At one point, software development was largely considered a solitary endeavor. But as the tools and technologies in our arsenal have evolved and become increasingly complex, and nearly every business across industries is involved in technology, the need for collaboration has become more and more paramount. Enter software delivery teams.
Armed with robust skill sets and expertise, a delivery team usually refers to an outside firm that partners with a business to help it achieve its technology goals and ramp up services, bringing exceptional products to users.
The model is based upon the idea that no individual can successfully deliver a software product to meet a particular business’s needs. Instead, team members work together, combining their unique expertise and skills to bring a project to fruition. Then, the organization delivers the finished product to the business while continuing to provide ongoing support. It is about the process and the overall value.
What are software delivery teams?
A software delivery team is a unit that brings together several individuals. It combines the necessary qualifications and skill sets into a cohesive, functional entity. The purpose of the model is to be efficient, effective, fast, well-organized, and collaborative. Team members bring their own expertise to projects, working together to apply their individual talents to the product to realize high-quality results.
This model is ideal for businesses looking to scale their efforts. It can also be an adequate foundation for those working with new technologies or delivering software for the first time, as well as organizations with ideas and plans that exceed the capacity of their current, in-house team.
Although we usually apply this term to external partnerships, the delivery team model can sometimes describe internal teams dedicated exclusively to exemplary software delivery. These comprehensive teams operate strategically with other departments within an organization, focusing on the product and experience.
Typically, delivery teams focus on a specific approach or methodology when tackling software challenges, such as Agile, Scrum, DevOps, or a combination of multiple project-management and software development philosophies. It helps establish a structure to follow and encourages the team to adhere to a preset workflow during the software delivery process.
It is important to note that delivery teams are project-first, meaning they are not built around the specific project but move together as a unit, completing whichever assignments they are given. In other words, the team stays together throughout different project cycles, operating as one entity.
Software delivery teams roles
Specific software delivery team roles vary from firm to firm. However, you will likely need the following positions on your team.
The business analyst identifies the company’s needs and ensures that the project’s goals align with the overall business’s goals. This individual will be crucial in mapping out the requirements for the project and considering how it will aid the company in achieving its mission, using research and data as the basis of their work.
The project manager is responsible for ushering the project to the finish line. They will liaise with stakeholders, establish budgets and timelines, ensure team members have the necessary tools and resources, and ultimately keep the project on track. This role demands a high degree of organizational and problem-solving skills and technical acumen.
“Software developer” has many subcategories. Usually, a delivery team will include a handful of developers, each dedicated to a particular specialty. For example, the back-end developer is responsible for server-side coding, creating the structure behind the forward-facing product’s features. Meanwhile, the front-end developer works on the client-facing interface, the part users see and interact with.
In a nutshell, the software architect is the individual who makes decisions regarding the structure of the software. They are tasked with researching and setting technical standards, determining the tools the developers will use to build the software, and so on.
Software architects will also try to maximize the value of the products you create. In other words, they are the professionals who will serve as the technological mastermind behind your innovations, considering how your product will function successfully.
The user experience (UX) designer does far more than make your product attractive. They perform extensive market research, craft personas, map out audience journeys, make your product accessible, and much more. UX designers are the mastermind behind the features that facilitate interactions your consumer has with your product. It includes everything from the sounds they hear to the buttons they press to the animated clips they see.
Quality assurance engineer/tester
When creating polished technology, even though quality assurance (QA) it’s critical to any process, we too often overlook it. QA professionals script tests, running both automated and manual tests. While catching bugs is part of this work, QA professionals also focus on aspects of the software such as performance, functionality, usability, and more.
Depending on your particular organization, you might have additional roles on your software delivery team, such as:
- Product manager
- DevOps engineer
- Customer experience (CX specialist)
Additionally, many roles support software delivery and are critical to your efforts but we don’t typically consider them as members of the delivery team. Examples include:
- Marketing manager
- Sales representative
- Account representative
Why is teamwork the best work?
On a delivery team, no individual shoulders the entire burden of the project. Each professional brings different talents and skill sets, contributing to a holistic plan that oversees every aspect of the product. Every part of the project is covered, from management to quality assurance.
The delivery model makes collaboration the centerpiece of its philosophy, focusing on generating real value for businesses. It transcends the boundaries of a piece of software and brings together a comprehensive solution that can transform organizations and their customer relationships. All this is done to help companies meet their goals and stay competitive.