Who's Who in Your Team: Understanding the Key Mobile App Development Team Roles

Ilya Vishnevskiy

Ilya Vishnevskiy

Resource Director

Mobile Development
Aug 26, 2022
8 minutes to read
views
  1. Things to remember before you hire a mobile app development team
  2. Typical mobile app development team structure
  3. A Project Manager
  4. A Business Analyst
  5. A UI/UX designer
  6. A mobile developer
  7. A QA engineer
  8. Types of teams to choose from
  9. Hiring in-house developers
  10. Hiring freelance developers
  11. Turning to an IT outsourcing company
  12. How to build a mobile app development team?
  13. Closing remarks on mobile app development team roles

If you desire to obtain a winning mobile solution, you will certainly encounter some uncertainties and will have to make some decisions. What platform and technologies should you opt for? In what ways can one merge ease of use with an impactful and exceptionally efficient design? How can one create accurate predictions for both expenses and timelines? Finally, what mobile app development team roles do you need to succeed? In this overview, our experts explain a mobile app development team structure to help our customers make informed decisions when they’re assembling their teams.

Things to remember before you hire a mobile app development team

Things to consider before hiring a mobile app development team

Even before you start looking for custom mobile app developers to contract, you need to think through the following details so that you can have a greater chance of composing a harmonious team structure with the right roles:

  • What type of custom mobile app do you need? You can opt for native, hybrid, or cross-platform development according to your intended goals. Once you've made this decision, you can then proceed to devise an appropriate app structure and select the necessary technologies and specialists with the requisite qualifications and roles. For native programs, the technologies employed will include Objective-C, Firebase, Realm, Swift, etc. for an iOS-based solution and Kotlin, Java, etc. for Android-powered apps. Cross-platform development necessitates the use of React Native, Ruby on Rails, Python, .NET, Ionic, Flutter, etc.
  • What are the requirements? In order to develop software that will satisfy your users and earn high rankings, it is essential to conduct comprehensive market research. By turning to well-versed business analysts from a trusted custom mobile app development company, you can gain valuable insights into the market structure dynamics, your competitors’ existing solutions, and typical users, as well as gather and document project criteria.
  • What is the price estimate for your custom mobile app development services? By utilizing the findings of BAs, you can estimate the approximate cost of your initiative. The amount of money you are willing to invest determines the range of features and scope of your software. In the process of budget planning, it's crucial to take into account the varying rates of different mobile app development team roles, which can be influenced by factors such as their qualifications, location, and the chosen collaboration model.
  • What are the deadlines? It's also essential to determine the milestones and duration, as these can be significantly impacted by the allocated budget. Consider this when planning the creation of the minimum viable product and the end program.
Factors that impact the size of the development team

Typical mobile app development team structure

Not only tech engineers are involved in custom mobile app development, especially on large projects. Your team may consist of the following roles:

A Project Manager

The manager organizes the work structure so that it can be performed with maximum efficiency and in accordance with the schedule and planned budget. This specialist is the point of contact with the customer to provide them with regular feedback on every stage of the work.

A Business Analyst

With the help of an analyst, the customer and the team are provided with a clear vision of the IT initiative during the discovery phase, ensuring that your efforts are focused on meeting all the criteria. The specialist elicits, prioritizes, and meticulously documents them, producing essential documents such as Vision and Scope, Software Requirements Specification, diagrams, user story maps, prototypes, and more.

Furthermore, the analyst significantly contributes to the prioritization of tasks and gives them a clear structure in a backlog. Additionally, managing change requests is also part of their responsibilities.

A UI/UX designer

Their job is to create user-friendly and intuitive interfaces. These are grounded on prototypes created in the course of the discovery phase. To draw up well-thought-out layouts, designers of IT solutions should take into account the app’s structure, adaptability, and compatibility with Android-fueled or iOS-centered platforms or both, and the need to ensure a seamless UX.

A mobile developer

To implement the designed layouts, engineers write code for every feature. These roles require a mastery of programming languages and frameworks to aid in the development for Android, iOS, or both, a solid knowledge of APIs to connect programs with a server, etc.

A QA engineer

They hold a crucial position among other mobile app development team roles as they ensure that the solutions are highly performant and of the utmost quality. They conduct extensive testing on a broad spectrum of handheld devices to guarantee seamless user experience and compatibility. Also, a QA engineer can make modifications to the business logic to enhance its quality and security.

Mobile app development team structure

Types of teams to choose from

When seeking to hire a mobile app development team, you’ll be presented with various types of collaboration models to select from. Each of them has its advantages and constraints that you should recognize when choosing the structure that suits your needs best.

Hiring in-house developers

With this particular option, you can be sure of the full commitment of your employees. Due to their close alignment with your organization's culture, they are usually highly motivated as they are subject to the organization’s management. They are always within your reach and develop a profound understanding of your systems and industry. The primary limitations of this particular model are the time-consuming recruitment process and supplementary charges such as taxes, hardware, sick and maternity leave, office maintenance, and other related expenses.

Hiring freelance developers

This alternative is well suited if you have a small-scale assignment and a not-too-convoluted structure and are looking for cost-effective ways to accomplish it. With freelancers, you can avoid additional payments associated with in-house roles and can hire specialists from around the globe who offer reasonable hourly rates.

However, this possibility is not without its pitfalls. For example, there may be limitations on scalability due to the reliance on individual contractors. Moreover, there is a risk of dealing with underqualified individuals, as well as potential communication issues arising from differences in language and time zones. Lastly, there may be limited opportunities to influence task flow or motivate the engineers, which can hinder progress and quality.

Turning to an IT outsourcing company

Collaborating with an expert IT firm provides you with immediate access to a pool of specialists who boast a proven track record. Additionally, partnering with such an entity offers complete clarity regarding the assignment particulars, including its extent, expenditure, and timelines, which are clearly defined in a Service Level Agreement. When entering into a contract with a third-party firm, you would generally embrace one of the following options.

Project-based outsourcing

This cooperation model involves the customer entrusting complete responsibility to the IT vendor. The service provider then elicits requirements and limitations, makes estimations of spending, timelines, and necessary resources, and outlines expected outcomes. This approach offers the advantage of having all your ideas considered without puzzling over how to build a mobile app development team and manage your in-house personnel. This option is also suitable for creating an MVP or adding features to an existing solution.

Staff augmentation

This option refers to enhancing your existing mobile app development team structure by supplementing it with a third-party vendor's well-suited roles. One of the significant strengths of this approach is the swift availability of skilled professionals who have extensive expertise in the specific technology stack you require and can be difficult to hire otherwise. Furthermore, you retain complete control over the development process and can steer it toward accomplishing the intended priorities, milestones, and objectives. This type of collaboration is particularly suitable for organizations with strong leadership and industry knowledge who require assistance in implementing their planned initiatives.

Hiring a dedicated team

Andersen's experts recommend this approach for mid to long-term, complex tasks. It combines the benefits of having a robust mobile app development team structure with a diverse range of roles and domain expertise, on one hand, while retaining control over the decisions made, on the other hand. A proficient PM or a Scrum master is responsible for overseeing the staff, and the customer participates in strategic planning. Additionally, the specialists can perform under the leadership of your company’s product owner, allowing you to mitigate risks and clarify criteria.

How to build a mobile app development team?

Summarizing the above, how to build a mobile app development team you can truly rely on? Consider taking the following steps:

  • Determine the optimal engagement structure to suit your vision;
  • Seek out professionals through dedicated platforms such as freelance websites, networking sites, or market research platforms like and GoodFirms;
  • Conduct an inquiry into potential IT partners by examining client reviews, perusing their portfolio for additional insight into their expertise, reviewing their hourly rates for different roles or requesting an initial estimate, among other things;
  • Contact your preferred IT partner to formalize your relationship by signing a non-disclosure agreement and receiving documentation that includes expenditure and timeline estimates.
Steps to build a mobile app development team

Closing remarks on mobile app development team roles

Hiring dependable professionals with vast expertise is half the battle. With them, you will surely obtain a tailored-fit system that will be designed and developed according to y