What do you think influences the success of your business? One such factor is your IT partner, that is, the web development team that works on your project. It's one thing to find such a team of web professionals, but it's quite another to figure out what kind of web development team structure works best for you. You don't need to be technically savvy to gather only the right people with the right skills for your project, but a basic understanding of web development, team structure and the role of each web development team member does come in handy.
With this key information, you will know how the web or mobile development process is organized, which tasks each team member is responsible for, whether there are no redundant specialists in the team, whether everyone has their own task, and how clearly each of these tasks is defined.
As an experienced web development team from Ukraine, we put together this article to help you answer these and other questions related to web development team structure so that your partnership with engineers will be fruitful and profitable.
Web Development Team: Skills, Structure, Roles
Hiring a web development team can be much harder than expected. The main challenge is to hire the right people with the right skills to meet your business needs and goals.
A set of basic skills for your future web development team looks like this:
- Project management;
- Creating strategy and planning;
- User interface design;
- Graphic design;
- Web technology;
- Website creation.
Ideally, each team role is performed by a different specialist, but it is also possible for one team member to perform multiple roles at the same time. Moreover, as the project evolves, completely different specialists may be required than those involved at the beginning of the project.
As a stakeholder, you should select and hire only the best tech talents, preferably with at least 5 years of experience. To keep team members motivated and consistent, you need to set clear goals and objectives for your web development team. You should also understand that each contractor offers a different set of services and collaborates with you differently. However, a list of versatile key team roles will allow you to interact with your IT partner in a more organized way.
It is worth mentioning the role of the stakeholder in this process. A stakeholder can be either one person, the customer, or a group of people, representatives of the customer company. The sponsor can also be a stakeholder, monitoring compliance with the agreements and the dynamics of product development. We dwell on this point to let you know that the project development process is influenced by many people, and each of them can cause changes in timing, the scope of tasks and the results achieved.
Team Size for Successful Agile Software Development
Agile has proven to be an effective project management approach that quickly solves problems while maintaining flexible interaction between team members. Thanks to its iterative nature and regular team discussions, web development teams can achieve their goals in a coordinated manner without running out of schedule and budget. The reason teams work with Agile principles is because of the flexibility it provides.
This approach also means that each web development team consists of task-oriented specialists. Each team includes a Project Manager, Software Engineers and Quality Assurance Engineers.
Sometimes it may seem that some roles and specialists are unnecessary, but practice shows that having each of them only strengthens the team. Let's see what the role of each technician in a web development team is:
- Project Manager;
- Project Architect;
- Business Analyst;
- UI/UX Designer;
- DevOps Engineer;
- QA Engineer;
- Frontend Developer;
- Backend Developer;
- Full-stack Developer;
- SEO Specialist, etc.
Small Development Team of Web Professionals
A small dedicated web development team, also called a basic team, can be made up of several core specialists. The main roles are described below.
This person manages the work of the team, achieving the desired/needed results. He or she also plans and assigns project milestones, oversees each step and task, and eliminates those tasks that do not serve the purpose. The Project Manager is also responsible for how to respond in case of unforeseen circumstances and manages project risks.
The Project Manager is the team leader. Every team needs someone who makes sure that the project is of high quality, meets stakeholder expectations and completed on time. Project Managers organize the work of the team itself, negotiate with clients, make important decisions, manage the development budget, as well as the schedule and scope of tasks.
Any web development team must have Frontend and Backend developers because any web project consists of two parts - front-end and back-end. Accordingly, a separate specialist is responsible for each of these parts. For example, a Front-end developer or client-side specialist is responsible for what the site users see and what they can interact with. The Front-end developer's main job is to create pages that display flawlessly on any gadget and serve their function as interface elements.
Typically, a Front-end developer is well-versed in areas such as:
- HTML (this is about the structure of the site);
- CSS (the programming language that defines the style of your site);
- Frontend frameworks and libraries such as React.JS, Vue, Angular, and Bootstrap;
- Layouts and templates provided by UI/UX designers.
The things Front-end developers do:
- Develop user functionality;
- Create libraries and reusable code;
- Provide a technical justification for the user interface design;
- Accelerate and scale the application through optimization.
Backend developers, as part of the web development team, handle all tasks related to the server-side of the web application, that is, everything that makes the web project work. Visual design is not their task, unlike the technical part. To make buttons and other interface components work, you have to do the work on the backend.
What Backend developers should know:
- All the necessary tools and frameworks.
The things Backend developers do:
- Seamless integration of custom elements, developed by Front-end developers, with server-side logic;
- Ensuring high speed and scalability of the application;
- Data security and protection;
- Implementing a data storage solution.
Usually, the web development team has a Full-stack developer or several. Such technical specialists work both on the server-side and the client-side, which makes hiring developers much easier because by hiring even one Full-stack developer you can solve the problem of hiring two experts at once - Front-end and Back-end developers.
What they do:
- Create, customize, and launch new development tools and infrastructure;
- Automate and improve product development processes;
- Secure and protect systems from hacker threats;
- Find technical problems and create software updates and "fixes".
DevOps engineers build your site's infrastructure. Typically, the infrastructure includes code, robust and scalable cloud solutions, and automated processes. As part of a dedicated web development team, these professionals are responsible for ensuring that the application infrastructure is scalable and that you, as the customer, pay only for what you need and will use.
DevOps engineers are the ones who ensure that your app is fast, secure, and accessible to users around the world and from any gadget. As you can see, the job of DevOps engineers is one of the toughest jobs on the development team.
A QA engineer is one of the most vital specialists involved in the process of creating a web application. It is these professionals who perform acceptance testing to make sure that the site works as intended, that is, according to the business requirements for it. Quality Assurance engineers detect errors and are responsible for preparing strategies, test plans, and test cases. They are fully responsible for ensuring that the software is of high quality, the user interface is up-to-date and the application is browser-compatible.
Automation scripts are developed and executed using open source tools, and bugs are carefully identified and documented. After bugs are fixed, thorough regression testing is performed.
QA engineers are needed both during the product development phase and at the end when technical support is provided.
A UI/UX designer is a person who takes care of the user experience and creates the interface itself, that is, the elements through which people interact with the application.
The designer's job is to study the project requirements, determine the target audience, and ensure that the project is relevant and in demand. The step-by-step work of the UI/UX designer helps to identify possible difficulties that users may encounter when interacting with the software. In this case, the key problems can be identified and solved at the initial stage.
Speaking of UX and UI designers, it is worth defining the difference between the two: UX is concerned with finding ways and means to make a site, an application or a product better, more convenient and efficient, while UI focuses on how the product looks. This includes all the things that usually impress users, such as color, font, menu layout, the number of headings and how they are displayed on the page, etc.
Large Development Team Of Web Professionals
The size of the web development team depends on the scale of the project and the client company's goals. Sometimes you can get by with a limited number of specialists, in this case, we are talking about a basic web development team consisting of literally two or three people who can put the project on the rails. However, more often than not this is not the case.
Often customers want to develop and launch a scalable, complex project and make it recognizable and loved by users from the first steps. To meet these challenges, you need to expand your web development team. Usually, a team of marketers, business analysts, and other so-called humanitarians is added to the developers, whose task is to bring the product to market.
Who is a Requirements Analyst? This is a specialist with whom you as a client will have to communicate more closely at the beginning of the collaboration than with other members of the web development team. The Requirements Analyst is responsible for working with clients to figure out and gather requirements for the project, whereas the next step is to create technical specifications for developers to help guide the project, work within deadlines, implement the right options and features, and so on.
The advantage of hiring a Requirements Analyst is that such a specialist helps optimize and speed up the team's work. However, the decision of whether to hire them or not is largely up to you.
Web applications vary in structure and architecture, which means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing each project. On the contrary, each web project must be developed individually, starting with defining the type of web application at the beginning. This issue is handled by a separate specialist called the Project Architect. This role allows you to discuss and even argue about the upcoming project with the customer. Such an approach is fully justified since the goal is to develop an architecture that best meets the customer's business needs. The Project Architect is needed in the early stages of the development process, but once the project is approved, the Architect continues to work only part-time, being tied to other projects. The Project Architect remains responsible for the quality and logic of the interaction between the backend and the frontend, as well as the integration of the application.
The key task of the Business Analyst is to develop the right product at the right time according to market demand, business model and goals of the client. This may not seem obvious, but if you take the time at the beginning of product development to do a business analysis of the market, i.e., competitors, demand and perspectives, the strategic approach will pay off many times over.
As a member of the web development team, the Business Analyst is responsible for setting the right goals and using beneficial development methods and tools. It is the Business Analyst who determines what works and what needs to be improved, given the latest development trends and specifics of the business environment. If you want your idea to be effective in the long run, the Business Analyst is a mandatory member of the development team.
Why do you need such a specialist? SEO-related activity is the shortest and easiest way to draw users' attention to your product. Therefore, if necessary, the Project Manager, together with the Marketing Department, expands the development team with SEO and marketing specialists so that they can optimize your site or application and make the product marketable. SEO specialists analyze industry keywords, compiling a list of those your potential customers use when searching for your services. SEO specialists then apply those words when writing texts, setting up ads, and working with UI and UX designers. The goal of SEO specialists is to make sure that your site is ranked in the first positions in SERP for relevant keywords.
Separately, there are copywriters whose tasks are to fill the site or application with texts aimed at solving marketing problems. What to write, for what purpose and where to place it is decided in close cooperation with designers, marketers and sales representatives.
How to Manage a Web Development Team
According to statistics, more than half of projects fail during implementation because of poor project management. More specifically, most companies have project management failure rates as high as 70%, and one in six projects exceeds the agreed-upon development budget by 200%. And now for the scariest part: only about 3% of companies complete 100% of their projects.
When it comes to the project development process, the issue of project management becomes crucial because the right approach can not only save you money and time but also ensure your business gets the reputation it needs in the marketplace.
Let's take a look at some of the effective project management techniques. But first, let's start by defining the process.
So, project management is the process of managing a web development team and managing the process itself. In this process, there is a person in charge - the Project Manager, who is responsible for the work progress and deliverables.
For the team and overall project management process to be effective, the Project Manager must know and perform his or her roles and responsibilities. These are as follows:
- Making a task list.
- Setting the schedule.
- Establishing a budget and timeline.
- Determining the sequence of activities and allocating resources.
- Building a team and assigning roles.
Here are the steps that make up the project and team management process:
- Initiation. At this stage, the Project Manager initiates the processes: gathers the team, analyzes the project and chooses the direction to move in.
- Planning. This step includes creating a task list, setting goals, making a schedule, and creating a team communication plan. The result of this stage will be a ready-to-use project management plan.
- Execution. This is where the actual work takes place, as well as the implementation of a tracking system, regular meetings and a review of team responsibilities. In addition, the Execution phase includes ongoing monitoring, which involves reviewing the work done, the performance of each team member and the entire team, as well as reviewing the budget and sequence of the remaining work stages.
- Closing. During the Closing Phase, the Project Manager evaluates the team's efforts and results and hands over the project to the stakeholders.
When the time comes to put together a team at the initiation stage, it is necessary to find not just the right specialists, but those who can handle the task at hand. To do this, job descriptions should be drawn up in advance, paying attention to the following points:
- What is the purpose of each position in detail?
- What should be the qualifications and experience of specialists?
- Who reports to whom in the team?
- By what criteria will the performance of each team member be evaluated?
- What is the salary and what affects it?
Having an office with all the necessary infrastructure to run smoothly, including quality equipment and tools, smooth communications is also important in managing the team. It is also crucial to create and adhere to standards and templates to manage the web development process.
Tips to Consider When Working with a Dedicated Web Development Team
Often working with a web development team, such as a web development team from Ukraine, involves working with remote engineers, which entails the need for special working conditions. For the team management to run smoothly and efficiently, the following tips are recommended:
- First, you need to research the project requirements, and then develop an action plan.
- Consider the time zone of colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. It is often the case that people working on a project are located in different parts of the world. You need to know in advance what hours your team can work and be reachable. Agreeing on call and meeting times is key to understanding people in different time zones.
- Roles and responsibilities should be assigned to web development team members not only according to their experience and qualifications but also based on their personality. In this way, you can make routine workflow fun, while avoiding conflicts between team members and misunderstandings due to differences in approaches to work.
- Any change, comment or suggestion should be discussed within the team and with the stakeholders.
- Use the right project management software, such as Basecamp, Jira, ActiveCollab, Trello, Asana, to stay on the same page with your team and stick to the set scope of tasks. You can use them to track project progress, know what stage each person is at, and what else needs to be done to reach the goal.
- It is necessary to choose one tool for fast communication within the web development team. In this respect, the Slack service has proven itself well. All the bureaucratic nuances are avoided here, the information is stored, it is possible to allocate communication by topics. Such tools are well suited for working with distributed teams, providing both synchronous and asynchronous communication.
- You can also use cloud storage services such as Google Drive or Dropbox to stay on the same page as your team. This is an indispensable tool when working remotely and needing to share files with team members.
- A suitable way to get quality code and therefore a quality product is an approach such as pair programming. It has little to do with managing a web development team, but on the other hand, it brings order to the process and the result, which in its own way helps manage the web development team.
The task of team management, especially when working remotely, can be more difficult than expected. However, there are very specific approaches and tools to make it simple and effective.
How to Hire a Web Development Team in Ukraine
We would mislead you if we told you that hiring a dedicated web development team is easy and hassle-free. It's not that easy, because there are a huge number of talented technical professionals on the market who can implement your idea. However, to choose the right technicians, you will have to consider some of these points:
- Competence: soft and hard skills, experience, knowledge;
- Cultural background: mentality, emotional intelligence, culture;
- Education: written and spoken English, negotiation skills, grasp of the specifics of your business;
- Time zone: whether it is convenient for you to call, whether the team can be in touch around the clock;
- Price: hourly rate, cost of additional services, cost of key personnel;
- Team management: whether the contractor's approach to project management suits you, how flexible your IT partner is with changes and being controlled by you, etc.
Being an experienced web development team, we have all the necessary resources to provide our clients with a wide range of services - from development to marketing the finished product.
What we suggest you look at:
- We have the relevant experience and expertise to help you;
- We speak and write English fluently;
- Our prices are transparent;
- The literacy rate of our specialists is high (for Ukrainians it reaches 100%);
- We have in-depth industry expertise gained from working with representatives from very specific areas of business;
- There is an ongoing exchange of experience with foreign counterparts and professional development through work on complex projects and training on additional courses.
If you are looking for the right IT partner, you may come across a lot of nice texts about what this or that team does and what they can do for you. But our experience shows that it is better to contact the contractor directly, ask questions about their experience, range of services, cost, and then look at case studies. This way you'll get answers to your technical questions, and most importantly, you'll know how flexible the IT partner is and whether you feel comfortable communicating with their representatives.
To avoid wasting your time and budget, we recommend considering cooperation with a web development team consisting of experienced technical talents who are experienced with projects of similar subject matter and complexity.
We hope that you have got an idea of what a web development team can look like. It is headed by a Project Manager who deals with all organizational issues and keeps you informed, but also the team's work is hardly possible without technical specialists, such as Front-end and Back-end developers, QA engineers, UI and UX designers, DevOps engineers. You may also need a Business Analyst, an SEO specialist, a Project Architect and other experts, but the necessity of their involvement will be decided later on in the process.
Anyway, the structure of the dedicated web development team will be determined by your goals, deadlines and budget. On the other hand, working with experienced, qualified technicians, you can delegate urgent, complex issues and tasks to them and expect to get the right result that meets your business goals.
Want to talk about having your project created by an experienced web development team? Let's discuss it. Please email us.