6 Tips on How To Structure a Development Team

7 min read

Let's say you are a novice developer who wants to create a team and conquer the heights of the IT world. Your first step should be a brilliant idea and the way to it. The second is the formation of a budget, which will cover the team needs in the first months. Step three is to search for the team.

Here begins the most difficult part. Not only you will want to attract the best and the most hungry professionals, so also to squeeze the maximum out of them for a minimum price. The result is a desire to assemble a team of like-minded people, each of whom would help you realize your dream. It’s worth saying that nowadays these teams could be offline or online.

Here are 6 tips that can help you to structure a good development team.

  1. Establish the organization charter

Without the right "ideology" the success of any team is doomed to failure. The first step to creating the right corporate culture for remote or office employees is to create a list of rules that all must adhere to without exception. Even their author.

First of all, this concerns controversial situations. Here is a list of basic questions that need to be clarified:

  • What is more important: quality or timing?

  • Who is responsible for the work (timing, quality): performer or manager?

  • What tools are to be used?

  • Does the performer have the right to negotiate with the customer without notifying the manager?

  • How is the work paid?

  • When is the work performed?

The more moments will be thought out by you before the start of the project, the more willingly people will work with you and the more efficiency you will observe in the first months.

  1. Make the Project Model

In 42% of cases of technological start-ups, the reason for failure is the lack of demand for a product. It is in your power to "test the waters" at least in your city or region. If your product already has an investor or potential customers, it's not superfluous to find one or two more. This way you reduce financial and labor risks and make it easier to make development plans.

That is why it is more reliable to build a team not around a startup and one project, but within a more general field of activity. For example, in web development or mobile applications. But first, work on the client base with your own efforts. Without it, the success of your team rushes to zero.

  1. Get Secure with Financing

Professionals don’t work for free. People you will hire do not want to depend on whether the customer pay on time or not. That's why you need a starting capital. Ideally, this is your office salary for 6-12 months. It will go to the awards until the delivery of projects, to the necessary software, hosting and other overhead expenses. This reduces overall team risks and increases the attractiveness for all parties.

In the case of a technological start-up, more money will be required, since the release of only a trial version of the product will take at least a few months. The way out of the situation may be crowdsfunding platforms, but without a demo sample, it's unlikely that you will be able to raise a big jackpot.

  1. People search

Do not look for people on forums and social networks, this method hardly ever brings results. First of all, search in your own circle of acquaintances. Friends, colleagues, friends’ colleagues – it is already a large circle of search, if you spent at least a few years in IT.

Another option is the labor exchange. It is very difficult to attract good specialists here, this will require considerable money, negotiation skills, and "free conditions". Therefore, you will either have to trust the "green" programmers, or take risks, hiring modest job seekers.

There is another option, which for some reason many ignore: the creation of the team not around you, but around the idea. This means that your project will need an experienced leader with several successful projects behind him. You just give him an idea, suggest ideas for strategy, client base and manage people online. The invited manager solves most of your problems, but bites off a significant piece of the pie. However, for the first time this can be the best option.

  1. Stay adequate with your development plan

According to statistics, only 1% of startups take off, and more than half burns out due to an incorrect development and scaling strategy. So forget about the plan, which brings quick money from the "first shot."

In the west, teams are formed from a large number of people, where each has a specific narrow role, but a symbolic salary. In the Eastern Europe, on the contrary - 2-3 people have broad responsibilities, but also the salary at the office level. Soberly assess the payback of your project - this will be the key to the right team model.

  1. People management

All the previous tips were aimed at creating the right atmosphere in the team - something that is easier to do in the office and what often is not enough for remote teams. However, when all are united by one goal and have started to work, the right leadership goes at the forefront. There are 4 main elements:

  • Discipline. Each team member must clearly understand when to work and how much work to do. It is a mistake to think that the remote work has no connection to the place and time. In the successful team the manager always knows where and what his subordinate is doing.

  • Personal communication. Ideally - this is a personal meeting, even in the evenings for a cup of coffee. If it is not possible, there could be an online conference on Skype, periodic calls during working hours.

  • The team is above all. In a remote team, there are few chances to solve personal conflicts in private, therefore, controversial situations will always come to you as a leader. Remember that no specialist should put himself above all others. If this happens, you need to replace either him or the rest of the team.

  • The client is always right. It is a law for any team, no matter whether it is scattered around the country or is concentrated on 20 square meters. A person who pays money has the right to receive what he wants without listening to the opinion of the team members. If his comments paralyze the work, it is an excuse to ask for an additional fee or simply to break the agreement.

The implementation of these steps does not necessarily lead to success. Much will depend on your performance, on the members of your team, on luck and on the secret seventh ingredient - positive thinking in any situation.

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