How to Scale a Team of Developers Fast (Read This First!)

How to Scale a Team of Developers Fast (Read This First!)

As a company grows, it becomes increasingly important to have an efficient process to scale your team of developers. Here are steps to help you get started

author

Roman Oliinychenko

9 min read

Sep 13

When a software company reaches a certain point in its development, for instance, when the demand for its services and products is higher than what it can presently provide with ease for its clients, the need to scale up becomes apparent.

However, the scaling process is not straightforward; it gets complicated when searching for the right developers to join your team. Many companies fail at this phase when they attempt to grow their business.

Usually, your HR team will look for people they think would be good fits. However, you can't just wing it and hope you succeed at scaling.

To ensure your success, first, you must be sure that you are ready to handle the challenges of scaling. Secondly, you need a robust plan that aligns with your company's strategic goals.

If you are a Saas company, digital marketing agency, or a fintech looking forward to scaling your team of developers fast but unsure how to begin, we have got you covered. Over time we have gathered some tips for making the scaling process easier and faster.

To help you with this process, we will share nine tips for scaling a team of developers fast in this piece.

Let's begin!

1. Define your goals and objectives

The first tip to scaling your team of developers fast is to define your goals and objectives.What are your plans as a fast-growing organization? What are your plans for your team and customers? Do you want to penetrate a new clientele and entice new customers? Will you have to bring in new management and in-house developers to achieve your goals of scaling? Will you outsource your new hires? How many developers will you need to scale quickly? Why do you want to scale? And is this the right time to scale?

This and many more are questions you need to answer while planning to scale. Regardless of your answer or reason, it is essential that you have a precise goal and objective in mind for scaling.

When you have a clear goal and objective, you can better orchestrate the right strategies to help you achieve your goals.

2. Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses

Before you begin the scaling process, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current team.

As a leader in your organization looking to scale your team, identifying your current team's strengths and weaknesses are the secret to unlocking their potential.

Having such information will help you delegate tasks and projects more wisely and deliver more effective performance for clients improving your bottom line.

By being aware of the strengths and limitations of your team, you can make the best hiring decisions to enhance your existing unit, which leads to improved performance reviews, and guarantees that each employee grows and succeed.

For example, one person on a team may be poor in communication, and another may be poor in working under pressure, but if they are both excellent programmers, do you lay them off because they are lacking in communication and handling stress? Of course not!

Knowing their strengths and weaknesses enables you to set up the right mix of teams where their strengths and weaknesses are complemented.Hence, knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses allows you to identify where to focus your resources in your scaling plan to get the most productive results.

3. Know the number of new developers you need to scale

A vital tip to scaling a team is to know the number of new developers you need to hire.

If you look at the industry as a whole, the ideal size for a developer team is often unclear. In some companies, teams can be large and less productive. In others, the teams are scaled down yet are more effective.

When employing new employees, it's easy to get carried away, but you need to have a good reason for wanting to scale.

Consider your present staff, and be open with them when you're about to make such significant adjustments. Explain how these actions will lead the organization towards fulfilling its goals and vision.

4. Put the right technology and system in place

To scale fast, you must put the right technology and systems in place. Here's how in brief:

Technology

Use modern tools like Git and version control systems, which allow you to keep your code secure and make it easy for multiple people to work on the same project simultaneously.

Systems

Create a solid workflow that allows developers to complete tasks as quickly as possible while ensuring that every step is documented so everyone can understand what needs to be done next.

The technology and system available to your dev team are crucial to your scaling projections. Designing and documenting a seamless workflow system will allow the new developers you bring into your team to efficiently smoothen into tasks assigned to them.

Furthermore, using the right technology and processes will allow your team to deploy new products and services more quickly while minimizing risk and eliminating problems.

5. Build a distributed development team

One of the biggest challenges for growing organizations today is finding the right talent. The demand for top talent is rising fast and exceeds the labor market.

Also, not every employer can offer the kind of compensation and perks that attracts top-rated talent. If you plan to scale a team of developers fast, you can't afford to hire the conventional way.

You need to build a distributed team of developers, which gives you access to a large pool of global talent, many of whom have more reasonable wage expectations. This leads to an increase in productiveness and your return on investment.

Nevertheless, managing a distributed team of developers comes with challenges, including giving your remote workers the necessary infrastructure and technology. Here is why putting the right technology and systems in place is vital.

Therefore, to implement this scaling process, innovative organizations use Outstaffing companies to create a distributed workforce rather than hiring workers or independent contractors.

Perhaps you want to scale your team and need a skilled developer, designer, or service support; feel free to speak to us today.

6. Assign clear and specific responsibilities to team members

Once you have hired the right developers for your team, you need to assign clear and specific responsibilities to each member.

One reason this is essential is that it gives them a sense of ownership. A sense of ownership in your team can boost their productivity, so assign roles and outline their responsibilities.

Develop technical leaders to become executive assistants to help you handle the scaled team structure. You can’t scale efficiently or deliver projects timely without developing technical leaders with assigned roles such as a Scrum master, a product owner, a development lead, a business analyst, or a product manager within your team.

Everyone should know what they need to do and how their tasks fit into the bigger picture.

By doing this, you can establish who is responsible for what, including how a productive workflow should be carried out and responding to queries like:

  • Should software designers work faster than developers to maintain the release cadence?
  • Or should development leads need to check in more often?

7. Become an Agile Company

Another tip to consider in scaling a team of developers fast is implementing agile methodologies for scaling.

Agile methodologies are software development processes that give developers the flexibility and autonomy to deliver projects on time and within budget.

They enable teams to respond quickly to market changes and innovate without getting bogged down in process or bureaucracy.

The most common agile frameworks are:

Scrum

This framework enables teams to work together, with one person responsible for each project area. In Scrum, the Scrum Master (SM) is responsible for helping teams stay focused on their priorities by providing regular feedback and guidance while making sure they're following all relevant rules and conventions.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

This framework has four levels (Team Level, Program level, Large Solution, and Portfolio Leve)l. SAFs are explicitly designed for companies that need more structure than pure scrum would provide but still want to keep flexibility in their team dynamics.

It's ideal for companies that want to build large, integrated solutions that typically require hundreds of people to develop and maintain. It's perfect for companies that have been doing agile development for years but have outgrown scrum and are ready to scale.

8. Create a developer team community

Scaling a team of developers is daunting; hence, creating a group within your team is essential to help handle the pressure that comes with scaling.

Note that each developer you hire will have different capacities and tolerance for working under pressure. And for a growing company, stress is always in the air, whether it is meeting up with the deadline for a client’s fintech development project or a design service for a retail company.

Yes, some developers are better at working in a team environment, while others are better at working independently. But in most instances, you won’t be able to determine if a potential hire can handle pressure until they have been hired.

Therefore to smoothen your scaling process, you need to find ways to manage the new developer you bring into your team so that even if they are poor in handling pressure, they will still thrive, thus furthering your scaling projections.

So how do you implement this approach?

It's simple, divide the developers into several smaller teams within a team. These teams within a team approach will help create a team community that supports each other to work better and meet deadlines with less pressure.

9. Set up your funds

Harvard Business Review claims that one out of every six IT projects is a "black swan," with cost overruns of 200%. Hence as a fast-going business with a tight budget, it is vital to have a realistic view of your finances to avoid the financial pressure that may come with scaling.

You should also note that change will occur in any development project and allocate budget and time contingency to deliver projects on schedule.

To save on operational overhead costs while scaling up your resource, you can outsource your software development projects to a reliable outsourcing company that will allow you access to a range of financing options, including fixed fees against a set deliverable.

How do you know it’s time to scale?

As with any other type of organization, scaling a team of developers fast depends on how well your company is thriving. Hence, you need to know your company's current position and performance to evaluate whether you need to scale.

Scaling a team of developers can be daunting, and trying to do it fast and right is even more challenging. So how do you know it’s time to scale?

Here are a few pointers to let you know it’s time to scale:

  • When you are turning down new business opportunities
  • When you are exceeding previous goals
  • When you have a healthy cash flow and consistent sales
  • When you have put in place the right tools and processes to enable you to scale seamlessly

Ultimately, the decision to scale a team is a personal one. However, following the above pointers are clear indications to help know.

Conclusion

As you have learned from this piece, scaling a team of developers fast is achieved through a solid foundation built on a clear goal and objective, a well-established system within the company, and a technical base ready for scaling.

Although every software company is different, one thing is universal: implementing agile practices and using the right technology and systems to foster teamwork is core.

Whether hiring in-house or using an outsaffing company's services, hiring the right talents will help you achieve your company's goals.

Are you looking to scale? At NewWaveDevs, we help companies with quality development/design services. Contact us today.

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