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Product development agencies come in all kinds of shapes and sizes – from a solo freelance developer, to a full-fledged team that handles design, QA, project management, client servicing, and more!

If you’re ready to grow your business’s digital product or expand your agency’s services, you’ll need to hire and develop a solid product development team to help you scale. But who would you need to hire? And where do you begin? How many people do you even need? There are plenty of questions – so let’s find the answers!

Who are the people in a product development team?

Depending on the size and complexity of software development projects that you take on, you may need more people – but this should cover the basics!

  1. Project managers
  2. UI/UX designers
  3. Mobile developers
  4. QA engineers

What are the hallmarks of a good product development team?

Meeting deadlines

Software product development projects are often complex and involve many stakeholders. This is why you’ll need app development team members that can stay on top of work, meet deadlines, and work within a schedule when completing projects. This will serve your clients well and be a boon to your business!

Working well together

There are many people involved with different backgrounds and professional experiences. In fact, if your agency works remotely, then there may be different time zones as well. Apart from being able to communicate well with the client, you’ll also need to communicate with your team members efficiently. Make sure you prioritize communication and clarity right from the start – it will give you a sense of what working together may look like in the future.

Level of proficiency

It may seem like an obvious one, but make sure you’ve verified and tested the skills and capability of a potential hire. Don’t compromise on competency, primarily since your work will involve delivering apps for clients.

Who is on the app development team?

Project Manager

A project manager is the crucial point of contact for your development team and for your clients. They act as vital points of contact between the different stakeholders. With the versatile and essential skillset required, you need a project manager that has good leadership and communication abilities to execute these tasks.

If there are specific project management tools you want to use, make sure that the project manager you’re working with is proficient at these.

Here are some key responsibilities of a project manager

  • Understanding your project and unique requirements
  • Conveying assignments to the development team, so everyone has a clear vision
  • Communicating roles and responsibilities to each team member
  • Ensuring that development costs are within your budget
  • Maintaining the scope of work and managing issues and risks
  • Meeting deadlines and maintaining the quality of deliverables

Questions you may want to ask a prospective project manager

  • What are your favorite project management tools and methods?
  • How do you describe your job as a project manager?
  • Talk about your best and worst managed project
  • What is your preferred communication style?
  • How do you handle conflict?

UI/UX Designer

Next, you may want to consider hiring a user experience designer to help you incorporate tried and tested design principles and design thinking. They will be able to distill app design briefs from your clients much more effortlessly.

But beyond just app aesthetics, a good designer will focus on creating a seamless user experience that gets your mobile app to do what your users want in the most straightforward manner possible. That’s the hallmark of a good user experience. From a smooth onboarding experience to excellent navigation, illustrations, colors, and micro-interactions – your designer will add magic to your app’s functionality.

The bottom line is that they will make your app look good and make your clients happy.

Here are some essential qualities of a UX designer

  • Incorporate creative thinking and pleasing aesthetics
  • Be proficient in the design tools that you’re using
  • Able to build wireframes and prototypes to map the user journey
  • Experience working on apps similar to your agency requirements
  • A good portfolio

Questions you may want to ask a prospective UI/UX designer

  • Do you develop and incorporate user personas?
  • How have you solved problems in the past using design?
  • How do you define your role in an app development team?
  • How do you help with a smooth handover from design to development?
  • What is your biggest motivator and demotivator when working on a project?

Developers

Even if you’re running a no-code app development agency, you may still need developers that can build specific components or put things together quickly. You could also hire no-code freelancers to build apps for your clients.

These are the people who bring your client’s ideas to life. There are two leading platforms that they will need to be familiar with – iOS and Android. You could alternatively have developers focus on just one platform rather than needing proficiency in both.

Here are some essential qualities and responsibilities of a developer

  • Sufficient technical experience with diverse projects
  • Good product-building foundations
  • Familiarity with programming languages that your agency may need
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good time management and communication skills
  • Time management 

Here are some questions to ask a prospective developer

  • How do you see your role as a developer in a team?
  • Tell us about the projects you’ve worked on in the past
  • How do you manage deadlines and the possibility that you may not be able to meet them?
  • How do you prefer to work with designers?
  • What are some app projects that you’re proud of?

QA Engineer

Once you have built an app for a client, you may need ongoing maintenance and quality assurance work. For this, you’ll need to make sure it’s included in the scope of work and clearly define the extent of the work. 

You can hire a QA engineer to make sure the app does what it is supposed to, without any errors, bugs, or issues. Any potential app issues need to be detected, reported, and fixed as soon as possible so they can be fixed.

Here are some essential qualities and responsibilities of a QA engineer

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Tracking bugs throughout the test cycle
  • Patience!
  • Identify any obvious threats users might face
  • Great attention to detail
  • Running automated and manual tests at regular intervals
  • Good communication skills

Here are some questions to ask a prospective QA engineer

  • How do you see your role as a QA engineer in a team?
  • Tell us about the projects you’ve worked on in the past
  • How do you manage deadlines and the possibility that you may not be able to meet them?
  • What tools and software are you familiar with?

Building a product development team is a process, and every part requires planning and meticulous effort, but it’s well worth it to help grow and scale your software development agency. We hope this blog helped break down the process of building a fantastic app development team and give you a step-by-step guide to finding the right people, bringing them together, and getting the job done!

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