Fundamental Roles In a Software Development Team

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Roles and responsibilities in a software development team can be unclear at first, but for business owners, it is crucial to go in-depth and get to know more about each specialist. Moreover, understanding what every person is doing is essential for building a high-performing development team.

This article will briefly introduce Scrum and traditional development team roles. We will discuss the responsibilities, required skills, and qualities of each team member. You will learn that exploring each role is fundamental for building an effective result-driven team.

The Roles And Responsibilities in Team

Nowadays, most companies in the IT sector use Agile software development methodology to navigate the process, and Scum is a framework used with the Agile approach. The Scrum development team does not have an organizational leader, as it is a self-managing team, and that is why Scrum's structure is a little different from traditional ones. In the article, we discuss the roles in both traditional and Scrum teams.

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Product owner

A product owner is a person who is responsible for scaling a business value. This person is involved in all development stages, and at the same time, PO needs to understand market demand and business needs. At the same time, in small projects, clients can do this role by themselves and ensure that the product matches business objectives.

The quality of the final product depends on how the product owner (or client) is involved in the development process. We know examples when clients were unaware of what was going on in the project and found some critical issues when everything was already finished. It is always better to fix the issues during the development process, but not after finalization. That is why it's essential for clients who take a product owner role to understand all the development stages and be fully involved in the process. Paying invoices or signing documents is not enough, and they need to be responsible for the process from the beginning to the end.

Project Manager

A project manager is responsible for managing and communicating with a team, and it is the most crucial thing in this role. Moreover, they control the task in the team and are accountable for deadlines. This person leads the team and ensures everyone understands the task and what is expected from them at the final. A project manager is responsible for planning and time management within the team.

Furthermore, project managers need to be good communicators and have excellent organizational skills. They usually interact with all team members but also can be connected to clients and other stakeholders.

Stakeholder

One of the essential roles in the development process is a stakeholder role. It is impossible to create a successful product if the stakeholder is not involved in the process. In most cases, this role is taken by a client, who can also be a product owner at the same time. The stakeholder is responsible for the critical decisions and approves the team proposal.

One of the essential skills for this role is the ability to use data for decision-making. They need to be aware of all the development stages and understand that the success or failure of the product depends on stakeholders' decisions and the involvement level.

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Scrum Master

Scrum master is a specialist who ensures that all the team follows agile methodology. As we mentioned already, Agile methodology has become fundamental for many IT companies, and its principles are focused on collaboration and value creation.

Scrum master is responsible for how the team implements the framework. If needed, they improve the environment or remove obstacles to help the team efficiently work together. It is helpful if this person has a project-management background and to be gifted with leadership and coaching skills. The scrum master interacts primarily with team members.

Business Analyst

This person is a filter for all your business ideas. Business analysts ensure that clients' business aims will be achieved with developed software. The specialist listens to clients, understands their requests and business plans, and helps them to define clear objectives. The next step in business analysis is to convert those objectives into viable software solutions. Those specialists work with clients from the very beginning of the discovery phase. They analyze the market, define the target audience, and research on competitors. Also, those specialists need to implement critical thinking and creativity for successful business analysis and determining clients' goals.

At the same time, in most cases, this role is taken over by the project manager, who works in connection and communication with the product owner. It means that a product owner needs to invest time in creating valuable descriptions and providing data. The quality of project documentation, planning, and product estimation depends on the Product Owner's information, and it's essential to understand it.

As we mentioned, a business analyst (or project manager) mainly works with a product owner, but also they often collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the final product will meet everyone's expectations and needs.

Architect

Not every client knows what technology is better to use for implementing their ideas into life. In this case, they will work first of all with software architects. This professional knows the best tech solution for achieving each business goal. The architect is responsible for delineating the most efficient structure and software model of the future product. They will provide the technical leadership for all the processes. Also, software architects will define the tech stack, coding standards, environment, tools, and platforms for product building.

It is essential to have a software architect for working with a big complicated project. Even if the client knows what tech stack he will use, the architect may suggest a better decision. This specialist needs to have good analytical skills and ensure effective communication with clients, product owners, or product managers.

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Team Lead

There are two roles in the team that can make you confused. It is a team lead and a tech lead - two different positions that can be mistakenly understood as one role. While a tech lead is responsible for any tech or hardware requirement, a team lead is a primary motivator in a team, as this person is responsible for the overall performance and organization of work. They ensure that team members efficiently work together and will deliver their part of the work in time.

Team lead reports to project manager and can review code for feedback, ensure professional development of team members, and project progress. This specialist cooperates with all team members who work on an IT project. Moreover, it should be a person with strong leadership and communication skills.

Designers (UI, UX)

UI/UX designers' fundamental goal is to turn a clients' product vision into a friendly and intuitive user interface. UX (user experience) designer is focused on providing user-oriented results. They look at the product from the position of end-user interaction to ensure the highest functionality and usability performance. UI (user interface) design is focused on clear and intuitive visualization of the product.

UI/UX designers provide a general design approach and visual philosophy, a flowchart, or visualization of users' steps to help clients understand product structure. Also, they create a wireframe or detailed layout of the user journey and a clickable prototype of the product. Designers usually interact with developers to ensure that it's possible to transform their decisions into code.

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Developers (front, back, full-stack)

The role of developers in the project is relatively straightforward, as they need to provide clean, efficient code based on tech requirements. The management team needs to communicate all technical requirements clearly, to ensure accurate coding. The responsibilities of developers can depend on their experience, as there can be junior, mid, and senior developers in the team.

Front-end developers create everything visible for the user. That is why they are focused on functionality. They used to work closely with UI/UX designers. Back-end code and optimize data access layer. They are responsible for all the processes behind the user's screen. Also, there can be full-stack developers in your team, and those professionals specialize in creating and optimizing clients and server-side of your software solutions.

Quality Assurance

QA engineers' key role is to maintain the quality of code created by other engineers. The QA team guides testing principles, test strategy, and a systematic approach to the process. They are also responsible for test scenarios and ensuring that the final code is reviewed and checked.

Quality assurance can be represented in such roles as QA lead for supervising a team of QA engineers, setting testing goals, defining metrics and quality standards. Also, you can require manual QA engineers to ensure that your software solution is free from errors and bugs. QA automated engineer review if a new code does not break anything in previously implemented features.

Final Thoughts

Every project of creating quality software solutions requires many specialists for different types of tasks and aims. We define the roles that clients frequently misunderstand. Going in-depth into a detailed explanation of the responsibilities of each specialist helps to learn more about product creation and understand the scope of the task of each specialist.

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