You know how the best results occur when a team is made of people who simply click with each other? Indeed, great achievements require a certain kind of chemistry between team members through the entire creation process.
Photo Credit: Pexels.com
Creating a mobile app requires exactly this kind of magic. However, by no circumstances should you leave this to chance. When you have an app to develop, you need to create this chemistry one way or another.
But how is this actually done? And what are the exact steps to forming a successful app development team?
From choosing team members to focusing on specific aspects of the development process, this article will help you gather and manage a dream team for app development.
What Team Members Do You Need?
Your app development team is made of people, so obviously, the first step you should take is to call people with necessary skill sets on board. You will need quite a few people, and each one needs to be an expert in their own field.
A project manager ensures that both project implementation and project delivery go smoothly. True to their title, they are responsible for managing the project and keeping different micro teams synchronized and connected.
In addition, this person is responsible for communicating with the customer, discussing all the details with them, and settling any disputes that may potentially arise.
A project manager should be:
- An expert in business strategies required in mobile app development.
- Aware of the technology that will work best for the project.
- Experienced in psychology and a good negotiator (in order to understand the customer and offer them the most effective solution).
- Attentive and a great multitasker, as this position is incredibly demanding.
Designers are not only responsible for UI and UX of the mobile app, but they also have to elaborate each step of the process to facilitate building high-quality software.
Furthermore, at the beginning of the process, when elaborating and analyzing the documentation process, they build wireframes. Next, depending on the specific project, they experiment with UX and UI for iOS and/or Android platforms.
Therefore, a designer should have the following skills:
- Expertise in UI and UX design.
- Terrific design skills.
- Photoshop and/or Sketch working knowledge.
- Good communication skills.
Now that the user experience and use interface are created, the time has come for developers to take the stage. The main goal of app developers is to ensure app structure and functionality.
And even though there are differences between skill sets of iOS and Android developers, there are some skills that all app developers need to have.
When looking for a mobile app developer, make sure they:
Follow the latest mobile app development trends.
- Can translate design and wireframes into high-quality code.
- Are able to design, create, and maintain a solid code.
- Can achieve great app performance, quality, and responsiveness.
- Know how to find and fix potential bottlenecks and bugs.
- Have experience with maintaining code quality, organization, and automation.
Even though this may sound too much to ask of one person (or a couple of them), keep searching until you find them. Keep in mind that an expert app developer is there to make sure your app doesn’t get rejected by Apple, so don’t just settle for any developer you find.
Once the first version of the app is developed, somebody needs to test it and see how it performs. This is the job for QA engineers, since their role is to ensure that the application works just the way it was envisioned.
The app needs to go through various testing stages performed by QA engineers. This helps them verify how the app performs in different conditions. Once and if they find any bugs, they immediately send it back to app developers for revision.
A QA specialist should be a very responsible person with an eye for detail. Once they approve the app, it can be released.
What are the responsibilities of QA specialists?
- Testing the app and finding flaws.
- Suggesting solutions to identified issues.
- Investigating app quality to improve the app and customer satisfaction.
- Overseeing continuous improvement projects and collecting quality data.
- Identifying KPIs for app quality.
Once the app is developed and all bugs are fixed, it is time for promotion and third-party integration. For this, you will need a sales and marketing department, account manager, and third-party team.
Sales and marketing
Sales managers are there to sell what the members listed so far have created. They provide customers with information about the cost of app development and other important answers.
On the other hand, your marketing team is there to promote your app on the market. You can create the best app in the history of apps, but it is worthless without adequate promotion.
Marketers create marketing strategies, advertisement materials, and make sure the product is easily found by customers.
An account manager is in charge of the project estimation process. After the business analyst has been provided with basic requirements, the account manager is there to compile an estimation list for the customer.
Third party team
Finally, a third party team is there to provide tools required by the team, as well as needed documentation or support to build and implement the app properly.
How to Form a Team
Forming an app development team means finding the right people. First, you should turn to the people you know and ask them if they have experienced contacts and referrals in their networks. This way, you will be able to get a better insight into your prospective team members’ professional and personal skills.
Next, try finding people on websites like Meetup.com, Dribble, and AngelList. Here, you can find regular events and get to know designers, developers, and other experts you need.
Moreover, you should consider giving freelancers a chance. On Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, and other freelance platforms, you can find thousands of experienced specialists who can help you develop a high-quality app.
Also, if you are flexible enough, try encouraging employee mobility because this way, you will get greater employee satisfaction. And we all know that a happy employee is a productive employee.
Each position in your team requires a certain set of skills. That is why you need to look for specific expertise in each of your candidates. Most importantly, don’t require one person to be an expert in everything.
If you need an iOS app, then you need a developer with knowledge in Objective-C and Xcode. On the other hand, an Android developer has to be an expert in Java and Eclipse or Android Studio.
Check each of the candidates’ portfolios and let their work speak for itself. Choose one of their samples and ask them to explain why they made a particular decision when designing/developing it, as well as what they could improve now when they are more experienced.
Lastly, make sure your future team members have good communication skills. No matter how creative and innovative a person is, if they are not a decent communicator, they won’t fit in your team. So, look for a balance between hard and soft skills in your candidates.
What You Should Focus On
Last but not least, when choosing and managing your app development team, there are certain areas that require special focus.
Experience or enthusiasm?
When choosing team members, more often than not you will need to decide between experienced and enthusiastic people. And while you may find yourself torn between these two options, your decision should depend on the product you are developing.
When building a unique app, choose an experienced developer. This way, you will benefit from their experience in app development and make the entire development process easier and quicker.
On the other hand, fresh blood in your team means passion and enthusiasm, which can result in developing out-of-the-box solutions for your app. This is great if you are developing an app by adding different flavors to it, since this can lead to incredibly appealing features.
A team is as good as its individual members, but the opposite is equally true – in a team with a great atmosphere, all members will thrive. On the other hand, in a poorly organized team, even top-performing individuals will fail to deliver.
That is why your team needs to learn how to be more productive, and this often entails various strategies.
To make individual team members more productive as well as to improve the productivity of the entire team, you can try the following strategies:
- Offer incentives, appreciation certificates, and salary raises.
- Encourage people by appreciating their qualities and tapping them on the back.
- If a certain team member has failed to deliver for a period of time, talk to them and try to identify the problem.
Your HR department needs to promote an engaging, lively, and carefree work culture. This way, employees will be much more likely to go the extra mile in order to accomplish their respective tasks.
Julian from Rocket Lab says, “being part of a cohesive team delivers benefits beyond increased productivity; working together as a team boosts employee wellbeing and work satisfaction, happy teams deliver high-quality work, which directly translates to overall client satisfaction”.
Everybody knows the saying ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’. But if you have top app developers in your team, this is very difficult to achieve, as they usually prefer to work on their own.
Working in isolation is what they are used to, and you will face a number of issues when trying to get them engaged with the rest of the team.
However, you should always keep in mind that they are people first and developers second, so communication will always help in such situations. To improve team communication, try to crack engaging conversations, hold regular startup meetings, and set mutual milestones.
In addition, effective team collaboration and knowledge sharing are crucial if you want to deliver outstanding results. Here, knowledge base software can be of great help, as it enables your staff to share crucial information about the project.
After reading all these strategies, you think that mobile app development is a complex process? You bet it is.
It involves so many different skills and consists of various stages and disregarding any of them would do a lot of harm to your entire project.
If you want your app to be fully functional and successful, your team has to be experienced and skilled, but you also need to encourage a pleasant and productive atmosphere that motivates everybody in the team to do their best.