Operating a business in today’s world means you often have to evaluate how technology can modernize your operations. At some point, your business may need a custom software program or app to bolster your operations or reach your clients or customers better.
If you take on such a software development project, you’ll need to build a dedicated IT team. Yet, you may not be sure how to get started. What steps should you take to ensure you get the right team to make your software development project successful? What planning should you do to make sure everyone on the development team knows what the project entails? You want to avoid any missteps in this process, which can cost you time and money.
So, here are 10 steps you should take when building a dedicated IT team to tackle an important software project:
1. Define the scope of your project. What problem do you want to solve through this software or app development project? How user-friendly do you want this application to be? Will you be creating a mobile app or dApp? What knowledge will your developers need to complete this specific project?
2. Decide what IT professionals you will need for the project. What internal members of your business can help with this project? Do you need front-end developers or backend developers? Will you need both? Will you need a quality assurance (QA) engineer too? What computer languages do your developers need to know to complete this project? Do you want a team of just specialists in a particular computer language or type of software development? You want to ensure you build a team that has the programming and development experience needed to create the software solution you need.
3. Decide how large you want your dedicated IT development team to be. If you will be using the Agile approach in your project, the Scrum guide recommends a development team of three to eight people. Your team likely will include software developers (frontend and backend), a project manager, a quality assurance engineer and a tester.
4. Decide what your timeline for the project will be. If you need your software solution completed rather quickly, you might want to hire an outsourced IT development team or hire freelance IT developers to augment your internal development team. You want to ensure you have enough people who can focus solely on this task to complete your project on time and in a quality manner. You also want to ensure that any new team members you add have the right personality and ability to work well as a team.
5. If you decide you need to hire some outsourced talent, begin asking for recommendations from your internal team or consider hiring a company that can provide experienced IT developers to complete your project. With a company that provides outsourced developers, you quickly can get developers with the expertise you need. With an outsourced team, you can gain agility to better handle changes in the project scope or direction. You could easily overcome unexpected obstacles by adding to your outsourced team. By using a company that provide you with outsourced IT development talent, you also likely will:
- Save money and save time. You won’t have to worry about trying to wade through applicants and spend time and money training and onboarding talent.
- Have better productivity. The outsourced talent will have the experience, knowledge and skill to quickly get working on your project and understand their important role in your project.
- Reduce turnover. Because the company you hire to provide outsourced talent vets potential members of your team, it will find developers who are the best fit for this project and who are more likely to be satisfied with the work they are completing.
6. Ensure each team member understands their roles and responsibilities in completing your software development project. Communicate your expectations about what the project goals are, what your goals are for each team member and what your timeline is.
7. Promote your team culture among your newly formed team, especially if you are combining internal team members with external contractors. You want your final product to reflect your company culture and mission.
8. Conduct check-in meetings during the development process. Encourage your team to ask questions and share their progress. Offer your feedback on how you feel the project is progressing and follow-up individually with developers, so you can get feedback from them on the obstacles the team faces and how you can address those obstacles to keep the project on track.
9. Test your team solution when it is ready and make any necessary software refinements. Then, launch your program to a wider group and see if it is providing you the solution you sought. Have your development team continue to troubleshoot any operational issues you may face in the early launch.
10. Congratulate your team when the project is complete and fully operational. You want to ensure you show your appreciation for a job well done. This will keep your internal team invested in their work and may keep your outsourced talent interested in working on future projects with your company.
Building a strong IT development team will take some time. Yet, by setting the right expectations, seeking the right team members and dealing with any obstacles the team faces during the project, you can develop the software solution you need. You can ensure you stay ahead of the curve by digitizing your business processes and meeting your customer and client needs. With the right team that can build the right software solution, you can continue to ensure your business grows and thrives. You also will have the experience you need to tackle creating another software solution when you need to in the future.