Want to Hire a Web Development Team? Know This First
01 September 2020
Talented developers are in high demand by businesses eager to get an edge on their competition. As a result, few businesses can afford to hire a web development team and have staff with a full team of developers who can create and maintain a website. Instead, many companies are turning to third-party developers to meet their technological needs.
So you might be wondering how to do that yourself. And that’s just what we’re here for. By the end of this article created by our team at TMS, you’ll have the tools you need to hire the right web development team that you’ll need to modernize your business.
Why Outsource Web Development?
In this modern era, the customer’s expectation for quality technological capabilities is at an all-time high. Fortunately, companies today can achieve this at a reasonable cost.
Outsourcing web development enables you to access experienced web professionals, which can be the optimal solution for those who need to develop a website or app on a budget.
Here are a few reasons for outsourcing:
- You can hire a web development team with experience who has already completed projects similar to yours
- No need to waste money on training or office space overheads
- Customize your team to include skilled and experienced developers
- Be in control of the scope and work requirements through consistent updates and communication
- The dedicated team approach allows changes to the project during the development process
- You can negotiate monthly payment based on factors like deliverables and the number and skill of developers
- The vendor you choose can mitigate risk
How Does the Dedicated Team Model Work?
The dedicated team model allows for adjustments to scope and project requirements during any stage of the project. Developers can deliver e-commerce solutions while adjusting to your needs.
Not all development projects benefit from this model, so you should consider the dedicated team model for your project if:
- you want to build a relationship with a software development service provider.
- you need an expert team of developers who can work by themselves.
- you want to be able to adapt your requirements and goals to meet an ever-changing market.
- your project has the possibility of large changes in scalability. Fixed billings can allow you to keep the same team without paying more.
When deciding to use a dedicated team model, the first step will be identifying the requirements of your project. A Product Requirements Document (PRD) outlines what you want to achieve when you hire a development team.
Once you choose your team, you can work with them to create a Functional Specification Document, which defines the detailed scope and requirements of the project.
Next, the work on the project will begin and collaboration between you and the team is essential throughout this process.
Finally, after development is complete, the product will be ready for presentation.
What is The Team Structure?
Some web development teams differ in their structure. Most will include a Project Manager (PM), an Information Architect (IA), a UX/UI designer, and a Requirement Analyst (RA), as well as a team of developers. Naturally, you need to find the right person for each role in your project’s development.
Here is a short summary of each of these roles:
- Project Manager – Responsible for the delivery of the product in the timetable outlined. Manages the team to work towards the completion of the project.
- Information Architect – Focuses on organizing web site structure and content. Enables users to find and navigate the website or application.
- UI/UX Designer – Designs the look and feel of the website with the customer in mind. User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are similar concepts. UI deals with specific interactions between the customer and specific assets. UX describes more general interactions with a company’s products and services.
- Requirement Analyst – takes your outlined ideas and translates them into technical specifications for the designers and web developers.
After you define the project and approve the prototype, development can begin. The actual programming is done by developers who code all the designs into a workable website or application. Of course, not all developers are the same, thus it’s essential to understand the different skills and specialties from each part of your web development team.
Developers are normally divided into different roles:
- Front-End Developer – Implements the website design into a viewable functioning website.
- Back-End Developer – Responsible for the website’s functions (i.e. when a user registers on a site, a profile for the user is created).
- Full Stack Developer – Can perform the functions of both a Front-End Developer and a Back-End Developer. These developers are actually rare and some freelance developers use this title to falsely describe themselves in order to increase their exposure.
- Quality Assurance Engineer – Reviews the technical specifications to ensure that they work as intended.
- User Acceptance Testers – responsible for implementing quality management and testing.
What Should I Look For When Outsourcing to a Development Team?
Groups work in various ways to develop a website or application. Choosing the right web development team is critical for the success of your business venture, therefore success hinges on hiring the right people for the right job. It also means understanding that you will have different expectations for each part of your development team.
For example, hiring a freelance software developer is very different from looking for a WordPress developer. Despite this, some factors do apply to everyone you hire on your web development team.
Below are some key expectations needed when choosing a vendor, no matter what the role is.
- Estimation and Evaluation – They should be able to provide a document that shows an analysis of the current market and your competitors. They should also be able to provide a detailed view of the project.
- Flexibility in staffing – You should be able to choose members of the development team based on their skills and abilities. You should also be able to add more developers or reduce the staff as the project changes and progresses.
- Clear deadlines – The vendor should provide periodic releases or updates to show that the project is progressing according to an agreed timetable.
- Honest pricing – A vendor’s estimation price should be within 20-30% of the average price on the market for similar projects.
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – Prospective companies should be comfortable with the MVP development model. Having an MVP model allows you to test out your idea and saves time and money.
- Project management – A professional development company should have more than just developers. They need to be self-sufficient and meet the agreed timelines without the need for your micro-management. A tech-lead, project manager, or product owner should be able to communicate your idea to their developers and maintain the scope of your project.
Once you know what to ask for, you’re ready to start investigating companies that can provide you with the right development team to start your project.
Here are some things to look for in a prospective company:
Experience – Companies without at least 2 or 3 years of experience can be a liability. They lack the experience of older teams and are less likely to be reliable.
Staff – The minimum size of a team should be around a dozen members. They should be able to easily replace a team member should they fall ill or leave the company. Vendors who have a sizable staff of 30 or 40 people are even better. These companies are equipped to ensure that personnel issues do not interfere with the project’s completion.
Customer Review – Find out what their previous customers have to say about their service. You can obtain unbiased answers concerning their performance on matters such as project management and product development.
Product quality – Ask the company for working examples of products so you can see for yourself what you can expect from their finished product. If their previous websites appeal to you and meet your requirements, they are likely to be a suitable choice.
Company website – Find someone with technical knowledge to help you evaluate their website. It’s a worrying sign if their own website has an awkward layout, insufficient functionality or poor design.
How Do I Define The Project and Scope of Work?
You need to provide clear guidelines to ensure that your web development team can work to the specifications of a given project, by defining your project’s scope to your developers.
The scope is an essential part of every project that requires careful definition before development commences. This includes different kinds of limitations with time, resources, and staff, and also entails defining certain aspects.
To define the scope, clearly document the goals and requirements of your project. Below are some of the essential ways to define the scope of your own project.
- Project constraint – Any hard limitations on cost, time or resources
- Project stakeholders –Anyone invested in the project
- Resources allocated – Team members, budgets, hardware, intangibles, etc.
- Skill requirements – Ability and knowledge people have that is important to the project
- Deadlines – Timetables that must be met for the project to continue
- Project deliverables – The expected outcome of development. This is what you define as the success of the process. It is the concrete progress of the development group.
Questions to help you develop your project:
- How complex does your website need to be?
- Is it simply to be attractive and provide information on your company?
- Do you need to be able to sell your product through e-commerce?
- Do you need to have customer accounts?
- Do you want to be able to provide chat support for online questions?
- What are you trying to accomplish with the creation of your site? What will it achieve for your company?
- Do you want to expand marketing to generate more leads?
- Get exposure for your business?
- Give customers another way to buy your products?
- What do you want your website to look and feel like?
- How often will you need to update your website?
Scope, along with the timeline, budget, team skills, and project goals are paramount to understanding your project before your project commences.
Questions to Ask
There are many factors involved in choosing a good web development team, as well as ensuring that everything is progressing according to plan. Throughout the process, you need to monitor both your schedule and the budget.
So before you meet with your web development team, here are some questions to keep in mind:
Who has the rights to the content?
Content is everything you can see on a website. Graphics, photos, copy (important text) are all considered content. Make sure to know who will own what content when the site is finished.
Can you create a site that has cross-platform functionality?
There are so many ways to access the internet and you want to make sure that your website is accessible to all devices. Mobile phones are now the most popular way users connect to the internet. Browser compatibility can also be a point of concern.
What are your strategies for handling web traffic?
This question is especially important if you know many people will be accessing your site. It’s even more important if you have a really busy season or a couple of days when many people are trying to access it simultaneously.
How easy is it to make changes?
During the course of the project, it is common to change your mind about functionality. Perhaps you realized something you believed to be important was not actually essential. Or you might find a new functionality that could benefit your business. A decent development company should be highly adaptable to these changes during the development process.
After the project is complete, you may need to make adjustments that align with changes within your company. Ask what kind of customization is available after the project is complete.
Is Search Engine Optimization Included?
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website appear in search engines more frequently. Done correctly it should also be visible when relevant terms are searched so your site is more likely to get traffic from your target audience.
What are the Major Risks?
It is also important to be checking for possible pitfalls and risks in both the process of vendor selection and development.
Work Quality – Inferior product quality is obviously a disappointing waste of resources, so ensure that you thoroughly vet the team, and make your contract with the vendor very specific.
Reliability – Freelancers and sometimes small companies can be a reliability risk. The larger and more experienced the company, the more they have to lose from a botched project.
Maintaining Scope – Make sure that everyone agrees on the scope of the project in writing. It is crucial to develop very specific objectives and make sure that the vendor and everyone within your company is in agreement. If changes in scope are allowed then the cost of the project can be unmanageable. Deadlines for deliverables also are dependent on this.
Budget – It is very difficult to correctly estimate a budget at the beginning of a project. Variables need to be defined like quality, scope, scalability, timeline, and many others before it’s possible to make even a broad estimate.
Ending thoughts on how to hire a web development team
Most business is done online today, and this increasing growth makes it necessary to have products and services available for an online audience.
Outsourcing web development has become a tool that enables many businesses to gain a foothold in the lucrative online marketplace. Thousands of small businesses and tech giants like Samsung and IBM have outsourced their web development.
With the availability of talent around the world and the technology to work from anywhere, outsourcing has become the business paradigm.
Cost reduction, access to a professional development team, tech expertise and risk mitigation are all benefits of outsourcing web development. You need to be specific about your goals and cautiously research your prospective business partner. If you do, your company can stand to profit immensely from outsourcing your web development.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to hire a web development team, you should check out this one about software development budget planning.