Software development team roles and Matrix RACI

Finding the right employees and assigning them responsibilities has always been a challenge for all managers or project leaders. Programmers are also struggling with this issue. Matching the right person to the assigned task is always associated with responsibility and hoping that the project will go as planned. To overcome the challenges successfully, we need to define the software development team roles and try using frameworks/tools that will be surely helpful when building a successful software development team

Why one of the most crucial things for a development team is the organization? 

The key to finding the right person is to match the employee’s abilities to the goal since each programmer has a specialization. Currently, a prominent team shape is the Scrum structure.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a framework that works effectively in project management, taking care of the dynamics of thinking and fruitful team cooperation on assigned tasks. Scrum is combined with the Agile methodology of programming. Agile, presented as a flexible system, is divided into iterations. Iterations should last about the same amount of time.

It allows for feedback from everyone on the team. The earlier methodology for creating programming was Waterfall, but a common thought among users says that Agile helps solve the existing issues that its predecessor could not cope with.

software development team management

Some people need to be involved in making Scrum work properly. Among them, we can find programmers, testers, mentors, sponsors, people supporting contractors like: 

• Scrum Masters (SCM)

• Stakeholders

• Product Owners

• Developers

But how is Scrum different from traditional project management methodology?

A kind of independence and responsibility characterizes the Scrum team. It won’t designate the prominent leader but rather team roles divided into individual IT positions. It allows you to adjust the tasks to the competencies of the selected programmer.

The rules of work aren’t strictly formulated as the team members determine them. However, you have to remember that a maximum of nine people can be in such a team. Moreover, it can often be difficult to estimate costs in long-term projects accurately. Despite some self-management, all team members stick to the prescribed course of the project and do not disturb its process.

The structure and roles in software development team

While talking about traditional form, it should be emphasized that the essence of its functionality is a hierarchy. Of course, it is associated with slightly less comfortable work and increased stress due to the observation by superiors. 

However, it allows for faster reactions to errors or even preventing them. Considering that there is a person responsible for making significant decisions in such a team, it can be concluded that there is more control over the organization.

While exploring the roles of the software development team, we should specify the responsibilities of each of its members.

Project Manager

The Project Manager’s task is to control the project budget and course, rather than just knowing about the product. It is not unusual for a Project Manager not to see the idea of ​​a product with flying colors. The PM can help him with this and inform him of any inaccuracies in the design regarding the product. ‘

software development team roles

Product Owner

The person behind this position must demonstrate great flexibility and agility in keeping up with modern trends and the product’s practicality. In short, he is responsible for maximizing business value. Therefore, he is heavily focused on the development and its analysis.

Team Lead

Another position essential to maintain the correct structure of the software developers team is Team Lead. The person appointed to this position does not necessarily have to be the most experienced in the group. However, it should have managerial character traits to maintain harmony and proper communication between team members. Usually, it is one of the developers. His task is to control whether the team achieves the set results in a given time.

Tech Lead

In other words, an analyst. He mainly deals with problems related to external suppliers or difficulties encountered during the use of the equipment. He is at the forefront of technical expertise from the rest of the team.

Full-Stack developer

Sometimes less is more. A programmer who doesn’t specialize in any particular area but generally has the knowledge, often filling gaps in learning about the architectural layer (database, business logic, or view). His presence is a must-have during expensive and significant projects.

Front-end developer

His main task is to ensure the best possible reception of the application by the user – interface and content. Thus, it is a person who is a kind of link between the user and the delivered product (business solution).

Back-end developer

In the case of a back-end developer, his ace in his pocket is business logic and creating data layers. He also deals with building queries to databases and their optimization.

QA LEAD

As in the case of the Team Lead, he performs some supervision over the team members and their relationships. He takes care of the order of work and the optimal level of motivation for each of the members. In addition, he oversees the management and relations of people involved in the work on the areas of the emerging system.

QA Engineer

The function assigned to QA engineers is to carefully observe errors that may arise from the new tools and prepare them to work automatically. Thus, it is advantageous, especially in terms of cutting costs or time to control the stability of new tools.

Tester

He plays a crucial role in terms of product quality control. He verifies, conducts tests, and proposes alternative solutions in case of errors.

UI DESIGNER

He makes graphics and the content of the user interface suitable to the client or product from the presentation layer of the system. Then, together with UX Designer and the front-end developer, work on practical steps to achieve the expected results.

UX DESIGNER

He is a person who follows the trends of the time and observes the activities of competitors to find solutions that will satisfy today’s users. His task is to provide certainty about user satisfaction during the application.

After acquiring all the information about the needed components for the proper functioning of the team in programming engineering and how extensive it is –

It’s worth considering something that can further improve our operations. Is there a tool that will significantly improve the quality of work? This role should be assigned to the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM).

Definition of Matrix RACI

A matrix is ​​a management tool used by many companies, especially in the IT industry. We use it for the documentation and selection of roles and project responsibilities. In addition, the matrix enables general mapping of, e.g., milestones or KPO. Matrix equipped with RACI matrices will provide immediate information on the steps taken for those responsible for the project or a given part of it.

How does RACI work?

Raci is an acronym that denotes a value or role describing people suited to specific project tasks. We divide them into several variants, and among them, we can find:

Responsible: A minimum of one person responsible for the assigned task. Of course, there maybe more.

Accountable – In other words, it’s the boss. He is responsible for the result of the process and no changes to the dates without his consent.

Consulted: A method of communication that should be used when working on a project and intended for experts and people with project expertise. Communication should be two-way and active, no matter what the topic is.

Informed – One of the members of senior management, providing the information needed for regular updates. However, there is no obligation to inform senior management about changes in decisions made.

We should remember that the Raci matrix will not replace real people, but it can be an excellent complementary tool. 

software development team roles

So what benefits do we get while using it?

  • Greater awareness of changes
  • Better organization concerning the project
  • Assigns roles to each team member
  • Smooth transitions during rotation
  • Communication as a priority during the project
  • The visual nature of the tool

Does everyone need the Matrix Raci?

In what situations is it worth reaching for this tool?

  • When admitting new people to a project that is already underway
  • When a conflict breaks out, it is easy to present what responsibilities are on someone’s shoulders visually
  • When the project is expensive
  • When the project runs in parallel with another project

How does the Matrix process work?

In the case of creating a project from the very beginning, we should set goals that will be general stages in the development of our sentence:

  • Prepare an initial concept
  • Project initiation
  • Defining the Project
  • Project coding
  • Testing
  • Beginning
  • Maintenance

It is also worth noting that in the case of these individual stages, it will make it easier to appoint individual team members to deal with them and illustrate how the project will look more or less in time.

However, it should be remembered that apart from introducing RACI, you need to check all phases of the project yourself and how people selected for a part of the projected deal with it.

RACI CHART

What else should we consider when creating our RACI CHART?

To precisely complete our RACi Chart, we should follow five steps, namely:

1. Team identification – defining the competencies of cooperating persons and assigning tasks in terms of them.

2. Assigning RACI to each of these roles and tasks – reviewing the functions and people responsible for them and paying particular attention to their external and internal communication with stakeholders.

3. Adjusting to your team – Consulting with team members about what they think about their roles.

4. Aligning with the project’s primary stakeholders – Pay attention to the stakeholder map, determine whose opinion is important, and wait for feedback.

5. Create a functional matrix – one that can be used later.

What does the sample matrix template for RACI project management look like?

It is a kind of spreadsheet with all the values ​​needed to implement our project. 

software development team roles

What is the conclusion of this?

Finding the right employees and assigning them responsibilities has always been a challenge for all managers or project leaders. To effectively manage an engineering team, we must meet specific requirements and define software development team roles. First of all, make sure that the team we have is as competent as the conditions expected. Then, in the later steps, we match individual members to the tasks in the project’s following phases. When we combine the Matrix RACI and Scrum framework, we boost our chances to significantly facilitate the technical issues of management and to improve the dynamics of project development.

See also:

Authors

Agata Nowak
Agata Nowak

Junior Marketing Specialist at Scalac. At work I value creativity, willngness to learn and good teamwork. Besides, I love to travel, I am piano player and #catlover.

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