Web Development Team Structure: Roles and Responsibilities

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In this article, we describe the structure of a web development team and give tips on how to set up a good website development team.

When you’re hiring a web development company, you should study its past projects, customer satisfaction, and the company’s structure.

Knowing the structure of the web development company you intend to work with will help you with communication.

Each person in a web development team has their own specialization and role. When you start a web development and design project, you need to be aware of the important roles that will be part of your web development project.

The importance of an effective software development team structure

A team with an effective structure and clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and functions works together closely, communicates well, and is effective at achieving its goals. For a project to be successful, frequent communication and close collaboration are essential. This can only be achieved if the structure of the software development team is well-formed and the roles of individual team members are clearly defined.

As you can see, companies need to use effective web project management techniques to successfully achieve their business goals and objectives. Defining the role and responsibility of each participant not only saves you money and time but also increases the chances of creating a quality product in a short time.

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Web development team

As practice shows, programming alone is not enough to make your site work for you. This is why many stakeholders emphasize design and marketing. Accordingly, your web development team should be clear on the project’s goals and should consist of specialists with different skills and knowledge.

While some companies provide their clients with the full range of specialists they may need for a project, others do not. This is especially true of young and focused firms.

Each specialized web development company may have its own set of services, and the number of members on a web development team may vary. Let’s take a look at the essential roles in a web development team and skills and talents that form a solid foundation for an efficient team.

Requirement analyst

The main task of a requirement analyst is to take your project vision, analyze it, and translate it into an exhaustive technical task.

In turn, this technical task will be used by the web development team to determine the timeline and prepare the project.

Whether you are going to create a SaaS platform for retail operations or software that supports marketing projects for digital agencies, the first question the analyst will ask you is: What goals do you want to achieve with your product? First of all, the requirement analyst must identify your business needs.

However, the web development team will not be able to build a real product based on your original requirements. The business analyst must translate them into a clear project specification that the team can follow. In short, the analyst describes in detail what each part of the web application is supposed to do, what each function is responsible for, which buttons should be pressed to perform a specific action, and so on. In other words, the requirements analyst lays the foundation for product development.

Project manager

In a web development team, the project manager is like the orchestra conductor. Their main task is to organize, coordinate, and control the stages of the workflow, from planning to setting tasks for each team member. First of all, the project manager introduces you to the project’s technical characteristics and deadlines. Based on this information, a project plan is drawn up, which is broken down into stages, also known as sprints.

After you have approved the plan, the project manager creates a new project in a project management platform and begins to complete project tasks. Jira, Trello, Basecamp, ClickUp, and Wrike are the most popular web development team management platforms in 2021.

The project manager oversees the entire product development process to ensure that each sprint is completed on time. When a sprint comes to an end, the project manager shows you a product demo to get your feedback and approval to continue. If something doesn’t work for you, the project manager asks the web development team to fix the problem.

In addition, the project manager is in constant contact with you. If you have a question or want to make any changes to the project, you should contact the project manager.

Solution architect

Designers and developers work with a project’s information architecture and need multiple tools and resources at different stages of project development.

Solution architects organize the form and content of the project and are actively involved in the early stages of the project. Their main task is to create site architecture diagrams that interpret the overall site planning for both clients and the web development team. 

Solution architects work with project designers to create page layouts to show how pages will be used and how the website architecture and page content relate. They analyze user preferences to make it easier for users to find relevant content on the website.

Solution architects must provide both clients and developers with appropriate diagrams so they can understand the structure of the website. These are especially important for internal developers.

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UI/UX designer

Design is a milestone that defines the direction of the entire project. You will come across at least two types of design — user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design. Typically, web development teams are made up of one designer who fills both of these roles.

First, the UI/UX designer analyzes the project requirements along with the project’s target audience to see the full picture. This approach allows them to identify difficulties faced by users and effectively address them through design. With this in mind, the designer creates a wireframe, which is a schematic layout of elements on the website.

In some cases, the designer uses user stories to focus on the project’s goals. Simply put, a user story describes what a user expects to achieve with a particular digital product.

These stories are written in the Gherkin language, and you’ll need a lot of them to cover all use cases.

This is where UI design ends and the designer can move on to UX design. While the UX is about exploration and structure, the UI is about visuals: color schemes, fonts, icons, etc. In other words, UI design is about creating a prototype of your website based on the UX phase and validating its usability. The prototype can be interactive or static.

Besides the experts mentioned above, you may also need a graphic and motion designer on your web development team. These specialists work on the visual concept of the project (non-standard illustrations, fonts, logos) and are engaged in animation. The most commonly used design tools in 2021 are:

  • Sketch
  • InVision
  • Illustrator
  • Sympli
  • Zeplin
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Web developer

Developers play an important role in a web development team. They turn your finished design into a working product that anyone on the internet can use. The roles and responsibilities of web developers can be divided into two parts:

Front end

The front end is everything that you can see and interact with. Imagine a registration button that looks just like the prototype you saw earlier, only now it’s in the browser, so you can hover over it and click it. The button reacts to actions, changes color, or starts an animation, but it can do nothing else on its own. This is because the user interface is just the shell of your site. For it to work, developers must put the engine in.

Back end

The back end is responsible for the functionality of website elements that require interaction with the server. Roughly speaking, the back end contains everything except animations and graphics. With the back end in place, the button is now not only displayed but can activate code that allows the registration function to work.

In teams providing web application development services, development of the front end and back end can be divided between two specialized developers or performed by one specialist.

Frontend developers

Frontend developers work on the client side of a website using technologies such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. They create the website piece by piece based on the prototype provided by the designer. Their main task is to make sure that your site looks good on any device and in any browser and that all of its elements work correctly.

Backend developers

The main job of backend developers is to write server-side code that makes the website function. There are many languages and frameworks for this (JavaScript, Python, .NET, etc.). Backend developers are also responsible for creating databases and content management systems.

Full-stack developers

Most web development teams have at least a few full-stack developers who can independently create both the client and server parts of the project.

Quality assurance engineer

A QA professional or QA engineer is another important member of the website development team.

The QA professional protects your product from errors and monitors its interface.

Testing begins with analyzing requirements. Based on them, a QA engineer draws up a test plan. After development starts, developers send each version of the product to the QA engineer. In turn, the QA verifies whether it meets the technical requirements and the customer’s specific requirements (if any) using automated and manual testing methods.

When bugs are found, QA engineers compile a bug report and send it to developers so they can fix the bugs. This is followed by a reverse check to ensure that the problems have been completely resolved. QA engineers work on a project until it is released, and sometimes longer.

It should be noted that QA engineers are also involved in interface design to check the consistency of sizes, fonts, colors, and so on. QA engineers can also tell designers if they find a usability issue and suggest a solution. 

Those are all the members of your web development team! If you decide to go further and promote your site, you should also be aware of the specialists we talk about below.

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Tips to set up your software development team structure

It is always important to troubleshoot the structure of your current team before setting up your software development team structure. If you don’t know what the problem is with your current team’s structure, you won’t know how to improve or change it to make it more effective.

When companies build their development teams, they make common mistakes that ultimately reduce their effectiveness. For example, when building a development team for a project with a new strategy or goal, many companies try to work with their old structure, even if it doesn’t fit or serve the new goal.

Another common mistake companies make is hiring people for multiple roles without understanding the responsibility of each unique role. Based on these concerns, here are some tips for ensuring an effective development team structure.

Make sure the structure matches the project

Before you start building your team, think about your project’s time, complexity, and budget. As mentioned earlier, the team structure for a previous development project may not work effectively for a new project with different goals. Your team’s structure should perfectly match the purpose of the project.

Determine and set the size of the team

The first step in building a development team is defining the size of the team. First, determine exactly what needs to be done to complete the project; then you will get a better idea of the size of the team required.

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Establish leadership and define clear roles

Leadership is one of the core elements of a team. It’s important to establish leadership roles as well as other individual roles in the first phase of team building. This will help you avoid confusion and misunderstandings during development..

Match responsibilities to people

After defining roles, you should define the tasks and responsibilities of each role. Individual responsibilities will help the team focus and build a solid structure.

Establish work processes

Teams cannot perform optimally if they are not completely sure of the processes. Establish roadmaps, communication funnels, and goals to keep your workflow running smoothly.

Avoid a large and complex team

Managing a large team can quickly become difficult, and roles and responsibilities can become blurred. Small teams of software developers are easier to coordinate and are better able to identify good and bad efforts. For large projects, you can divide your team into subgroups and assign leaders to each.

Use project management software

Web Development Team Structure
Project Management Software
Agilie Team

Software can save you a lot of time and effort and take the burden off your development team. By using project management software, time-consuming tasks can be automated and your team can better track their individual responsibilities. You can also use communication apps for better interaction. This is especially effective when working with remote teams.

Have a good reporting structure

Good reporting is the key to the success of any project. Reporting reflects how effectively your team works together and also helps you track your project’s progress. Reporting can be done by individual or project participants on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Final thoughts

Now that you understand the roles and responsibilities of the members of a website development team, keep in mind that the team structure for similar projects can be different. This could be due to your preferences, the complexity of the project, or the timing of development. However, now that you know the main roles in your development team, it will be easier for you to communicate your requirements, problems, and requests to the right person.

If you have any questions regarding web development but don’t know where to start, contact Mobindustry for a free consultation.

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