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Talented development teams get the job done - What are the qualities of a high-performing project team?

Software is built by people. At Insta, we recommend the right combination of talent for each individual customer project. Our experts can supplement your existing team or you can leave all heavy lifting to us.

Today, a team is an integral element of any software development project. A team consists of several people performing coordinated efforts toward a common goal. While software projects come in many shapes and sizes, you are likely to find people with similar roles and competencies in any given development team.

Core team forms the backbone

Two roles can be found from every software team: developers and someone who leads the team. Developers do the heavy lifting: they apply their expertise to build software solutions that solve problems and add value to the customer and the end users.

Developer job titles may vary depending on their expertise areas and role in the team - a larger team may have dedicated developers working on the user interface or data handling, for instance. Then again, a small team could just have a couple of full stack developers - all-capable Swiss army knives of software development.

The team lead ensures that the team continuously delivers optimal customer value. This includes making sure that the work is aligned with customer needs, for which a good, open customer relationship is key - the team lead can serve as a communications hub if necessary. While in smaller teams the team lead role is often handled by a developer, in larger teams the role can be full-time, resembling a classical project manager.

The core team usually works full-time in the project throughout its lifespan.

Specialist roles for specific needs

In addition to the actual software developers, many other experts may be involved in the project - especially when the project gets larger or more complex. These roles may be involved in specific project phases or they can be consulted whenever needed.

In the modern software development approach, service designers are involved throughout the full project lifecycle. Their responsibility - together with the development team -  is to understand both business and end user needs and design how the project adds most value for both. User experience (UX) designers then translate these needs to product designs, which are then made real by the rest of the team.

While experienced developers can handle ensembles such as DevOps, security and quality assurance, often bringing aboard a dedicated expert produces even better results more efficiently.

Product owner decides priorities

The product owner maximizes the value of the project by setting priorities, making decisions on how the product should work and maintaining the overall product vision.  Best results are achieved if it is possible for a representative of the customer to reserve time for filling this role

"Teams that work well together generate the highest value."

3 qualities of a great team

1. Good chemistry
A team that works well together performs better. Fluent communication is essential and comes naturally when people are on the same wavelength.

2. A balanced mix of skills
With a good mix of senior and junior developers, you can ensure cost-efficiency and keep team members motivated with tasks that match their level.

3. Optimal size
A large team size leads to increased overhead and communication needs. Try to keep the project and team sizes fairly small.


Markus Mäkelä


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