How to Scale a Software Development Team 2023 : Aalpha
When your tech venture starts to grow, the need to scale your business also grows. Whether the business is just starting up or it is a small-sized enterprise, scaling it will speed up the development and growth of the business. By establishing different departments and expanding the teams, there will always be smooth workflows and coordination among the teams, thus maximizing productivity, which in turn enhances business growth.
However, the process of scaling a software development team requires proper calculations and strategies put in place. Otherwise, there are as many challenges as there are many opportunities. As a result, even when the strategies are well-calculated and a team of experts is involved in the scaling process, it can lead to reduced productivity instead of maximizing productivity.
Some of the basics involved in the smooth scaling of a software development team include innovative routine practices, proper management plans, and effective communication strategies. In this guide, we will highlight all the steps and procedures to ensure appropriate scaling of your software development team.
Why scale your software development team?
No tech business owner can just wake up one day and decide to scale their business. The process involves identifying factors that are driving the business in the wrong direction. These factors are often integrated with the set business strategy to promote the growth of the business. Some of the reasons that can make a business to scale its software development team include the following:
Once you set up a business, you must put in place strategies to explore varied and trendy domains. Besides, you can reach a point where you want to adjust the existing domains to fit the advanced tech. These two instances will require a software development scaling process by adding experts who have varied skill sets and knowledge to the team. The new team, therefore, will facilitate the development of new products, which in turn expands the overall market.
When your software business grows, the need to increase capacity also escalates. This is one of the common reasons for scaling the software development team. However, when expanding the team, make sure the team size is directly proportional to the software development workload to enhance quality production and an effective software development process.
When your software development team brainstorms ideas and shares them, they bring fresh and viable ideas to your business. Besides, sharing technical ideas enhances innovative thinking, which in turn helps your entire organization create incredible services and products, thus scaling higher.
The current world is moving faster when it comes to digitalization. This, therefore, means that speed is crucial in elevating or scaling your business to higher limits. Besides, competition is quite stiff in the software development space. Therefore, you can scale your software development team to speed up service delivery and stay ahead of the competition.
In large establishments, managers often allow team members to keep focused on specific phases or stages of the software development process. Therefore, when you want to enhance specialization, you might need to scale your software development team to improve the flow of work and the overall quality of products and services delivered.
In any business setup, you shouldn’t depend on a single solution whenever a problem or an issue that needs attention arises. What if the solution isn’t available at the moment? This means that the business operations will come to a standstill. While you don’t want to experience such a frustrating scenario, it might be high time you scale your business to enhance continuous business operation.
Quality assurance in software development is a key aspect. Sometimes, the project can become complex. This doesn’t mean compromising the quality of products and services delivered. Instead, you should scale the software development process by allocating useful resources for testing to ensure the products meet the quality required.
In software development, market trends, competition, and customer needs will always change from season to season. When you scale your business, you can adjust to any rapid or drastic change by integrating new technology stack in the software development process and responding positively to customer wants.
Steps to follow when scaling your software development team
Having established the reason why software development businesses often scale the software development teams, what are the steps, practices, or things to consider during the scaling process?
The process can be tricky. You might opt to increase the number of professionals, but this move might not scale your business well. Again, you may add a new tool, and the business scales up higher than anticipated.
Therefore, take time to review the current team and note what is missing in the team or simply the weak points of the team.
Sometimes, you may realize that all the teams need are soft skills to guide new employees. If possible, talk to respective departments that impact the software development process directly, such as quality assurance, management, analytics, design, and research departments. The respective teams are in a better position to point out weak points, and this information will help you know the next steps or strategies to take to scale up the software development team.
In any case, consider the following best practices or steps to follow when scaling your software development team:
Before you begin the software development team scaling process, make sure you have a strong foundation or focus on what you want to change and the results you expect afterward. The foundation should revolve around the culture, vision, and mission that defines your business.
Create an approach that aligns with the core values of the company. If you begin the scaling process blindly without following the company’s values and principles, you might get the whole process wrong, and this means failing the mission, thus causing losses instead of profits.
Besides, when you state the values and principles of the scaling process in a clear manner, your team members will always work on the same page. Don’t forget to incorporate feedback from varied departments into the scaling processes. This will enable department leaders to share ideas and make adjustments that will benefit the entire organization.
A roadmap is a clear strategy showing the direction of the company. This includes the set goals to be achieved and the investment plan of how to achieve the set goals. Here, documentation is a key element.
Therefore, think of a plan on how to meet deadlines on time and how to plan phases of software development to facilitate efficiency. Don’t hesitate to make changes where necessary, as long as the changes you make will facilitate achieving the desired goal.
If the infrastructure of application architecture is not planned appropriately, scaling the software development team may not be a viable solution for elevating the business. In some instances, the software development teams may not be familiar with the product architecture, hence the crush.
The application architecture is made in a manner that specific functionalities may not always work. This means that you should get the scaled product ready before the scaling process. This concept is significant in helping you approximate the total number of human resources needed.
Ideally, the product architecture is a reflection of the company’s structure. However, plan ahead, especially for complex projects. With this in mind, always go for the architecture that aligns with your software development team for effective scaling. Getting a professional software architect is significant in this case.
Of course, there are different departments involved in the whole process of software development. All these teams are significant in scaling the software development teams. Therefore, all heads of departments should follow the same plan. They should take note of the following:
- Always have adequate knowledge of the job description and stress the elements that are missing in the current team.
- Stay cautious of referred employees.
- Always ensure you factor in human factors when making hiring decisions because scaling can demotivate the already existing team. After all, you need a team of the right individuals to scale the companies.
- Always inquire to get a clear picture of the candidate’s soft skills, including their performance, temper, and personality.
- During a trial period, ask candidates about their soft skills, personality, and temper, along with their performance.
Since the success of a company depends on people, it can be a hard process trying to get the right professionals based on the company’s culture during the scaling process. Many people aren’t always ready or willing to operate under the changes. This, therefore, implies that unexpected changes can impact scaling effectiveness negatively. That is why considering the human factor is crucial before scaling up.
A good leadership strategy is a key element to defining successful software project development. From business analysts, product managers, scrum masters, development leads, and product owners, all these are leaders who play a vital role in ensuring the success of the project at hand. Therefore, every leader must understand their respective roles in the company’s success.
Every leader should be accountable in their respective areas. This will build a self-motivated team of leaders, which will maximize productivity. Besides, create a team of leaders who can give useful insights and overviews to help the top CEOs scale the whole team.
A distributed software team enhances scalability because more experts and resources are channeled toward the project’s success. Besides, it allows the invention of innovative solutions through varied views and perspectives from the teams.
Distributed agile teams also enhance flexibility in matters concerning schedules and location, which simplifies the process of finding and retaining productive individuals. This, in turn, speeds up the software development process without affecting the quality.
Agile is a key concept in the software development industry, and adaptability is crucial to successful software delivery. Agile teams are simply cross-functional teams that share responsibilities for effective results, even when every member has a set of responsibilities to take care of to complete the project. That is why it is crucial to assess the member’s ability to adapt to changes before the scaling process.
The main goal of agile teams is to enhance collaborative efforts to promote successful software development and delivery without spending extra costs.
It can be a challenging experience to manage the project effectively, especially when the tasks keep growing and overwhelming the existing team. Therefore, it is crucial to have a straight plan, especially for large and complex projects that require dedicated developers teams or when the tasks are complex, and there is a need to divide the tasks into phases and assign them to specific individuals.
Ideally, don’t scale the software development team based on tech stack. Instead, scale the teams based on a specific product or feature, functionality, or platform model. This promotes faster quality delivery. Especially when the project’s dynamics keep changing, make sure you have dedicated development teams for flexibility, accountability, and balancing of the whole project.
Short sprints are effective in task management as they enforce immediate actions and continuous progress. The concept of faster is better applied here since the tasks are given to teams based on their abilities and experiences to speed up the process. Don’t forget the need for reporting software for effective management.
Of course, the code quality has a direct impact on the app’s performance. That is why it is crucial to create a high-quality MVP — minimum viable product before initiating the project. Otherwise, poor code quality will ruin the whole project, and the teams will be going back and forth without any progress, thus wasting time and resources.
Once the teams understand the roles and you assign them respective roles, you can initiate the planning process. Set up a clear plan as you factor in improvement measures such as daily standups, backlog grooming, and sprint review, among many others, especially when handling unassigned tasks or tasks given to the wrong teams.
Scaling software engineering teams is a crucial step, yet a delicate one when not handled appropriately. You can incur losses instead of returns when you don’t plan the scaling process well. Therefore, ensure you create a strong foundation first by planning and defining the reasons for scaling your software development team.
Want to scale your software development team? Connect with our software development company — Aalpha information systems!