Main roles and responsibilities in the software development cycle

Software development is a challenge for any development company. The IT world is vast. The range of possibilities, technologies, programming languages and tools is broad and complex. Planning, communication, and collaboration are critical ingredients for the successful delivery of the final product. Each project is different, and the development team must be ready to face a variety of obstacles. One of the critical factors determining failure or success in software development is a cross-functional, skilful and experienced development team; an interdisciplinary team made up of different roles and specialisations. Each member has their own responsibilities and methods of adding value to a project.

The following article will describe these roles for you and explain who is responsible for what and why you need them in your team.

Product owner

This is a crucial role in Agile: Scrum methodology. The Product Owner represents the business and its’ needs. They are responsible for creating a vision of the product and maximising investment (ROI). In addition, the Product Owner works closely with end-users to create and prioritise a Product Backlog (containing project requirements). This ensures that all functionalities needed from a business perspective are provided at the right time.

Business analyst

The work of a Business Analyst (BA) starts at the beginning stages of a project. Firstly, they identify project stakeholders and gather project requirements. They clarify the client's needs by defining the project scope and analyse current processes and documentation.

The BA communicates with their client and the development team to identify business requirements and discuss potential solutions to meet project criteria. An important component of their role is to prepare visual representations that convey the current and future processes of their business. They also prepare the project’s task description for their developers. Finally, the BA designs wireframes and mockups to help their team visualise a future solution.

Project manager

The Project Manager (PM) is mainly responsible for managing the project and their team. The PM allocates resources and aims to remove all roadblocks and bottlenecks. They are in constant contact with their client, development team and higher management.

The PM prepares a development plan, manages it, assigns tasks, prepares a schedule and tracks the project’s progress to ensure it is delivered according to schedule. The PM is also responsible for the project budget and change management.

UX designer

The UX Designer defines how the application will behave and react during interactions with a user. They play an important role in building the project design and application interface. They prepare the information structure and name conventions.

Lastly, the UX Designer creates mockups and prototypes based on project requirements to confirm and test the application flow and visual appearance.

Developer

This role lies at the heart of the development team. Developers transform graphics and business requirements into application functionalities. With the use of different programming languages and tools, they build the final product. Developers are divided into Junior, Mid and Senior Developers according to their skills and experience.

Developers have different specialisations. Backend Developers work with the application architecture and databases. FrontEnds are responsible for visual aspects and user interaction elements. Mobile Developers build applications for systems like Android and Apple iOS. Very often, the development team needs the contribution of all specialists to successfully fulfil project goals.

Technical lead

This role refers to a Technical and Development Team Leader who translates business requirements into technical solutions. In addition, they help developers overcome technical issues, calculate estimates, and support product releases.

The Technical Link also acts an important point of contact to resolve the technical challenges of Business Analysts, the Project Manager and Developers.

QA specialist (tester)

Tests need to be performed at every step of a project to ensure that the team maintains a high level of product quality. QA Specialists check the entire system in search of technical and design flaws. They identify bugs connected with the wrong data, dysfunctional features, and misleading or incorrect process flows. Each bug is documented and passed to the development team to be fixed. QA Specialists are also highly involved in security and performance testing. They work closely with the development team and are responsible for performing tests on every project environment.

UAT specialist

Before the software release, a User Acceptance Test needs to be completed. The main goal of this test is to evaluate the system’s performance in a vast range of real-world scenarios. Testers are responsible for preparing and conducting the UAT test cases and scenarios. These tests help to ensure that the final solution fulfils a project’s goals. It also helps to identify possible obstacles that need to be resolved to meet the end-users’ requirements.     

It is common to involve SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) as UAT testers since end-users are aware of which issues the product should resolve. Their feedback is essential to ensure the product will provide desired value.

Summary

Software Development is a complex process full of challenges. There is a long list of variables that might impact your project. One of the most important factors is a team’s components and structure. Developers need support, knowledge and the expertise of their team members. Their specialisation and experience make the difference between a project’s success or failure.

A professional software development company analyses your needs before determining what roles are essential for building your team. At HeadChannel, we are always looking for the best solution for our customers. Our cross-functional team is experienced and ready to take on any and all challenges to successfully deliver your project.

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