Main Roles and Responsibilities in the Software Development Cycle
The success of any software development project lies in careful planning, a skilled development team, and clear communication among a project’s team members, both internally within the software development company and externally with the customer or product owner.
It’s easy to get lost amid the software development life cycle (SDLC) roles and responsibilities, especially if you’re kickstarting your first IT project. In this article, we’ll start with the basics and explain different roles within a development team to help you better understand why you need to hire certain specialists and what you’re paying for.
Key Software Development Team Roles
A business analyst is involved in the project from the first stage, right after making a deal, and sometimes even before it. The main responsibility of a business analyst is to communicate with both the client and the development team.
Customers usually think about their goals first. Developers, on the other hand, think about code and features, focusing on how to do what the client wants and solve their problems but there is a huge gap between the client’s goals and the software’s functions. Therefore, a Business Analyst (BA) must determine exactly what the customer needs.
BA collects client’s requirements, analyzes what features should be created, and defines how it should be done. They also conduct competitor research to ensure the sustainability of the software in the market and its competitiveness with existing products.
Business Analyst also determines the target audience of the product, creates wireframes, and writes a technical task if it was not fully provided by the client. Therefore, the role of a Business Analyst is to plan the optimal software development cycle according to customer requirements, prepare documentation, and establish effective communication between the client and the development team.
After BA has defined the client’s requirements, the Project Manager (PM) comes into play. Their main role is to manage the project. A Project Manager ensures the development team has everything they need to get the work done. They remove any blockers and manage all meetings and communication.
To better explain the role of the PM, let’s look at their main tasks. Like a BA, a Project Manager can also be involved in communication with the client, but the PM’s main responsibility is to collaborate directly with the software development team.
A Project Manager distributes tasks between the members of the development team, tracks the progress of work, motivates the team, controls the development process, and coordinates team activities. PM is also responsible for time management, risk management, and contingency management.
PM makes sure that developers don’t deviate from the plan. In agile methodologies, this also means that the development team implements changes quickly and correctly, without doing unnecessary work so that the client can easily approve them.
This is probably the most creative person in the development team. The main responsibility of the UI/UX designer is to create a visually interesting interface and ensure great user experience.
A designer uses wireframes created by the client or business analyst to create mockups and the design of the software interface according to guidelines and the latest trends. It is a designer who plans user experience that will make the software user-friendly. The designer also creates the prototype that reflects the behavior and appearance of the future product, allowing you to test the prototype on a real device before starting the development cycle. After the client approves the design of the soon-to-be software, developers start writing code.
A developer is the core of a team. Developers are like translators who translate human language and the language of graphics into the language of digital technologies that computers and devices can understand.
There are different levels in the software development team, including junior, middle, and senior developers, each level represents particular work experience and expertise.
What is more, developers have different areas of expertise, so each developer uses certain programming languages and works with certain frameworks and tools. Therefore, development teams often consist of several developers working with different tools. For example, a basic mobile app development team consists of Android, iOS, and backend developers.
The title of this position may be misleading, as it implies that this person must be the ‘best’ developer on the team. It isn’t necessarily true, though. Technical Lead is a person who communicates with the Project Manager and Business Analyst so that they don’t have to interrupt other developers. In other words, they free up other developers from answering questions from the Project Manager and Business Analyst. The other two responsibilities of a Technical Lead include being knowledgeable about the features being developed in the sprint and attending relevant meetings including feature demonstrations.
QA (Quality Assurance) Specialists are needed for every programming development cycle to ensure the high quality of the product. They test and go through the entire software to identify bugs, and then provide a report to the development team to fix the bugs.
Some clients question the role of a QA Specialist. However, if software testing is done badly or missing at all, the whole product can be impacted by the fallout. It is necessary to identify errors before the product gets to users to ensure a positive user experience. Other responsibilities of a QA Specialist include general testing of the software and its compliance with the stated requirements.
As a client, you should expect a broad range of software testing to be carried out by your software provider to ensure that your software meets different standards for quality assurance criteria. Therefore, QA specialists will need to conduct the final tests to ensure that the software performs well in a variety of real-world scenarios.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is the final step before the software is released. The development company you’re working with must have the resources to conduct user acceptance testing in a timely and coordinated manner, as it is often UAT that creates the bottleneck between completing and releasing the software solution.
The Right Development Team Structure Can Ensure Your Project’s Success
There are dozens of factors contributing to the project’s success: the business idea itself, the user journeys and look and feel of your software, the quality and security of your system, and many other things. The team structure is one of the key factors. As you can see, the variety of roles in a software development team is far more complex than “just developers”. In an optimal software development organizational structure, developers are specializing in different programming languages and frameworks, QA Specialists in security and performance testing, and many more unique specialists. The best part, however, is that you don’t need to have all those specialists all the time hired full-time. A good software development company will analyze your needs and determine the right team structure to meet your goals and budget.
Are you ready to hire a development team for your project? Or perhaps you have some questions about software development services before making your final decision? Contact us! Our specialists will provide you with a free consultation and answer your questions.