If you’re a product owner and want to create a team that will develop your product, imagine the following situation. You’re a sport team coach and your task is to draft a team of players that will guarantee a victory in the championship. Who you need is a star that will lead your whole team and a ball handler guy who will turn your idea for the game into a game plan. You will also need a glue guy who will pass the ball smoothly and dominating centers who will score points. A dirty job guy may also come in handy to check whether you are turning your strategy into life. “OK, but what does sport have in common with software development”? you may ask. Not much. But it was a fun way to start this blogpost. ;)
Software development can be considered a team “sport”. You won’t be able to develop your product all by yourself. You need a number of people behind you who will be responsible for different areas of your development process. Take a look who a perfect development team would consist of and what skills they would need.
It’s probably you, the founder, CEO or CTO of the company but sometimes a product manager or the product owner may perform this function.
A person who is able to turn the founder’s idea into prototypes and designs.
A person who makes sure that the project proceeds smoothly and keeps every team member in the communication loop. The project’s informal leader.
Team of people responsible for turning images into a working software.
A person whose work may seem invisible, but if a QA does not pull his/her weight, the effect becomes striking for everyone, because of the number of bugs soars. QAs know the project better than anyone involved in the development process. They check every single feature multiple times and create documentation on how to test them after next iterations.
During different stages of the development process, you will need different abilities of the people involved. For example, after some time, the presence of a product designer may become less useful than more effort from a front-end developer. In order to feel secure about your product’s development, you need to have the option to switch roles in the process.
You also need to take into account the fact that people will take days off, they will fall ill and some of them will even leave the company altogether during the development process. None of those events should affect the development process. Having some additional people on the players’ bench will guarantee the consistency and continuity of work.
Last but not least, don’t forget about the processes and the game strategy. In football, there is a saying that the fans are the 12th man on the pitch. In the development process, your 12th man is the variety of processes that will organize the work of your team. You need to have your processes worked out and written down BEFORE you get to work. Determine the duration of iterations, velocity of releases and communication rules. You can download our Project Management ebook, where we collected our know-how and experience gained over 8 years of working on processes with clients ranging from startups to big corporations. It will help you manage your projects more effectively, master the best communication tactics and successfully motivate your employees.