Home Business Insights & Advice Engineering success: How to scale dedicated software development teams

Engineering success: How to scale dedicated software development teams

by Sarah Dunsby
2nd May 24 10:21 am

The success of any tech project depends on a quality of the software development team and team scaling speed. The last is crucial for scaling businesses despite stiff competition in the tech industry.

Back in 2022, companies started to hire dedicated Full-Stack Developers more actively, as those specialists can develop an MVP to market-test a business idea before hiring a bigger team. Front-end and Back-end devs also started to get more job offers then because of the ubiquitous digitalization of businesses.

Now, the sky-high demand for AL and Ml specialists made the talent shortage in the IT sector even more scary for team leaders who are in search of matching talent. New specialists just don’t appear as fast as businesses need. Which tech team scaling frameworks are still working? See in the next paragraphs.

Before engaging new team members

Set KPIs

On average, companies that measure and analyze their performance are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers.

Sometimes, setting KPIs leads to workflow optimization, and it’s enough to cope with the growing workload. Sometimes, KPIs are necessary to understand that you require more specialists for certain operations.

Typical software development teams require scaling to increase their productivity and/or product quality.

When increasing a tech team’s productivity, the key KPIs to track are:

  • Sprint Burndowns — the amount of work completed by a team over a given period;
  • Lead Time — the time spent for a new piece of work (feature, bug fix, etc.);
  • Cycle Time — the time elapsed from when work starts on a task until it is completed.
  • Deployment Frequency — the number of deployments or releases to production over a period.
  • Work in Progress — the number of excess tasks in progress, which can hamper productivity if accumulate too much.

When improving software product quality, the important KPIs are:

  • Defect Density — the number of defects or bugs found per unit (e.g. per 1000 lines of code).
  • Code Coverage — the percentage of code covered by automated tests, with higher coverage suggesting more robust testing.
  • Change Failure Rate — the percentage of software changes that result in failures or incidents in production. Lower rates imply higher quality.
  • Customer Satisfaction metrics like CSAT and NPS — scores reflecting customer perception of the product’s quality.
  • Mean Time to Recover — the average time taken to resolve failures or incidents.
  • Technical Debt — an assessment of the cost and effort required to fix issues and deficiencies in the codebase over time.

Keep in mind that tools like New Relic, Splunk, and Datadog can help you measure and analyze the performance of your product.

Automate repetitive tasks

Automating repetitive tasks can free up your team’s time for more strategic work and allow you to engage fewer team members.

Tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, and CircleCI can help automate your development and testing processes. Also, we’d pay attention to IDEs for developers as they:

  • Save time for switching between interfaces;
  • Autocomplete code;
  • Run compilations;
  • And do more magic.

Prepare your requirements

When you already have analyzed your team’s skill gaps and optimized workflows, it becomes easy to create a list of duties for newcomers — include everything from the preferred development frameworks to countries where developers should live. Describe soft skills resonating with your team and project. For IT teams, it’s often crucial to be independent in decision-making. For a tech startup, it’s also important to be a cross-functional specialist with a ve-e-ery proactive attitude to your job.

To shorten time to hire and get a more precise skill match, you can find offshore team members, as the global talent market naturally offers more people and more skill sets.

If you want your software development team to be located in close time zones, you should hire nearshore. In this case, you get a better team bond and easy scheduling of all the team activities.

When choosing an engagement model

With prepared requirements, you can consider 2 types of firms providing dedicated software development teams under different conditions.

  1. With some outsourcing companies, you can get a ready-made team working solely on your project but with their own management. Here, you sign a service legal agreement (SLA).
  2. With a global IT talent provider like an outstaffing company, you always get a matching team player or the entire team or of any required structure. Such a team can include Project Managers and be pretty independent, but you hold direct control over your project. Here, you sign a Dedicated Team contract.

When retaining software development teams

While outsourced teams remain separate units, outstaffed software development teams become a part of your core team, just being legally employed by another company. So, you can engage all your best communication practices and training programs.

During onboarding, you or someone from your team should stay connected with a newcomer to walk them through environment setup, initial training and other things like that. Great if that onboarding buddy encourages a new team member to clarify everything unclear right from the start.

To train newcomers faster and more effectively, craft Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). SOPs typically address numerous queries that a specialist might face when joining your project: detailed responsibilities of each member within each process, document/code locations, and protocols for handling situations when something goes wrong or somebody is unavailable. The more people you hire, the more time-saving SOPs become.

To retain your software development team as long as you need (and level up the quality of your products and services along the way), create a friendly and productive environment. The proven ways to do that are:

  • Promoting upskilling and knowledge sharing, as well as a kind mentorship (when each code review is conducted politely);
  • Collecting feedback from your team: about management and each other and fixing all the misunderstandings ASAP;
  • Revising a team structure and hiring new specialists before the existing ones burn out.

And the last but not the least tip: trust your dedicated software development teams! Make your developers task owners rather than micromanage them. Thus, they can be able to find the most elegant solutions to shape the better future for your project.

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