The mobile app revenues are expected to rise till $935 billion by 2023. The lucrative market opportunity in mobile apps motivates many entrepreneurs to build a mobile app. If you are one of those budding entrepreneurs who wants to build a mobile app, then you will need to have a basic understanding of the app development team structure.
Everyone wants to hire the best app development company for their project. Proper team structure is a vital characteristic of a successful mobile app development firm. In this write-up we shall discuss the app development team structure in detail and make you aware about the roles that various team members play in an app development team.
Importance of an app development team structure
Mobile app development today is a complex process and depending on the scale of the app, a lot of people could be needed to build an app. By giving proper attention to team structure, you will be able to select the right partner and build a robust mobile app that will find success in the market. Selecting a proper team is important whether you are outsourcing the app development or building the app in-house.
Factors to Consider when setting up Mobile App Development Team
There are a couple of factors that you need to consider before you zero-in on an ideal app development team structure. We have discussed some of the most important ones below.
Watch out the rockstar developers
Mobile app development is a team game and many naive entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing rockstar developers over team players. Rockstar developers are those developers who want all the attention in a mobile app development team. They want to shine more than the other developers and tend to put their objectives ahead of the team’s objectives. This trait of the rockstar developers can prove detrimental for the project’s success. Good mobile app developers will try to create a cohesive atmosphere in the team and will strive to achieve the team’s objectives. To ensure a hassle-free mobile app development process, always choose team players over rockstar developers.
Good organizational culture
Good mobile app development teams will have a great work culture. A delightful work culture is what motivates great developers to join the team. A good work culture will increase the probability that the developers deliver a high-quality product within the specified deadline. This is because in a cohesive work culture, none of the developers will feel overburdened as they will have a robust process to follow. Whenever you choose to hire mobile app developers for your project, ensure that the team has a decent organizational culture.
App development team structure
Now that we know a few things about the factors that you should consider before you select an app development team for your project, we will have a look at the app development team structure.
The business analyst understands the business goals of the app and outlines the initial requirements to implement the project. A business analyst acts as a bridge between the client and the developer team. Without business analysts, the developer team can find it challenging to understand the client’s requirements.
Role of a business analyst
A business analyst performs the following functions in an app development team
- Prepare the documents related to the project
- Provide a cost and time estimate to the client
- Co-ordinate the business requirements with developers
- Help the client build a strong vision for the product
- Provide documents and user manuals to the clients
A project manager is the person responsible for overseeing that the app development process is finished smoothly. The project manager ensures smooth execution of the app development project by carefully planning, executing and delegating tasks required for successful completion of the project. Without a good project manager handling your app development project, chances are high that aspects like quality of the app, deadline and budget get affected negatively.
Role of project manager
A project manager performs the following functions in an app development team
- Allocates the tasks to tech teams according to priorities
- Serves as the main point of contact with the client
- Discover, handle and minimize the potential risks
A scrum master is an essential part of an app development team that follows the agile process. The major responsibility of a scrum master is to educate the team on the agile process and ensure that the team follows the agile process.
Role of scrum master
A project manager performs the following functions in an app development team
- Assign tasks to each team member
- Makes sure that the agile process is followed
- Follow up with team members for status of the tasks
- Keep the project manager updated about the project
Although both UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) designers design interactions, you can think of UX designers as the makers of macro-interactions while UI designers, as the builders of micro-interactions.
The UI/UX designers are the ones that focus on the target audience, study their behaviour and craft designs that meet the user needs.
Role of UI/UX designers
A UI/UX designer performs the following functions in an app development team
- Build all the visual and audio assets for the app
- Communicate with the project managers and deliver the design assets on schedule
- Build prototypes for user testing
The developers or programmers are the people who handle the coding part of the app. The developers should have coding expertise and experience in technologies that will be used in developing your app. Have a look at the work portfolio of the developers and see to it that they have developed an app that is similar to yours.
Role of developers
A developer performs the following functions in an app development team
- Writes clean and testable code
- Fixes bugs found by the QA(quality analyst) team
- Build APIs for support functionalities
- Assures that the app meets the Apple app store and Google play store guidelines
Quality assurance analysts
If the app crashes frequently due to a lot of bugs, then the users would quickly uninstall the app. To ensure the success of the app, you will need to provide a bug-free experience to your users. This is where the role of a QA(quality assurance) analyst comes. The main responsibility of the QA analyst is to test the mobile app and ensure that the app functions efficiently.
Role of QA analysts
A QA analyst performs the following functions in an app development team
- Develop test plans, test cases, test scripts and test reports
- Check whether the user expectations are achieved during the testing process
- Perform manual and automated testing to identify bugs
- Ensure that the final product meets the client’s requirements
The major responsibility of a delivery manager is to ensure that the project is finished with the fewest possible interruptions. The delivery manager is the operational manager of the app and handles the technical aspects of the project. Delivery manager gives a vision of the product to the client and resolves the technical queries of the client.
Role of a delivery manager
A delivery manager performs the following functions in an app development team
- Explain the architecture of the project to the developer team
- Ensure transparency of the project for clients
- Remove technical obstacles
- Manage time and tasks effectively
Ways to hire mobile app developers
Now that we have seen the roles that different team members play in a mobile app development team, we shall now have a look at the various hiring models to hire mobile app developers.
In the in-house app development team model, you hire full time in-house app development specialists. These specialists will sit in your office and work only on your project. Businesses that want more control over the team hire in-house specialists.
Freelancers are professionals that manage the work of a lot of clients simultaneously. You can opt to hire remote developers as freelancers if you are looking to cut costs significantly. There are many platforms where you can find freelancers. When choosing freelancers do not make cost the only criteria, instead look for freelancers that have a reputation of delivering quality work within deadlines.
In outsourcing, you will outsource the app development work to a third-party app development company. All you need to do is find a top mobile app development company and share the project details with them. Low cost is one of the top benefits of outsourcing mobile app development. The outsourced app development team will finish the app development work according to your specifications within the specified deadline with low involvement of the client. Another benefit of outsourcing the work is that you get high scalability, you can increase or decrease the team size depending on your preferences.
Once you decide whether to hire in-house specialists, freelancers or go with an outsourced mobile app development service provider, the next step would be to decide the engagement model. Here are the most common engagement models found in the app development industry.
Fixed cost model
In the fixed cost model the developers estimate the time taken to finish a project after understanding the exact requirements. Based on this time, the developers provide the cost of the project. For instance, if the time taken to finish a project is 4000 hours, and the developers quote a price of $15 per hour, then the total cost of the project would be 4000×15=$6000. The cost once decided is fixed and cannot be altered during the course of the project. The benefit of the fixed cost model is that the model provides you with an exact budget before you start the development process.
Time and material model
In the time and material model, the developers estimate the time and the resources required to finish a project. The developers then provide an hourly rate based on their calculations. While in a fixed cost model, the total number of hours is fixed, in the time and material model, the total number of hours are not fixed. The time and material model is one of the most widely used app development models in the industry. The model is best suited when the app development requirements are dynamic in nature.
In the on-site model, an entire app development team is shifted on the client’s site for the complete duration of the project. Businesses that have an in-house team, but want experts to finish some specific part of the project tend to go for the on-site model. The billing process is similar to the time and material model.
Dedicated team model
In the dedicated team model, the client hires an entire app development team that shall work for the client. The dedicated team model is suited for businesses that want to retain control over the development process, but do not want to hire in-house developers.
A major difference in the on-site model and the dedicated team model is that while the on-site team moves to the client’s site, the dedicated team sits in its own office. Many clients from developed nations who choose to outsource their work to developing nations choose the dedicated team model.
The ideal engagement model depends on the nature of your project. You should select the engagement model for your project after a discussion with your app developers.
How much does it cost to build an app development team?
Although it is very difficult to zero-in on exact cost, it is possible to get a ball-park range of the cost of mobile app development. The cost of app development depends on a lot of factors like
- The complexity of the app
- Location of the developers
- Third-party APIs that one needs to integrate with the app
- Size of the project
- Deadline of the project
North America -$120-$180
Western Europe- $60-$100
Eastern Europe- $45-$75
How to ensure success for your mobile app?
If you think that building a mobile app development team from scratch is a big hassle, then you are right. Mobile app development is a resource-intensive process that takes the skills and work of potentially dozens of highly talented people.
If you’d like to bring your own app to the market easily and efficiently, then the best thing you can do is partner with a team of top mobile app developers.
Avantika Shergil is an enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co – a leading directory of mobile app development companies, coordinates and manages the technical and functional areas efficiently. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveller, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.