issue. Some companies, including iRonin.IT, offer flexible team engagement. This means that, throughout our cooperation with clients, project teams are scaled up or down as needed, and experts from various fields (e.g. QA specialists) join the project when they can bring in the most value. It’s a cost effective solution that allows us to answer sudden changes in the project.
Finally, you need to decide whether you need a solution architect - someone with both technical and business skills, who will be able to design your product’s software architecture in a strategic way. This is especially important when the solution is meant to interact with a whole ecosystem of tools, such as when your organization is undergoing digital transformation. The higher the project’s complexity, the higher the risk that something will go wrong, and work will need to be discarded. Solution architects make sure this doesn’t happen. Additionally, they can ensure scalability. If you’re building an MVP, you will wanto to add to it in the near future. A solution architect will build a solid architecture that won’t need to be redone from scratch when it’s time to extend the app with new features.
Do I need anyone besides the developers?
Once you know who will be taking care of the software development part of building your product, you need to consider the other important roles necessary for your project’s success. Namely, you should decide whether your product needs a UX designer, project manager or QA specialist.
A UX designer will make sure that your product fits the needs of your users. Their work is based on research as well as cognitive and behavioral science to make sure the design and features of your product deliver the right experience. They will also focus on usability, which means considering a variety of situations in which users might interact with your app, to find out whether the users’ goals can be effectively achieved in different circumstances. If user experience isn’t very important for your product, or if you’ve delivered a very similar solution before, you might choose not to add UX designers to your team. For most projects, however, they are invaluable.
Project managers are all about making things more cost- and time-effective. They can help you prioritize tasks and use their experience to determine what’s most critical to complete (a must-have), allowing the development team to achieve top productivity. By switching focus away from unnecessary features that offer no added value, you might be able to launch your product quickly and begin gaining interest among your user base.
From a day-to-day perspective, project managers help you plan the tasks necessary to complete your product and coordinate the team’s efforts. They are responsible for maintaining communication and keeping everyone in the loop, keeping track of deadlines, and solving any arising issues before they slow down work. A project manager can make your life a lot easier. If you have experience managing development teams and want to take a hands-on approach, you might not need a dedicated project manager. Otherwise, we recommend adding one to your team.
Finally, quality assurance specialists are responsible for giving your product a very extensive test run and flagging any problems that crop up. They do manual as well as automated testing, and act as a sort of error buffer. Thanks to them, any issues can be fixed before users have a chance to see them. Sometimes, this isn’t necessary - if your risk tolerance is high, you might not need QA specialists. But if you want to make a good first impression on users, a good QA process is the way to go. Remember: if there is an app similar to yours waiting for users that stumble upon too many bugs and get frustrated enough to leave, they might never come back. In such a scenario, it’s extremely important to do thorough testing before release.
At iRonin.IT, we provide our clients with full, dedicated project teams that can include all of the roles mentioned above - and we can do so in only a week. The benefit of working with such a team is that you’re getting access to experts who already work well together, communicate well with each other, and have an established process. This can speed up development work and vastly improve its quality.
Set your software project up for success with the right development team.
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