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7 Essential Team Roles in Software Development Outsourcing

As businesses turn to outsourcing for their software development needs, it's essential to fully understand the different roles and responsibilities within the team. This helps ensure the project runs smoothly and meets the desired goals and objectives. So, let's explain them.
Daniel Zacharias

Code Power Team

February 1, 2023
software development outsourcing

Software development outsourcing has been a standard for companies looking to expand their capabilities or reduce costs for years. However, building a successful software development outsourcing team can be a challenge. It’s essential to have the right mix of skills and personalities to ensure that the team works cohesively and effectively. 

As businesses turn to outsourcing for their software development needs, it’s essential to fully understand the different roles and responsibilities within the team. This helps ensure the project runs smoothly and meets the desired goals and objectives. 

Key roles in a software development outsourcing team

1. Project manager

A project manager (PM) oversees the overall planning and execution of a project, from initial client meetings to final delivery. They work to ensure the project stays within budget and on schedule, while also being the main point of contact for the client and keeping the team focused on their tasks.

Main roles:

  • Develop project plans, budgets, and schedules.
  • Communicate with the client regularly.
  • Oversee the project from start to finish.
  • Keep the team on track.

When can you skip a PM? Probably never, mainly because it can be challenging to coordinate the various tasks and responsibilities within the team, which can lead to delays and operational problems.

2. Business analyst

A business analyst (BA) is responsible for understanding the client’s needs and goals for a project and translating them into technical specifications for the development team.

Main roles: 

  • Understand the client’s business requirements.
  • Translate requirements into technical specifications.
  • Work with the project manager to ensure that the project stays on track.
  • Conduct market research and analyze data to ensure the project’s success.

When can you skip a BA? If the project is relatively small and the requirements are well-established, or if the leaders can communicate their needs clearly to the development team, then you might get away with not hiring a BA. 

3. Technical lead

A tech lead is in charge of the technical direction of a project, making sure the team has what they need to complete it, and ensuring that best practices are followed.

Main roles:

  • Oversee the technical aspects of the project.
  • Ensure that the team has the necessary skills and resources.
  • Work with a project manager and business analyst to understand the client’s requirements.
  • Manage the team’s technical workflow and ensure that best practices are followed.

When can you skip a tech lead? If the project is relatively small or the development team is highly experienced and capable of working independently, you could skip a technical lead.

4. Software architects

A software architect is responsible for designing and overseeing the overall structure and organization of a software system, making key decisions about technology and ensuring that the system meets the needs of the business and its users.

Main roles:

  • Design the overall structure and system architecture of the software.
  • Work with a technical lead and development team to ensure that the software is scalable, maintainable, and meets the client’s needs.
  • Identify and address technical risks.
  • Ensure that the team follows best practices in software design.

When can you skip a software architect? It may be possible to skip a software architect if the project only involves minor updates or changes to an existing software system.

5. Software Developers

A software developer is responsible for writing, testing, and maintaining the source code of a software program.

Main roles:

  • Write the code for the software.
  • Work with a technical lead and software architects to ensure high-quality code that meets the client’s requirements.
  • Test and debug the code.
  • Collaborate with the team to solve technical challenges.

When can you skip a developer? It’s impossible! Without software developers, there would be no code to power the software system.

6. Quality assurance (QA) engineers

A Quality Assurance (QA) engineer tests and evaluates the software and systems to ensure that they meet specified quality standards and are free of defects.

Main roles:

  • Test the software to ensure that it meets the client’s requirements and is of high quality.
  • Work with the development team to identify and address any issues.
  • Create and maintain testing documentation.
  • Coordinate the testing process with the team.

When can you skip a QA? Skipping a QA tester in a software development project isn’t recommended. While it may be tempting to save time and resources by skipping this role, the long-term consequences of releasing a software system with bugs or other issues can be far more costly.

7. DevOps engineers

A DevOps engineer aims to integrate and automate how the software development and IT operations team work together. The idea is for them to improve the overall development life cycle. 

Main roles:

  • Automate and improve development and release processes.
  • Work with the development and operations team to ensure efficient and consistent delivery.
  • Build new development tools and infrastructure.
  • Understand the needs of stakeholders and explain them to developers.
  • Identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

When can you skip a DevOps Engineer? You could skip them if the project involves infrequent updates and deployments.

How to assemble a software development team

Assembling a successful software development outsourcing team requires careful planning and consideration. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Clearly define project requirements: It’s essential to fully understand the needs before assembling the team. This will help you identify the skills and expertise the team will need to complete the project successfully.
  • Consider the team’s cultural fit: It’s essential to consider the team’s cultural fit to ensure they will work cohesively and effectively. Look for team members with similar values and work styles to ensure a smooth working relationship.
  • Look for a balance of skills and experience: A successful software development outsourcing team should have a balance of skilled and experienced people. This may include a wide range of industry professionals focused on different sectors, complemented by a mix of newbies and experienced individuals.
  • Adopt a people-centric approach: It involves treating team members as individuals with their strengths and weaknesses and providing support and guidance to help them reach their full potential. A people-first approach helps create a positive and motivated working environment, ultimately leading to a better outcome for the project and the client.

Benefits of using an outsourcing company

Using an outsourcing company that provides delivery teams or staff augmentation can offer numerous benefits to companies. For one, it allows companies to access a wider pool of talent and expertise. They can bring in specialized professionals as needed rather than being limited to in-house staff. This can be particularly useful for companies looking for specific skills or companies in areas with a shortage of qualified professionals.

Additionally, outsourcing through delivery teams or staff augmentation allows companies to scale their teams up or down as needed, providing flexibility in terms of resources and costs. This can help companies be more agile and responsive to changing business needs. Finally, outsourcing through delivery teams or staff augmentation allows companies to focus on their core competencies, outsourcing non-core tasks, such as software development, to specialized firms, helping increase efficiency and productivity.

Success through attention to details

Assembling a successful software development outsourcing team requires careful planning and consideration. Identifying the right mix of skills and personalities is essential to ensure that the team works cohesively and effectively. Outsourcing software development can offer cost savings, access to a broader talent pool, flexibility, and the opportunity to focus on core competencies. Considering the tips outlined in this article, companies can assemble a successful software development outsourcing team and put their IT outsourcing strategy into action.

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