Software Development Project: Roles And Responsibilities
The Gang’s All Here — How To Identify The Key Players In Your Software Development Team. Planning a software development project involves a lot of moving parts — and careful planning is vital for the success of the project. Although you’ll have a lot to think about as the project progresses, to begin with, the one, major priority is your software development team.
Whether you’re putting together your own dream team or hiring anexternal software supplier, your project will involve nine key players that you need to know about. This guide will help you to understand who these players are and, more importantly, what it is that they do.
The Project Sponsor
The first member of the team to introduce yourself to is your Project Sponsor as, this is usually the person who will be handling the finance for your project. Playing a pivotal role in the project from start to finish, the Project Sponsor is responsible for liaising with all other members of the team on subjects including:
- Scope clarification
- Troubleshooting and damage control
Kind of like a foreman on a construction site, the Project Sponsor has eyes and ears on every aspect of the project to ensure that it is running to plan and, on time.
The Product Owner
The Product Owner is, essentially, your representative within the software development team. The person you’ll most likely be speaking with the most, the Product Owner is responsible for making sure that the project is planned and completed to your brief and your vision. Within this role, the Product Owner will work closely with you to understand your requirements and communicate these effectively to the team. As your Product Owner, responsibilities include:
- Adherence to the software product vision
- Decision making on scope related issues
- Identifying new or additional requirements
- Reviewing and setting of priorities
- Resolving issues throughout the entire team
If your project is complex, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up speaking with your Product Owner more than you do your spouse as this person is essential to the success of your project.
The Project Manager
Think of your Project Manager as the superhero of your development team due to superpowers such as the ability to seemingly be in several places at the same time. The Project Manager will have a close working relationship with every person involved in the project, including stakeholders and senior management. As Project Manager, this person is responsible for overseeing the entire project, including:
- Developing the software plan
- Managing deliverables
- Recruiting the team
- Managing the software team
- Establishing and managing schedules
- Assigning tasks
- Providing updates
It’s impossible to over-emphasize the importance of your Project Manager as this is the person who will be responsible for steering your project through any periods of change or trouble.
The UI/UX Designer
When it comes to your new software, design is everything — and your UX / UI Designer is the guy or gal for the job. Working with the Product Owner and the Project Manager, the UX Designer will examine the required relationship between the user and the software and then put together a design that fits the brief. The UX / UI Designer has a number of responsibilities including:
- Designing the screens that the end-user will see
- Testing of designs
- Ensuring that the design combines practicality and aesthetics
As the UX / UI Designer is in charge of the stuff that the user will see, this is an incredibly important role within the software development team.
The Technical Lead
This clever chap or chappess is the one who will be in charge of turning your dream into a technical reality and, as such, works closely with your Product Owner. The Technical Lead will liaise with yourself and the Product Owner to understand your requirements and translate those requirements into a workable plan. The Technical Lead also acts as Team Leader to the development team. The main responsibilities of the role include:
- Liaison with the Product Owner and Product Manager
- Creation of Statement of Work documents
- Communicating the requirements to the development team
- Communicating status and progress to the Product Owner and Product Manager
- Enforcing standards and practices
Although you may not see all that much of your Technical Lead, you can be sure that he or she is working hard to ensure that great things are happening behind the scenes.
The Software Developers
Speaking of those great things, the Software Developers are the ones making them happen. Comprised of frontend and backend developers, your Software Developers are the ones who will actually be building your software, led by the Technical Lead. As well as building the deliverables to the brief set out by the Technical Lead, the Software Developers are responsible for:
- Creating cost and timeline estimates
- Communicating technical requirements to the Technical Lead
- Communicating the status and progress of the project
- Producing the finished software
Needless to say, the Software Developers are crucial to the success of the project and work very closely with the Technical Lead to ensure that the brief is being followed to the letter.
The Software Testers
Once your Software Developers have handed over your shiny new software, it’s time for the Software Testers to swoop in to make sure that all the bells and whistles are doing what they’re supposed to. As well as testing the finished product, Software Testers are responsible for periodic testing during development and their responsibilities include:
- Set up of test environments
- Implementing testing procedures
- Monitoring of testing
- Reporting of testing
As the project progresses, the number of Software Testers will usually increase to make sure that no delays are caused by the testing process.
The User Acceptance Testers
These are the people who will arrive just before your project reaches the finish line and, they perform a number of important tasks including:
- Quality assurance testing
- User acceptance testing
- Troubleshooting of last-minute issues
Your User Acceptance Testers are in place to make sure that every tiny aspect of your software is working as it should — before it is finally handed over to its proud owner.
Although each software development agency is different — and will employ differing numbers of staff depending on the project, your software development project should always feature these eight important roles. Before assigning your team, it's your responsibility to ensure that this is the case — if not, keep looking.