In 2021, CBInsights conducted a study to find out why IT projects sometimes fail. It turned out that in addition to the lack of money or market demand, the choice of the wrong team was no less significant factor. So, which specialists and in what quantity do you need to hire when planning web development? How much will the project cost? Let’s see how to create a team of web developers.
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Web development team structure: who do you need on board
The structure of the web development team depends on many factors: both the complexity of the project and the chosen methodology. So, one programmer can handle the creation of a simple website, and 10 coders may be needed for a complex corporate portal. In Scrum, for example, there is a product owner, a scrum master and a development team. But in Kanban there is no division into roles at all.
If the software is created according to the usual methodology, regardless of the complexity of the project, four web development team roles and responsibilities are mandatory, namely:
The team leader who coordinates the work of its members. Acts as a link between the customer and employees in order to convey the client’s vision to the team. Ensures that employees comply with software requirements, budget and deadlines. If problems arise on the project that affect the quality of employees’ work, the PM thinks of ways to eliminate them. It can even be said that the project manager plays the role of the chief engineer, who ensures that the house is built on time and in accordance with the layout agreed with the customer.
A specialist who translates the language of requirements into computer-executable code. He/she thinks about how to turn a business idea into reality, step by step implementing the functions of the application. For bespoke web development, you may need a Front-end developer, a Back-end developer, or a Full Stack specialist. IT specialists implement the Front-end and Back-end parts of the application so that they work effectively in tandem and provide the best customer experience.
Developers do not always correctly perceive and interpret software requirements. Accordingly, such inaccuracies give rise to inconsistencies between the expectation and the result of the system – these are defects that need to be eliminated. It is the task of quality assurance engineers to detect errors and send them to developers for revision. They conduct functional and non-functional tests so that a high-quality digital product comes to users, and the customer is satisfied with the work done by the team.
88% of Internet users leave the site with poor design and navigation. Therefore, any web project needs experienced designers to create an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use interface. These specialists are responsible not only for the creative part of the project. UX research requires brilliant analytical skills and attention to detail. Designers offer users the shortest ways to solve their problems.
For more complex web projects, you may need business analysts, architects, DevOps engineers, data scientists, project coordinators and other experts. The web development team structure is formed and agreed upon at the Discovery stage, when the technology partner offers the customer options for cooperation.
How to determine team size?
Each web project is unique, and it is impossible to say exactly how many specialists and in what roles will be required. When thinking through the team structure, a number of factors should be taken into account:
- How complex is a web application
More complex software solutions require more hands to implement. For example, if you create a social platform, it may take more than a month just to develop a messaging function. If you need to expand the functionality faster, you will have to double or even triple the number of developers. When it is necessary to adapt a web application to a large number of devices, it will take the efforts of several designers.
For serious financial applications where security comes first, it is reasonable to increase the number of testers. On other projects where the customer needs to conduct market research and write requirements from scratch, a business analyst will be needed.
- How much time is given for web development
The number of employees and the duration of the project have a proportional dependence. This is logical: the more developers there are, the faster they will write code. Three testers will check one application module more quickly than one QA engineer.
According to the experience of a custom web development company like Andersen, with a minimal team of “PM + 2 developers + QA + designer”, a project can take:
- 2-4 months – on a simple website;
- 6-10 months – for an application of average complexity;
- 10+ months – for a product with a payment service, interactive graphics or a complex Back-end.
For example, it may take 7 months to create a website for an insurance company, and 3 years to develop an IoT tool for tracking the work of the heart.
- How much money is the customer willing to invest in the project
Suppose a project needs two testers to check the payment module or the security of the application. But the customer has no money for a second specialist. Then they will hire one QA engineer, because the wishes of the client are the determining factor for the formation of the team structure.
Ideally, it is necessary to catch the golden mean and hire not too many specialists to avoid the so-called Ringelmann effect. According to this theory, the personal efforts of each member of the web team are reduced if there are many people in the team.
After conducting a series of experiments, the author of this theory – Maximilian Ringlemann – found that the efficiency of each employee added to the main staff of 5-6 people is reduced. For a web project, this means that the size of the team should be limited to a minimum of experts who are able to complete the tasks. Professional web development company is able to select the perfect number of team members for the project.
How much does it cost to hire a web development team: approximate prices
The cost of IT specialists’ services depends on their skills, qualifications and location. According to calculations of Indeed, a British developer earns an average of about $43,000 per year. In Eastern Europe (for example, in Ukraine), according to ERI estimates, the average annual salary is about $17,000. Accordingly, the cost estimate of the same project will differ in different regions. Only a technology partner hired to service the business can name a specific price.
If we focus on the figures provided by Indeed and Glassdoor, the average hourly rate of developers in North America can be three times higher than in Eastern Europe. Accordingly, hiring a web development team in the second region is much more profitable.
To choose the right team with solid skills and in the optimal composition, you need to prepare carefully. You should study the labor market, compare hourly rates of specialists, choose a web development agency in the UK, USA or another country with the appropriate experience and level of competence, and then conduct a search stage. After that, compare your investment opportunities with the services offered and make the right decision. After all, a properly organized team is already half of the success of the project.