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Innowise Group is an international full-cycle software development company founded in 2007. We are a team of 1400+ IT professionals developing software for other professionals worldwide.
About us
Innowise Group is an international full-cycle software development company founded in 2007. We are a team of 1400+ IT professionals developing software for other professionals worldwide.

How to structure a high-performance software development team

We won’t stop repeating that the success of almost every software development process depends on people. Yes, budget and vendor are super important but forming a strong vetted team with deep expertise, relevant experience, and tech talents matter the most. Not to mention, soft skills like responsibility, diligence, creativity, multitasking, and stress tolerance are vital in the demanding IT community. In this article, we will answer how to succeed in structuring a high-performance team and give some of Innowise Group’s insights into the issue.

Typical software development team structure

In the abstract, every typical software engineering team can be presented as a number of specialists with the roles of generalists, specialists, and hybrids. Let’s consider how they differ.

Generalist structure

This model implies individuals with diverse skill sets in various tech fields. Composed of such classy experts, the team can complete the end-to-end deployment or develop a complex feature without dependency on others. For example, a front-end developer with basic Java knowledge or PM experience in UI/UX design is the brightest representative of the generalist-like approach.

Specialist structure

This approach means every team member is an expert in a super-specific particular sphere (e.g., programming language, framework, service, technology, etc.) and, thus, fully responsible for a certain piece of work. As many jobs are operated simultaneously, this method provides better quality and a quicker time-to-market.

Hybrid structure

As the name suggests, this model combines the features of the two above-mentioned approaches, mixing generalists with specialists. In this case, hybrid team members work on the project as a whole with the ability to narrow down the focus if necessary. By far, it is the best approach as it boasts specialization in particular features with generalists that ensure the system performs smoothly.
software development team structure

We at Innowise Group adhere to specialists and hybrid structures since they possess the rich potential to fully cover the industry-specific project’s needs and maintain the relationships with customers on a high note. 

Once you have chosen the structure, it is high time to determine the size of the team. Our company places bets on the pyramid-like structure, and here’s why.

Why choose a pyramid-like structure

Building a well-balanced team structure definitely requires time and consideration. What is the right ratio between senior, middle, and junior developers? Is the temptation to hire as many seniors as possible reasonable? Innowise Group’s experience shows that a team  consisting solely of senior-level specialists is less effective and more expensive for business. We have discovered our own formula for a perfect team structure, illustrated below.

pyramid-like team structure

The Lead or Senior on the top decides on how many specialists to assign and what resources to allocate to fulfill the project objectives in the most efficient manner while juniors execute delegated day-to-day tasks. It is clear that juniors, by definition, have lower rates than senior developers, which reduces the project cost significantly. Surely, this structure is favorable since it brings some benefits:

  • It offers an ideal balance between leadership and staff roles when senior specialists focus on important tasks and the bigger picture.
  • Our long-lasting experience proves that the most committed and enthusiastic workers ready to go the extra mile are junior developers when they are valued and praised for diligence.
  • Oftentimes, junior developers are more effective at handling untrivial tasks since they are more open to collaboration and advice than senior developers who are more individualistic and caught up in themselves.
  • Lack of experience is often compensated by unorthodox approaches and out-of-the-box thinking, which leads to new solutions that were not expected so far.
  • Oftentimes, senior developers feel valued when mentoring junior developers. This contributes to the development of a strong programming culture and continuity between newbie and mature employees.
  • Last but not least, the common goal everybody strives to reach unites in the best way. When teammates encourage and help each other, the software development process goes faster with minimal risk of mistakes and misunderstandings.

Roles and responsibilities of each team member

Commonly, a typical software development team consists of the so-called generalists or specialists who have broad knowledge and skillset to cope with the tech procedures seamlessly. Of course, the roles vary depending on the complexity and the scope of a particular project, but the main roles are as follows:

Business Analyst (BA)

This specialist is responsible for the value estimation of the software product and composition of requirements specifications since, oftentimes, putting client’s ideas directly into technical directives might be challenging. They must have a strategic vision to understand how the solutions will work and what benefits they can bring to the customer.

Project Manager (PM)

PM is in charge of planning and execution. They manage the team workflow, delegate tasks and responsibilities, and monitor the execution of the tasks properly and on time. The software development project management specialist stays in close contact with the customer, providing information about the project’s progress and intermediate results.

UI/UX Designer

A Designer determines the way users will interact with the app or software. The product should be not only functional but also user-friendly and simple to navigate.

Developers (Front-End/ Back-End/Full-Stack)

Undoubtedly, software engineers are the core of software development. They compile the server side (back-end) and customer-facing features (front-end) or build the whole solution independently from scratch (full-stack), including core functionalities and user elements.

Quality Assurance Engineer (QA)

Usually, QAs come both at the initial stage of the software development life cycle while composing a test procedure program and at the testing stage, eliminating flaws and vulnerabilities in the solution. They ensure that the product meets quality standards and client requirements, playing the role of a supervisor with meticulous attention to the smallest details.

Roles and responsibilities of team members

Tips on structuring a development team

Finally, we would like to share some tips on forming an effective team with motivated members capable of tackling tasks of any complexity and scope.

Define roles and goals from the beginning

It is easier for each team member to take action when their roles are unclear. In fact, the majority of workplace miscommunications occur when roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined.

From the beginning of the team formation process, it is important to establish clear roles, responsibilities, and goals for each team member to improve communication and increase the project’s feasibility.

Feel free to restructure the team

Using an agile team in software engineering means the number of members is not a rigid figure. Thus, if an urgent necessity occurs, more specialists can be rapidly assigned to the project, bringing higher productivity and efficiency. Moreover, two small teams can be united into one or, on the contrary, one large is split into two.

Provide a healthy work environment

It goes without saying friendly and welcoming atmosphere with effective communication is a must-have in software development. People are way more effective when working in relaxed conditions with no stressful tasks and tight deadlines.

Bottom line

We at Innowise Group aim to structure high-performance, multi-tasking teams with solid skills and determination to bring value to customers’ business. We do not hesitate to entrust challenging tasks to junior specialists under the permanent supervision of senior employees since they undergo rigorous training and a meticulously planned onboarding program.

Our company strives to build corporate culture with inquisitive, proactive junior developers and seasoned middle/senior specialists who unveil their true potential, contributing to the project’s success. Reach out to Innowise Group to receive driving-forward outsourced software development services at reasonable rates and cutting-edge quality.

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