People often think your skills as a software developer are solely responsible for the quality of the end product. However, what most employers fail to realize is the importance of having a good team. Creating a strong, healthy software development team is a significant contributor to your success. While skills matter, employees are unable to produce optimal results due to a lack of team understanding and communication. Therefore, you can hire all the top developers; however, your product might be doomed for failure if they are not team players.
A strong, healthy software development team is a building block of making a company successful. If your team members are good at communication and can easily deal with a difference of opinion, congratulations! You’re halfway there. The skillset of your team dominates the other half. Along with being a team player, your staff should also know how to perform the tasks at hand. They don’t need to be perfect. Learning is a part of the process. However, they should be willing to improve. An adamant, hot-headed team member can make the entire department suffer.
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There are different approaches you can take while gathering a team. It mainly depends on the type of project you’re working on and the skills that are required. However, to increase your chances of launching a successful product, the following are three tips you should definitely keep in mind:
Start with a small team
It can be easy to get swept in the excitement of a new project. You might want to use every resource to make the project successful. However, starting on a small scale is imperative to begin your journey up the ladder. That is, beginning small can help avoid financial losses, prevent adaptability issues and also provide flexibility.
For instance, a team of 5 people might be better at agreeing on a decision as compared to a 10-person team. Similarly, if too many people work on the same product at the same time, it might lead to a mess. As the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth. The more the people, the more the disagreements, and the inefficient the process.
Consider using your funds to improve the working environment rather than hiring more people. Get 4-5 people to start working on the project while you sort out other details. This will also help you gauge the number of resources you require to finish the project in the given time. After an initial analysis, you will be in a better place to make a decision and hire appropriate personnel for the job.
Communicate clearly and more often
The next important quality a strong, healthy software development team has, is effective communication. It is important for a new team to be able to share ideas and opinions freely. You should communicate your vision and ideas to the employees. However, you should also be open to team suggestions and improvements. That is, you should be a boss, a mentor, and a team player at the same time. This way, your employees will also feel valued since their opinions will be heard.
Further, you should always encourage feedback. The world is not perfect. There is a high chance your team members will have an issue at some point. When that happens, you should be open to their feedback. Listen to their concerns openly and think of a diplomatic way to solve them. Basically, find a solution where everyone is happy. Your stakeholders should also be involved with your team’s progress. Arrange weekly meetings to get everyone on board with the process and status of your project. Regular updates also prevent unrealistic expectations and results.
Follow an SDLC method
Lastly, follow a software development life cycle (SDLC) method. SDLC helps in making high-quality software that is time and cost-effective. It provides a structured workflow with different phases that help software developers reach their goals efficiently. Moreover, the software is also well-tested, so it’s ready for deployment.
SDLC has six phases:
- Requirement analysis
- Software design
Selecting an SDLC method is dependent on the type of project you are working on and your expectations from the end product. The popular ones include agile, waterfall, and spiral models. Since SDLC is repetitive, it is relatively easier to remove bugs and ensure code quality. Hence, guaranteeing a high-quality software delivery.
Overall, having a strong, healthy software development team is crucial for developing a successful product. Whether you are working on a website, application, or an eCommerce store, delivering the right product at the right time is important. Having a strong team can help meet the deadlines and promote a fun, supportive working environment. Further, it can also lead to better performance reviews and hence, raises or bonuses by your employers.