How to Extend or Build an App Development Team?

By Ronak Patel   |   23 February, 2022
How to Extend or Build an App Development Team?

Quick Summary:

Do you have an ongoing project or a new one for which you need an extended development team? You can strengthen your app development team by hiring a team of specialized app developers or building an app development team from scratch as per your needs. Here are all the factors to consider before building or extending your app development team.

In this tech-dominating era, every business is moving their offline services to Online. The way we do business has changed thanks to mobile apps. Existing businesses, be it enterprise-level, SMEs, or startups, everyone knows the importance of mobile applications. Mobile apps have given effective results. They help businesses grow to increase their profits by helping them to reach a wider range of audiences.

Did you know?

  • Mobile apps are projected to generate over 613 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2025.
  • There were close to 3.5 million apps available on the Google Play Store in the first quarter of 2021. Approximately 3739 apps are added to the Play Store every day!
  • However, With 2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store, it dominates the market in terms of app revenues, accumulating 21.5 billion U.S. dollars in consumer spending on apps in the third quarter of 2021.

The above stats give a clear hint over the significance of app development for any business. And it’s also a given fact that you need the right talents for building or extending your app development team for a quality app development solution. You probably have a dedicated team of skilled experts who seamlessly deliver on all your clients’ requirements. However, if you get an opportunity to work on a scale that requires more developers or uses a newer technology your developers aren’t accustomed to, would you just let go of the project?

Accepting the limitation of your current talent pool both in terms of app development team size and relevant experience and finding answers to how to extend or build an app development team for such projects is a must (especially for start-ups) if you want to scale and grow your business, also survive the competition.

Ideal App Development Team Structure for any Software Projects

Before we understand how to hire an app development team for your app project, we should focus on whom to hire for your building or extending your app development team. It is important to define mobile app development team structure and roles to identify talents you need to hire to strengthen your enterprise app, development team.

Ideal App Development Team

1. App Development Team Roles

Who are the members of the app development team? You need to have a basic understanding of the different roles different specialists play in app development. When building/extending your app development team, it is important to know the core app development members for any app development project

1.1 Project Manager

Key Roles of a Project Manager:

  • To ensure a product or aspect gets delivered on time and within budget
  • To manage and motivate the app development team
  • To plan the app development project from ideation to delivery
  • To delegate the given work to the right subordinates
  • Monitoring progress and identifying hindrances
  • Managing and maintaining proper project documentation

A project manager plays a crucial role in any app development team. He/she oversees the app development projects – generally of moderate to high complexity. In addition, they are responsible for gathering the right team, assigning them responsibilities, managing time and deliverables, and ensuring cost-effective and time-efficient delivery as per deliverables.

1.2 Business Analyst

Key Roles of a Business Analyst:

  • To identify what the client needs/wants
  • To represent the company
  • To analyze and bring out the tiniest project details
  • To manage and motivate the app development team
  • To implement the plan & workflow after keeping all aspects in consideration.
  • To delegate the given work to the right subordinates
  • To help the client with both functional and non-functional requirements
  • To make the right decisions and have problem-solving skills

A business analyst works with an organization to improve its systems and processes. They are responsible for conducting research and analyzing the company’s assets and opportunities to develop innovative solutions for its challenges while improving communication and business processes with clients.

1.3 QA Engineers

Key Roles of QA Engineers:

  • To analyze and clarify requirements with business analyst
  • To plan the processes and types of testing
  • To write relevant test scripts
  • To conduct functional testing
  • To identify key problem areas and add them to a tracking system
  • To come up with possible fixes & discuss them with the development team

QA engineers are an essential aspect of a team for mobile app development. Their main goal is to prevent defects and test the app/products to identify existing deficiencies. They also actively provide solutions for the identified problems and strive to improve customer satisfaction through constant improvements. They also prepare reports presented to senior management for further analysis and assessment.

1.4 App Developers

Key Roles of App Developers:

  • To develop custom software solutions as per customer’s requirements
  • To create and implement a new application’s source code
  • To test and debug source code
  • To evaluate existing applications and perform updates and modifications
  • To create guidelines and documentation for logging code design of the new app
  • To develop API for supporting mobile functionality
  • To integrate third-party applications for upgrading app performance and functionalities

Suppose you have a team, you hire developers specializing in mobile apps but none for making web apps. In that case, you should consider extending your development team to have all sorts of developers when the need arises. Moreover, native app developers (only iOS, or only Android) and cross platform developers (both iOS and Android) within mobile app development. Hence having the right team of developers at the right time is very important.

Also Read: – How Much Does it Cost to Hire App Developers in 2022?

1.5 App Designers

Key Roles of App Designers

  • To design a basic app interface for various platforms like iOS and Android
  • To be a part of the entire design process from strategy to execution
  • To communicate and collaborate with frontend developers
  • To maintain design consistency using style guides, style sheets, and following other standard design practices
  • To update the app with the latest UI/UX trends in a way that is appropriate for the app

When building your app development team, you need to hire credible app designers as they are responsible for the overall style of your app – the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). They are the app development team members that hold the most power to make your app appealing and user-friendly, which can give you a significant push against your competitors.

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2. App Development Stage and Size

Next step towards understanding how to build an app development team is to clearly understand how many experts you need and in what specializations? Naturally, the overall size of your app development team would depend on factors like project complexity, urgency, scalability, and more.

But the most important deciding factor is determining the scope of the project. App development teams for developing a basic prototype would differ from building an MVP or building a fully-featured app development solution with various features and third-party integrations. Naturally, the more the app’s complexity, the more specialists will be needed, directly impacting the app development team cost.

Here’s how to build or extend an app development team for different project stages:

Project Stage App Development Team Specialists Needed Total App Development Team Size
Basic Prototype 0-1 x Product Owner
0-1 x Project Manager
0-1 X UI/UX Designer
0-1 x Software Architect
0-1 x Business Analyst
0-6
MVP Development 0-1 x Product Owner
0-1 x Project Manager
2-3 x UI/UX Designer
2-3 x Software Engineers
2-3 x Test Engineers
6 – 11

 

 

Product Development 0-1 x Product Owner
0-1 x Product Manager
4-6 x UI/UX Designer
2-4 x Software Architecture
3-4 x Test Engineers
3-4 x Performance Engineers
3-4 x DevOps Engineers
3-4 x Security Engineers
18 – 28

3. Choosing the right App Development Team Structure

How you structure your team before building your app development team. There are different approaches to building an app development team like – Generalist, Specialist, and Hybrid. Depending on your business requirements and client’s demands, you can pick either of these models to best serve your clients at the most cost-effective rates by effectively optimizing your resources.

Ideal Team Structure for App Development

3.1  Generalist Team Structure to build app development team

This app development team is built of individuals with many skills and expertise. Such teams generally work on the end-to-end development process of a project or, at times, for a singular feature. Generally, such team structure is seen and followed in outsourcing companies.

Pros of building team with a Generalist approach

  • Improves collaborative effort; every team member has an excellent overall understanding of the product.
  • Each team member can work on the project without absolute dependency on the other.

Cons of building team with a Generalist approach

  • Jack of all, king of none can be a troublesome situation, especially when you require a specific skill set that none of your developers possess. Here you would need to onboard a new member in the middle of the project.

3.2  Specialist Team Structure to build app development team

Opposed to the generalist approach, specialist app development teams are built with highly qualified experts in an individual set of roles and responsibilities. As a result, they are better equipped to handle specific and narrow tasks. Furthermore, each member is responsible for their part in the development process, and software development teams generally take such an approach.

Pros of building team with a Specialist approach

  • Highly skilled and knowledgeable developers for each project aspect
  • Can build high complex software solutions with ease

Cons of building team with a Specialist approach

  • Individual working could result in misfitting of components when brought together.
  • High chances of inefficient communication due to lack of understanding in other aspects of the project

3.3  Hybrid Team Structure to build app development team

The hybrid team approach combines the benefits of both ‘generalist’ and ‘specialist’ approaches. They can work on the entire project and narrow their focus to a few key areas whenever needed. This gives them absolute flexibility in changing their approach as per the situation requirements.

Pros of building team with Hybrid approach

  • Higher flexibility in handling any type of project requirements
  • Optimal utilization of all resources and talents

Cons of building team with Hybrid approach

  • Workflow management can take a hit with different approaches
  • It can be very time consuming and costly to set up a hybrid team

Also Read: – How Much Does it Cost to Develop an iOS App? – A Complete Analysis

Approaches for Hiring Talents to Build or Extend your App Development Team

Now that we know precisely whom to hire and how to set up your app development team, it is time to answer how to hire the right talents for building/extending your team. There are many different approaches and methods to hire the right talents for building or extending your app development team. Here are some of the most popular options you have:

Approaches for Hiring Talents

1.    For companies building app development teams from scratch

There are two best options for companies looking to build their app development team from scratch – hiring an in-house app development team or hiring an offshore development center. Both have their benefits and limitations that are important to be understood before making the right strategic decision.

Building Software Development Teams

1.1 Hiring in-house app development team (best suited for IT companies)

Why not have the professionals in your team? If you are a company that has a long-term product development project in hand, or many ongoing projects in the pipeline, hiring an app development team is a smart solution! Until and unless you need a massively extended software development team, as cost of hiring too many talents on a permanent/salary basis can be expensive in terms of salaries, employee benefits, office rent, and more. Hiring an IT team can be challenging if you are a start-up or an SME, but it can be a great solution for enterprises.

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Pros and Cons of Hiring an in-house app development team

Pros Cons
Improved administration and management It can be costly
Positive team environment and collaboration Hiring and recruitment can be a lengthy process
Efficient communication between departments Company termination can be lengthy and complicated.

 Things to ask when hiring an in-house app development team

In-house hiring is not only lengthy but also severely complicated. If you are from a non-IT background hiring the right talents for building your app development team would be futile. For this, you can hire a technical panelist who can help you filter from potential candidates better, or you can ask the developers to submit a small test task to check their skills before getting into the personal interview round.

Here are some questions you should ask in-house app developers before hiring them

  • Candidate’s’ previous work experience
  • Their understanding and knowledge about the current trends in technology
  • Is the candidate flexible enough to take on more roles, if needed?
  • How strong are the candidate’s soft skills?

In-house App Developers

1.2  Hiring Offshore Development Centre (best suited for non-IT companies)

As you see, hiring an in-house app development team can be very time consuming and highly expensive. More than that, the recruitment process can be challenging without any guarantee that you’d get the right talents for your requirements, especially if you don’t have any prior IT experience.

For such a situation, you can hire a dedicated Offshore Development Center Company with a capable and ready-to-deploy app development team. When you hire a trustable ODC, you access certified offshore developers while retaining control and management roles with you. It also helps reduce the time and cost of going through the hassle of recruitment, which can help you set up your app development team faster in the market.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Offshore Development Centre

Pros Cons
Increased productivity There can be cultural differences
Significantly lower operational costs Time zone differences can be challenging
Access to offshore talent More prone to security issues
Newer marketplaces to explore Communication can be difficult
Setting up development team is faster

 Things to ask when hiring an ODC for the app development team

  • Do you have a portfolio that we can understand your work method?
  • Are your developers certified, experienced and top-grade?
  • How do you set up your communication channels?
  • Would you be comfortable working according to our time zone preferences?

offshore development center

Also Read: – How Much Does it Cost to Develop an Android App?

2.    For companies looking to extend their app development teams

If you already have an established app development team, you can always scale up your skills and capabilities by getting extra help from outside. This can help you take on more challenging and rewarding projects, improve your overall market reputation and help you scale noticeably. There are many ways you can get an extended software development team. Each has its limitations and benefits.

Companies looking to extend their app development teams

Check your extended app developers for these skills:

Before getting into the options to extend your app development team, let us quickly review the skills your extended developer team should have

  • Have credible experience in the relevant field
  • Well-versed with modern coding and programming languages
  • Must be skilled with cross-platform and native development techniques
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Should follow clean coding standards
  • Be capable of working in a collaborative environment

2.1 Extending your team with IT Staffing Company

You have a team of dedicated developers who have been taking on various app development projects successfully. However, you are introduced to a new project whose talents have no experience or skill. Hiring a full-time app development team or tying a contract with ODC isn’t viable for such one-time or occasional projects. In such a situation for hiring a few top managerial talents, you can opt for professional IT staffing services.

An IT staffing service company helps clients find the most qualified candidates for their required vacancies. In addition, such agencies often conduct continuous recruitment to have a vast pool of talented developers ready to meet your demand as and when it arrives.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing hiring to IT Staffing Services Company

Pros Cons
24/7 support around the year Training can be time consuming
Such contractual employees are highly motivated to deliver the best results. Team bonding and cultural issues may arise
Companies can save up on costs significantly You lose control over the hiring process
Access to trained professionals who have credible work experience
Reduced hiring time
Saves payroll and onboarding costs

Things to ask when hiring an IT staffing service agency for extending your team

  • What is your submittal-to-hire ratio?
  • On what basis do you qualify candidates best fit for the role?
  • Can you explain our company culture in your words?
  • Do you also provide training and support to talents?
  • Can I contribute by giving a list of must-ask questions to the candidates?

IT Staffing Service Agency

2.2 Extending your app development team with Freelancers

Suppose you have a small project request that you don’t want your full-time resources to spend their time on. In that case, you can always hire a freelancer to pick up on such contractual projects. Many outstanding websites and platforms to hire freelancers from, such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and more. Freelancers can be hired on a contractual basis, and you only need to pay them when they complete a particular milestone (agreed mutually upon) or at the end of the project. This provides flexibility and cost-saving to development teams working on small-time projects.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Freelancers for extending your app development team

Pros Cons
Pay only for what you get No guarantee on the quality of developers
Great flexibility Conforming to industry standards can be challenging for freelancers
Access to global talent Supervising such talents can be a hassle

Things to ask when hiring Freelancers for extending your team 

  • Give a hypothetical situation and ask for their approach to solve it
  • Ask them to point out faults or limitations in your existing work culture and come up with efficient solutions for the same
  • Ask them about the latest tools and technologies in their domain
  • Ask them to verify their identity
  • Ask them about their other ongoing projects and availability
  • Ask if they have worked on similar problems in the past

Questions for Freelancers

Wrapping up!

This is your ultimate guide to build or extend your app development team. Make sure to keep these points in consideration before building your app development team. Hiring the right talents doesn’t necessarily need to be from the exact physical location in today’s time. You have the entire globe as your potential pool to find and build your ideal app development team.

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Ronak Patel

Ronak Patel is a CEO and Founder of Aglowid IT Solutions, an ever-emerging Top Web and Mobile Development company with a motto of turning clients into successful businesses. He believes that Client's success is company's success and so that he always makes sure that Aglowid helps their client's business to reach to its true potential with the help of his best team with the standard development process he set up for the company.

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