Software Development Team Structure Set Up

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Accomplish this through frequent communication, establishing common goals, and setting boundaries. These roles may include a project manager, a software architect, developers, UI/UX designers, QA engineers and DevOps. Once roles are defined, everyone’s tasks and responsibilities should be established.

The military is an organization famous for its highly centralized structure, with a long and specific hierarchy of superiors and subordinates. In a centralized organizational system, there are very clear responsibilities for each role, with subordinate roles defaulting to the guidance of their superiors. Types of organizational structures include type of team structure functional, divisional, flatarchy, and matrix structures. It also might not always take the form or a pyramid, or any shape for that matter. As we mentioned earlier, It’s also a form of the “Organic Structure” we noted above. This type of structure is ideal for organizations with multiple products and can help shorten product development cycles.

In particular, the value of Ops is diminished because it’s treated as an annoyance for Devs . Planning and communication are easier to facilitate when the team is organized in a way that aligns with the company’s goals. When the flow or authority is clearly identified, so too is the flow of information. As a result, there is less ambiguity and more clarity around what needs to be done and by whom. Having a structure in place can help with efficiency and provide clarity for everyone at every level.

type of team structure

Structure types will vary from business to business, so it’s important to remember that these structures are not one size fits all. Every type may not suit your organization, but chances are, one of them will. Use this post to determine which organizational structure works for you, and then it’s time for the real work to begin. The outsourcing nature of the network structure provides companies with the advantages of lower costs, more focus, and increased flexibility.

Once You’ve Chosen The Right Org Structure To Pursue, Learn The Steps In The Company Reorganization Process

The functional team structure is common in many small- and medium-sized businesses as well as in larger corporations. The departments within a functional team structure are organized based on their primary job function. In addition, a very clear organizational structure informs employees on how best to get their jobs done. For example, in a hierarchical organization, employees will have to work harder at buying favor or courting those with decision-making power. In a decentralized organization, employees must take on more initiative and bring creative problem solving to the table.

Because this organizational structure focuses on specific market segments, it provides each division with autonomy. The divisions work separately, which allows employees to work independently and enables them to focus on the needs of their particular industry. Depending on the size of a business and its goals, the organizational structure of the team will vary. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages; however, there is a universal benefit to establishing a clear organizational structure. It helps employees understand their role within a company, which enables them to manage expectations and goals.

  • However, most projects require an API, mobile, backend and frontend developer.
  • An employee working for a matrixed company, for example, may have duties in both sales and customer service.
  • A business needs to have an organizational structure in place to be successful.
  • One of the biggest advantages of this structure is that it enables the regions to make decisions based on what is best for them.
  • Every type may not suit your organization, but chances are, one of them will.
  • Mobilunity has worked with many companies to help them set up their team structure to better achieve their goals.

If that happens, you may need to pivot your team structure so you can more effectively meet your business goals. On the other end of the organizational spectrum is the flat team structure, which is organic in nature and does not have multiple layers of management like a pyramid structure. In the flat organizational model, there may still be a hierarchy with team leaders, but in general, all employees have more authority and agency than in a traditional model.

To create a software development team, you have to consider the project you’re working on and the size of the team you require. Thereafter, you employ the qualified persons into the different roles and structure. Consider the time, complexity and budget of your project before giving attention to setting up a team.

What Are The Key Elements Of An Organizational Structure?

However, it is useful to characterise a small number of different models for team structures, some of which suit certain organisations better than others. By exploring the strengths and weaknesses of these team structures (or ‘topologies’), we can identify the team structure which might work best for DevOps practices in our own organisations, taking into account Conway’s Law. There are entire fields of study based on how to optimize and best structure organizations to be the most effective and productive. Senior leaders should consider a variety of factors before deciding which type of organization is best for their business, including the business goals, industry, and culture of the company.

type of team structure

Process-based organizational structure is ideal for improving the speed and efficiency of a business, and is best-suited for those in rapidly changing industries, as it is easily adaptable. The fixed structure of functional organization also operates through management. Functional structure also has the potential to create barriers between different functions — and it can be inefficient if the organization has a variety of different products or target markets. The barriers created between departments can also limit peoples’ knowledge of and communication with other departments, especially those that depend on other departments to succeed. Consider the needs of your organization, including the company culture that you want to develop, and choose one of these organizational structures. Luckily, some professionals specialize in assistance with the careful setup and management of teams.

Functional Organizational Structure

Let’s go through the seven common types of org structures and reasons why you might consider each of them. At some point, you have likely seen an organizational chart for your company. You can do so by dividing your team into sub-teams and employing more workers.

As mentioned earlier, a team structure for a previous development project may not work effectively for a brand-new project with different goals. When businesses set up their development team, they usually make common mistakes that end up reducing its effectiveness. For example, when setting up a development team for a project with a new strategy or purpose, many businesses end up trying to work with their old structure even if it does not suit or serve the new purpose. Clearly, there is no magic conformation or team topology which will suit every organisation.

type of team structure

Unlike with a more traditional, top-down structure, a circular structure can make it difficult for employees to figure out who they report to and how they’re meant to fit into the organization. When looking at a matrix structure org chart, solid lines represent strong, direct-reporting relationships, whereas dotted lines indicate that the relationship is secondary, or not as strong. In our example below, it’s clear that functional reporting takes precedence over product-based reporting. Nonetheless, the flexibility that an organic structure allows for can be extremely helpful to a business that’s navigating a fast-moving industry, or simply trying to stabilize itself after a rough quarter.

In addition, having a strong organizational structure helps to eliminate conflicts among employees. When the responsibilities and roles are clearly outlined, employees have more ownership of their tasks and spheres of expertise. The structure also makes operations more efficient and much more effective.

The architect, or software architect, is in charge of designing and developing the software product. This individual determines the technical standard and design, as well as other high-level decisions related to the project. The architect takes care of the systems, solutions, database, security and integrations involved in the product development. My sense is that this Type 1 model needs quite substantial organisational change to establish it, and a good degree of competence higher up in the technical management team. Dev and Ops must have a clearly expressed and demonstrably effective shared goal (‘Delivering Reliable, Frequent Changes’, or whatever).

Flat Structure

Typically, in a matrix structure, there is a functional reporting line where employees are grouped by departments, such as sales or customer service. On top of that, employees are also part of product or project groups, so they have an additional manager who oversees that line of work. An effective structure, with clearly defined roles, responsibilities and functions, works more closely together, communicates better and works more efficiently to reach goals. Research shows that “frequent communication and close collaboration are necessary” for complete project success. This is only achieved if the software or website development team structure is correctly in place and the roles of individual team members are clearly defined. Evidently, the structuring process is incredibly important, especially when managing virtual teams; the perfect software development team structure leads to finished projects faster and ultimately, business success.

This way of organizing is intended to encourage open communication and collaboration among the different ranks. A successful organizational structure defines each employee’s job and how it fits within the overall system. Put simply, the organizational structure lays out who does what so the company can meet its objectives. A network structure is often created when one company works with another to share resources — or if your company has multiple locations with different functions and leadership. You might also use this structure to explain your company workflows if much of your staffing or services is outsourced to freelancers or multiple other businesses.

Benefits Of Organizational Structures

You might not need an org structure right away, but the more products you develop and people you hire, the harder it’ll be to lead your company without this crucial diagram. Then, if you need to pivot or shift your leadership, you can visualize how the work flows would work by adjusting your organizational structure diagrams. The most popular online Visio alternative, Lucidchart is utilized in over 180 countries by millions of users, from sales managers mapping out target organizations to IT directors visualizing their network infrastructure.

Meanwhile Ops folks continue to work in isolation and Dev teams continue to throw them applications “over the wall”. The DevOps Team Silo (Anti-Type B) typically results from a manager or exec deciding that they “need a bit of this DevOps thing” and starting a ‘DevOps team’ (probably full of people known as ‘a DevOp‘). The members of the DevOps team quickly form another silo, keeping Dev and Ops further apart than ever as they defend their corner, skills, and toolset from the ‘clueless Devs’ and ‘dinosaur Ops’ people.

What Is A Team Structure?

While employees still have distinct roles and responsibilities, they are not grouped by function or division — everyone is on the same team. A disadvantage of the circular team structure is that it is confusing, as employees don’t have a clear chain of command and do not have a deep understanding of how their job fits into the organization. Traditionally, organizations have been structured with centralized leadership and a defined chain of command.

Always showing up on time, participating in meetings and attaching the problem, not the team, are all examples of ground rules. To effectively manage a web or mobile app development team structure clear rules need to be in place. This guarantees that individuals know what the employer expects of them throughout the development process. As your small business grows, you will need to hire employees to help you achieve your company goals.

Software operability still suffers because Devs are no closer to actually running the software that they build, and the SREs still don’t have time to engage with Devs to fix problems when they arise. Furthermore, just like Ops in Anti-Type A, the DBA team is not involved early in the application development, thus data problems are found late in the delivery cycle. Coupled with the overload of supporting multiple applications databases, the end result is constant firefighting and mounting pressure to deliver.

As you can probably tell, this organizational structure is much less formal than mechanistic, and takes a bit of an ad-hoc approach to business needs. This can sometimes make the chain of command, whether long or short, difficult to decipher. And as a result, leaders might give certain projects the green light more quickly but cause confusion in a project’s division of labor. This organizational structure is much more formal than organic structure, using specific standards and practices to govern every decision the business makes. And while this model does hold staff more accountable for their work, it can become a hindrance to the creativity and agility the organization needs to keep up with random changes in its market. It’ll come as no surprise that a team-based organizational structure groups employees according to (what else?) teams—think Scrum teamsor tiger teams.

That can lead to uncertainty as to who is responsible for what in the organization. This structuring provides a company with a visual representation of how it is shaped and how it can best move forward in achieving its goals. Organizational structures are normally illustrated in some sort of chart or diagram like a pyramid, where the most powerful members of the organization sit at the top, while those with the least amount of power are at the bottom. Mechanistic structures, also called bureaucratic structures, are known for having narrow spans of control, as well as high centralization, specialization, and formalization. They’re also quite rigid in what specific departments are designed and permitted to do for the company.

The DevOps Team with an Expiry Date looks substantially like Anti-Type B , but its intent and longevity are quite different. This temporary team has a mission to bring Dev and Ops closer together, ideally towards a Type 1 or Type 2 model, and eventually make itself obsolete. The IaaS topology trades some potential effectiveness for easier implementation, possibly deriving value more quickly than by trying for Type 1 which could be attempted at a later date. In opposition to the anti-types, we can look at some topologies in which DevOps can be made to work. Whether the organisation has the capacity or skills to take the lead on operational concerns. The extent, strength, and effectiveness of technical leadership; whether Dev and Ops have a shared goal.

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