Apart from developers, a software development project involves other roles in order to succeed. Find out here the Key Roles & Responsibilities in a Software Development Team.
The success of a software project highly depends on the quality of the professionals and the way a multidisciplinary team is configured. In order to obtain good results, these two aspects should be present.
Software projects only move forward when the key team members are in the right place. No one is more important than the others; everyone matters when it comes to software development projects. When roles are poorly selected and the responsibilities are not clear and wrongly defined, mistakes can happen. It is essential to build the perfect team to get perfect results.
In this collaboration scenario, where each person has a key role within the team, is it really important to have all roles working in the project? The answer to that is easy: It depends on the characteristics and needs every project has. Will the project be scalable over time? Will it require continuous improvements and changes?
There are many factors to take into account. However, to realize the main roles and responsibilities that are typically part of a software development project, we decided to go a bit deeper into that and explore what each professional does. Here we list the key roles & responsibilities in a software development team.
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The Business Analyst is responsible for translating business needs into requirements and ensuring they are documented correctly before a solution is developed and implemented. This person acts as a bridge between the product owner and developers, monitoring the project status and communicating technical requirements.
- Define, analyze, and manage technical and business requirements throughout the whole project cycle.
- Accompany the customer throughout the entire software development process to clear up any questions, propose improvements, define the scope and prioritize it, and provide technological solutions.
- Make decisions and guide the team in the software development process based on priorities previously agreed on with the client.
- Carry out team meetings.
- Be the guardians of the project’s methodology and main promoters of quality.
The Product Owner represents the client or end users and usually has a clear vision of the end product. They are responsible for setting and communicating the requirements and features of the product to be released and acts as the main point of contact for all decisions concerning the project.
- Establish effective communication between the client/end users and the development team.
- Set and communicate work priorities, updates, and issues that emerge during the development process.
- Document user stories or requirements for the software project.
- Maintain and update the product backlog.
- Maximize the return on investment (ROI) of the software project.
- Make the final decision on all scope-related decisions.
The Project Manager (PM) is mainly focused on controlling the software project. They are responsible for knowing the “who, what, where, when and why” of the software plan and ensuring that the project goals are achieved. They are also in charge of supervising the development team and effectively communicating with the stakeholders.
- Develop a project plan.
- Develop functional specifications.
- Plan, estimate, and manage resources and the project budget.
- Keep track of the project.
- Identify necessary adjustments to the plan.
- Provide regular updates to the senior management.
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This role is usually taken by experienced senior developers, architects or lead testers, with leadership qualities to help the team keep focused on the tasks, deliver work on time and meet the project goals. They take the role of a coach or mentor and have to ensure that the development team has all the resources it needs to complete the project, as well as to quickly address any challenges and issues that might arise.
- Guide the team development towards successful project delivery.
- Provide technical leadership to team members through coaching and mentorship.
- Prevent and solve any conflict or issue that may arise.
The software architect is the person responsible for defining the complete architecture system of a project. They make high-level design choices based on non-functional requirements and dictates coding standards together with tools and platforms. They are also responsible for reviewing the code and guaranteeing the design’s quality.
- Define the technical and functional architecture of the overall system.
- Guide developers in the design and implementation of the solution.
- Develop the most critical components of the system.
- Make suggestions about the best alternatives, considering engineering and business aspects.
The Scrum Master is one of the key roles of the Agile methodology. They act like a team facilitator and are responsible for addressing any problems that may hinder the development team from delivering on product goals. They are also in charge of ensuring that team members follow the Scrum methodology.
- Be a facilitator to serve the team to make sure that they follow Agile values and implement the correct methodology.
- Lead, plan, and follow up all Agile meetings.
- Teach the team about all the best practices and concepts of Agile.
- Be the buffer between the team and the Product Owner or any outside participator.
- Follow up on team impediments and facilitate clear obstacles.
- Help the product owner maintain product backlogs.
- Help the team to focus on the most valuable activities and results avoiding external interruptions and distractions.
The developers are the ones in charge of writing the code and developing the software products. Apart from coding, they are responsible for sending regular updates to the Project Manager. They work closely with other team members, such as designers, the QA team, and testers.
There are three kinds of developers:
-Full-Stack Developer: They are programmers not specialized in any particular area of the software architecture. Thanks to a broad range of knowledge and skills, they can implement a solution on every architectural layer of the system.
-Front-end Developer: They act as a bridge between the end client (user) and the delivered business solution. They focus mainly on the view layer of the software product (i.e, the interface), and they are responsible for the communication within the business logic layers.
-Back-end Developer: This is a programmer who writes code for the business logic and data layers.
- Develop the features laid out in the Sprint.
- Update the status of the software project to the Project Manager or Tech Lead.
- Estimate the amount of time needed to deliver a given task.
The QA Team is a group of professionals with experience in software engineering that provides support to projects to confirm that adequate practices are used during the development process. Their objective is to ensure quality at the process level in projects. Within the team, you can have a Quality Assurance Lead, who is responsible for establishing a proper relationship between QA team members, helping mitigate any conflict and encouraging good teamwork. There is also the QA Engineer, a person responsible for preparing tools that allow for automating processes which verify software quality.
- Evaluate the execution of processes and production of deliverables according to the defined software process.
- Identify and document deviations in the use of standards and procedures.
- Provide feedback about the results of the quality assurance tasks to take corrective actions.
UX/UI designers are responsible for designing the user interfaces for the application or software product that may be developed. They analyze the functionality the product should have, as well as characteristics intended for final users. They propose the interface design and define its navigation model, interaction sequences, visual organization of contents, and graphic style.
There are two kinds of designers, although there are often those who specialize in both areas:
UI Designer: They focus on designing the user interface. This means transferring content, style and graphics that connect a client or product to a system presentation layer.
UX Designer: They are responsible for making certain that end users have the best possible experience while using an application. They analyze user behavior and take into consideration what the competition is doing.
- Analyze functional requirements intended for the users.
- Define the information architecture and navigation model.
- Generate prototypes for the validation of the proposal throughout the design process.
- Participate in the implementation of web and desktop interfaces.
- Document every interface design decision.
Testers are responsible for making sure that the software solution meets the business requirements and identifying possible bugs, defects, or weaknesses of the implementations, confirming the quality or usability of a program, and guaranteeing that the product complies with the quality standards. It involves implementing the right testing protocols, as well as collecting the data from various tests.
- Understand what the system’s requirements are in order to create and review adequate test cases.
- Alert functional consultants about inconsistencies in the specifications.
- Create and execute test cases to detect bugs and report them in the tracking tool.
- Use automation tools to facilitate regression tasks.
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