A project is only as good as the idea that drives it and the hands that work on it. Therefore, making sure you get the right people for your project is important. The right people are those with relevant experience and matching skill-sets that particularly fulfill the technological aspects of your project.
And these days, with mobile app projects, mobile games, blockchain platforms, NFTs, the metaverse, and more to come, assembling the right team is crucial.
Gaining a unique identification by establishing a website only forms a small part of your endeavors. Mobile apps created a major paradigm shift, but blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse with AR/VR have driven things to a whole new level. And mobile app development on its own in a sea of various terminologies, appears generic. It certainly isn’t that.
Obviously, mobile app development is no walk in the park especially when you have a unique idea. Creating an app requires a technical team with sound knowledge, along with efficient project management skills.
Let’s explore the factors essential for building an app development team. Here we go…
Structuring Your Team for App Development
App development does not imply just coding an application only. Today, any prominent application you see or use on your smartphone, is a result of collective effort of people or team work. Undoubtedly, their skills produce an effective product. But you must analyze the responsibilities and roles of each individual. To come into action, you must comprehend every phase of specialty along with necessary information.
Thinking of a mobile application development team as a troop to conquer the digital landscape makes things more interesting.
A typical app development team includes…
Every project, regardless of its niche, needs a person to manage and supervise all the ongoing activities. This role is often interchangeable with the development department team lead. The project manager is a person who takes full responsibility for project success or failure.
This person looks after every phase to administer the project. Besides, this person keeps clients in the loop for defining schedules, app development cost, and the scope – serving as a communication bridge between client and team. Also, they cater issues at a high level to mitigate delays and resource allocation related issues. Overall, a project manager serves as a primary interaction link between the development team and the client.
You can read more about the project manager role here.
BA (Business Analysts)
Many believe that it is the project manager who initiates mobile app development, but this is a misconception. It’s actually, business analysts who look after business requirements and coordinate with the project manager.
They are skilled in terms of preparing documents, handling client requirements, assembling details, and prioritizing them. They also calculate and estimate a project’s cost and time. Beside all these areas of expertise, a business analyst must convey business needs to the development team effectively and clearly.
Users interact with mobile applications through a user interface that ultimately define their user experience with the app. Designing a UI requires a creative yet logical approach. It may appear to be an easy task, but this may not be the case. The job is not only to create an app’s UI and UX, but also follow the documentation, and the mentioned steps in it too. Without this, attaining a quality digital product may be difficult.
Moreover, at the outset, designers build a prototype while analyzing the documentation for process elaboration, which holds tremendous significance when it comes to structuring a mobile application.
Their skillset comprises the ability to design app aspects with a simple approach to ensure user experience. They also need to coordinate with a UX expert to translate the layout scheme. With that input, they must be well-versed with designing tools like Sketch and Photoshop to generate interaction points. They often aim to obtain feedback from users and revise designs accordingly. So, above all, your UI/UX designer must be a good communicator.
iOS or Android Developers
The Development process unfolds after the designing UI/UX phase completion. At this point, you see two paths, which are usually predefined before the project kicks off; either you can go with Android app development or pursue iOS app development. However, if being present on both platforms is desired, then your app development team size must be incremented with developers for both platforms.
Also, the development approach for Android development differs from the iOS. But at this stage, there is also an option for cross-platform development with frameworks like Flutter and React Native.
You can read more about cross-platform frameworks here.
Coming back to the point, we need to understand application structure and its functionality before diving into the coding phase. As we mentioned earlier that building an app for the Android differs from iOS app development. We will discuss their differences below.
But first, let’s outline what the role of mobile developer generally comprises.
It certainly includes programming high-performing quality applications. But that means transforming prototypes, layouts, and mockups into a real-time working application. To do this, they must collaborate with frontend and backend developers to integrate application programming interfaces (APIs) for extended functionalities. And all this must be done to develop an application as per the defined guidelines of the Play Store and App Store. And while that is a requirement, so is continuous cycles of testing.
Android Programmer Expertise
You need these programmers to have complete command over Java and Kotlin, as well as the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), which must all be used while following Material Designs (Google’s official designing guideline), XML structures, and database principles. Last but not the least is the need for Android IDE, i.e.; Android Studio.
iOS Programmer Expertise
An iOS programmer must be proficient with Objective C and Swift for native application development, and be familiar with development for iPad, and Apple watch. They should also know how to use XCode, Apple official IDE, and have an understanding of Apple Human Interface Guidelines.
They are the ones who leverage mathematical logic for building algorithms that they embed into applications. Backend developers apply logic and are the core operatives within your application development team structure. Their work is closely related to cloud storage, logical operations, and handling servers.
Backend Developer Role
So, backend developers build the functional parts of your project while collaborating up with the development team. They enhance application architecture to achieve optimal performance in minimized resource usage, and maintain application functionalities from behind the curtain. They are the smart guys who design efficient solutions for storing data and collaborate to work on services, IDE, and databases. They ensure robust data security implementation, and monitor and fix backend bugs and errors.
Quality Assurance Engineers
QA experts or testers are people who look for bugs in a developed software product. Their role is to verify the developer’s work and highlight errors if they encounter any. Hence, you cannot afford to build a mobile app development team without QA engineers. They make sure the digital product is working up to the mark without any errors.
A QA specialist conducts app testing in different scenarios to attain stability and be certain that an app will perform well under different circumstances. The developer receives the app for revision if a QA expert finds any bug. Apps or sprints or software sprints are only delivered after their approval.
Skillset of QA Engineer
QA engineers have a unique role to play in terms of identifying compromised or deficient areas through testing, providing solutions to tackle the identified problem. They monitor quality and highlight areas for further improvement to gain maximum customer satisfaction, and plan and create test cases.
Furthermore, they identify bottlenecks and provide suggestions to mitigate them while looking after overall development and extract essential information. They also measure KPIs to meet certain standards and build reports to document each testing step for senior management.
It’s quite obvious that QA staff are significant when you’re creating an app.
Once application is ready to hit the market, post-development process initiates. This process also requires some breath-taking steps and experts to carry out the things. These experts are none other than sales and marketing people.
Digital Marketers and Sales Department
Sales representatives are intermediaries between businesses and clients interested in making an app. First, they provide baseline information to them and mention their developers' mainstream work. After gathering the evaluation and estimations, the sales manager then offers the client the overall app development cost. If the client agrees with the provided offer, the project manager steps in and takes the lead.
In the post-development process, the sales team's task is to promote the application, advertise it on multiple platforms, and plan a strategy to gain prominence in the market.
If a business analyst is in charge of the requirement gathering phase, what function does an account manager play in estimating the project? Because a business analyst has been given all of the essential criterion, the account manager's duty is reduced to numbers. Compiling an estimate list for the customer takes no more than a day.
Considerations While Building an App Development Team
A one-to-one interview is a typical and convenient way to onboard a candidate in an organization. In addition to that, there are a few critical elements that need to be taken care of in the process.
Hiring a Good Fit
In many industries, there are people who may feel entitled or perceivably just can’t work well enough without added attention. It’s one thing for a person to know their value, but that person you hire for any department must be well grounded.
Assessing this sometimes is a challenge. Perhaps posing questions and scenarios at the time of the interview could help you discover developers who will offer a supportive hand, collaborate well, and demonstrate willingness for a given role.
With that, the goal accomplishment path becomes more aligned. You will need someone who will put the team first, which boosts your chances of success.
"None of us is as smart as all of us – Jim Rohn. "
Create an Inspiring Application Development Team Environment
More than incentives and high pay, a collaborative organization culture motivates app developers to do more. If they are not motivated, their work is affected and ultimately results in an ineffective software product. To avoid that, create an atmosphere where they feel like going the extra mile.
The agile methodology introduces high flexibility in the software development lifecycle. One major issue that a development team faces is changes in client's requirements in the middle of a project, which becomes hard to cater to. Fortunately, the agile approach solves this problem by dividing a big project into small chunks, called sprints.
Nowadays, every major software development company uses an agile approach in its development process. And Jira can be your best companion in this case. Not to mention, various tools aid in managing and speeding up the app development process.
We have highlighted some of the best tools based on industry standards and acceptance in one of our articles; you can check that out here. Utilizing these tools can undoubtedly enhance the overall cycle and give you more control over things. Many of these tools support integration with other tools, which means that if you update the status in one program, others will reflect the changes automatically.
You can read more about the agile project management in software development here.
Promote an Attractive Working Culture
Application developers are unnamed superheroes who work under the hood in stealth mode and create an impact on a global level. Developers or any other individuals are keen to work at a company where they get paid well, are treated as an asset, and are recognized.
If your organization incorporates such elements in its work culture, talented developers will find their path toward you. Also, you will be free from the hassle of hunting for candidates. People will contact you to become a part of your team and will make an effort to retain their position after joining.
Three Aspects Development Should Follow Rigorously
There are multiple departments aligned with your mobile development team. Each plays a pivotal part in the process concerning their domain. But having control of each department and monitoring progress is difficult and probably not possible. That is why we assign a lead for each department, who takes responsibility and assigns tasks to a group of people. Also, they monitor the outcomes and department workflow to ensure things run smoothly run and are not subject to any issues. Assigning activities with respect to timeframes also comes under a lead’s responsibility.
While building an app, all team members need to meet deadlines and follow a schedule. If work does not get done by the assigned date, an organization can face severe loss. However, days may change if a customer comes up with new requirements or changes in the existing model. But that's a different story. So, informing everyone regarding the timeline is crucial.
The development process involves tremendous complexities and technicalities, and requires mutual effort and understanding to accomplish a goal. For instance, one person cannot test, code, and design an app alone. It is a team effort. However, one can help their teammates in need within their best capacity. Keep in mind that combined effort always leads to a gratifying outcome. And hopefully you will see many positive outcomes.
If you need more information concerning our process or want to develop a mobile application, share your ideas with Cubix.