Roles and Responsibilities on a Software Development Project: Who Are All These People We’re Hiring?
Learn about the 8 vital roles for a software development project.
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Before your developers write the first line of code for your future product or service, there is still a fair amount of work and thought to be put into your project. From initial meetings with your vendor to planning and understanding what it is that you’re all trying to produce here, this section will introduce you to the key people you meet during the discovery phase of your software development project before the contracts get signed and the development truly takes off.
Account managers play a crucial role in any B2B relationship. And software development outsourcing is no exception. The account manager is the first person you meet when you approach a software development company with a project you need help implementing. The account manager’s responsibilities include building and maintaining a healthy, long-term relationship between the client and the outsourcing vendor they represent. They will also serve as your client success manager after the vendor’s part in your project is over: Check in on the health of your business and the software product or service their company helped you build, and handle all of your further requests.
When you’re happy with the estimation phase, you might want to move straight to development. But such a transition would require you to be certain that you can successfully achieve your business goals with what you have on your mind. And this would be the case if you had all of your business analysis, technical requirements, and other documented project data ready from the start. In our experience, however, most clients don’t really know what exactly they want to build straight away. So we move into the discovery phase instead to help them figure it all out before the full development team is assembled.
Some clients come to us when they have absolutely no idea of the technology they want to use in their software development project. And that’s okay!
So, we need to put someone in front of them who knows what tech would complement their business requirements best. This person is called a software architect — the technical brains of the operation.
Proper software architecture is crucial when it comes to high-quality projects. The key responsibility of a software architect is to define the best architectural structure, the software’s model and function for your project. They will reduce technical complexity and provide technical leadership for your project, focusing on clarity. They are in charge of all the high-level design choices on the project, including the coding standards, environments, tools, platforms, etc.
Shortly into the discovery phase, you will be introduced to another key figure called a delivery manager. This fundamental role in the Agile software development environment is accountable for the management of your expectations, overseeing the delivery process from discovery to deployment, and ensuring that your needs are met in a timely fashion. This is the person in charge of coordinating the presale and discovery phases and serves as your main point of support and escalation throughout your software development project.
A delivery manager effectively understands what the client needs not just from a technical perspective but based on how the client is going to drive their business with it as well. They are there to help you understand exactly what it is that you’re after.
Among the aforementioned duties a delivery manager performs, the broad range of their responsibilities includes:
Maintaining proactive and reactive communication with the business owner and stakeholders to interpret their technical and business needs, facilitate difficult discussions, and provide delivery confidence
Setting up the environment your development team needs to ensure efficient collaboration, communication, and focus on achieving project goals
Bringing people together to form a motivated team, protecting team members, and facilitating the delivery flow with an iterative plan to work towards
Coaching the team to help them become more autonomous, better at organising their own work
Proactively addressing all the internal and external risks, issues and dependencies with budgets and people
Driving experimentation and continuous improvement with the most suitable agile practices and tools for the project
Moving from the discovery to the delivery phase, your software development company sources, interviews, and onboards the required talent to your project. The hiring process is usually coordinated by a dedicated software project manager who makes sure all the candidates are handpicked to best suit your project goals.
Although we’re introducing you to the role of a UX/UI designer here in the development section of the article, it is quite likely you have already met this person during the presale and discovery phases. The UX/UI designer is responsible for turning your product vision into a compelling, friendly, and intuitive user interface that provides a great user experience and brings high conversion rates. Their focus is set on product usability, functionality, and visual design.
Software developers, also referred to as coders, are your main and indispensable troops on a software development project of any complexity and scale. Their role on the project is pretty straightforward: writing and implementing clean, efficient code based on the provided technical requirements. It wouldn’t hurt to mention that the more effectively the management communicates the technical requirements to your dev team, the lower the risk of accumulating technical debt.
Published at DZone with permission of Andrew Smith. See the original article here.
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