Why software product development is the ultimate team sport –

The importance of teamwork in software product development cannot be overstated. And yet – it must be overestimated because there is a popular misconception that software product development is an isolated endeavor: the work of a programmer or a team locked in a corner.

How is software product development like Ultimate Team Sport?

It’s actually more like a professional football team with different groups of stakeholders.

Note the game’s stakeholders: players, coaches, coaches, administrators, etc. – each working towards the common goal of winning.

Note the software product development stakeholders: With software product development, coders are only part of the team, rounded up by users, managers, designers, adjacent IT specialists and other key players. The all have something important to contribute.

Similarly, the end result will be compromised if none of these stakeholders are brought into the software product development process. Take the coaches away – and great football players rarely win.

Composition of a software product development team

The lifecycle of software product development should always begin with building the necessary team. For many companies, this means getting help from a software product developer to complement their in-house engineering teams. And somewhat paradoxically, treating software product development as a team sport also means letting product teams operate as independent teams.

To a large extent, these teams should be able to work free from bureaucracy and politics, focusing solely on the current product. To do this, the other stakeholders must work together to ensure that teams have the guidance, resources and time they need to work with a high degree of independence.

Just as important as gathering the ingredients and letting them work independently is finding the right fit between them. Teams must, of course, have the right combination of skills to make the software product development process a functional, finished product. But they also need the right mix of personalities, clear roles for everyone involved, a coherent management structure and effective communication channels.

The goal is to build a sum that is greater than its parts – an achievable goal as long as companies can get over the notion that software product development is something they can “transfer” to others.

In practice, it is much better to be involved from start to finish. It may involve more input and resources, but there is a strong business case for treating software product development as the team sport it is.

GO TEAM – Here’s what your team can do:

In the midst of uncertainty – whether it’s a global pandemic or an industry-specific disruption – software product development lets companies build the business solutions they need to survive and thrive. But speed is crucial.

When companies need a solution sooner rather than later, they should take all hands on the deck, and dedicate who and what is needed to get the software up and running. So, with sufficient resources behind the software product development process, a company can keep pace with change instead of falling behind its competitors.

  • Promote meaningful innovation

Custom software can provide a quick fix, but at best, it triggers a wave of opportunities in an organization by allowing it to accomplish what it could not before.

But to have the most significant impact, developers should incorporate input from a broad base of stakeholders, including designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and business builders, among others. Software product development, which incorporates many voices and ideas, leads to products with a meaningful effect.

  • Overcome persistent obstacles

No single person or team has all the answers. It helps explain why some problems never go away: they lack outside perspectives. By incorporating different skills and backgrounds into the life cycle of software product development, companies are revealing solutions (or innovations) that they would not otherwise have.

Diversity offers a shortcut to business solutions, just as lack of diversity causes persistent business problems to develop into serious headaches.

  • Learn to repeat the success

When companies build cohesive software product development teams populated by talented professionals who share a common culture, these teams become strong entities.

According to a study, cultural cohesion is the driving force behind the success of development teams. It may seem obvious, yet few companies prioritize culture fitting when building teams. But when they do, they create fast and flexible teams that know how to work together to overcome obstacles and sprint towards solutions. Moreover, these teams know how to repeat their own success.

Conclusion

What is the composition of your software product development team? What pieces may be missing, and what effect does it have on the development and strength of the entire organization? These questions are worth asking because the answers show companies how to become the best version of themselves.

The most successful software products lead to game-changing business solutions, and these products always come from different, collaborative, cross-functional teams. After all, there is nothing I in “software product development.”

Image credit: Annie Spratt; Unsplash; Thank you!

Tim Scott

Head of Experience Design at Frogslayer

Tim Scott is the head of experience design at Frogslayer, a company with custom software development and digital innovation that quickly builds, launches and scales digital products and platforms for customers.

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