Help, I just got funding (good) and I need to hire ten or more developers (bad)

Today, entrepreneurs spend lots of time deliberating on growth. Achieving the right growth can be an ideal way of steering your team to develop massive value. However, not every growth is good and chances are, many entrepreneurs who believe growth must happen across the board for the business to grow will be disappointed by a conflicting outcome.

If you are preparing to hire software developers, we believe small teams are more effective. Increasing your team may not be the best practice especially for startups. If you have a project coming up, you probably are contemplating the perfect team size for the project. Should you opt for a large team seeing it comes with increased brain potential? Or do you choose a small team for a start? Experts in the industry opine that small teams are more efficient compared to big ones.

It’s worth noting that the team you choose will have a huge impact on the success of your project. However, this doesn’t have anything to do with talent, skill, and experience regardless of the fact that they are critical factors. Usually the software team’s administrative structure influences development in a manner similar to the aforementioned factors.

Understanding Software Team Administration Structure

This approach can be classified into two main categories which are: the responsibilities and size of your team. Various questions are likely to arise when it comes to on boarding a development team such as: determining your ideal team size, how to distribute roles among them effectively, and whether or not there are any differences involved in the software evolution team structure. Here are tips to ease the process for you.

Determine the Size of Your Team

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As we have already mentioned above, thinking that a bigger team will lead to more growth is both true and false. However, we can’t overlook the fact that 4 developers would be more effective compared to 2 for instance. Still, managing tasks in a small team comprising of approximately 4 developers would be easier as opposed to managing a team of up to 10 members.

In 2005, QSM consultancy conducted a study which revealed that small teams are more efficient compared to bigger teams. To come up with these findings, QSM which manages more than 4,000 projects analyzed 564 data system projects executed since the year 2002. The study established that it took large teams up to 8.92 months to finalize projects of 100,000 equal source lines of code, while smaller teams completed a similar project in 9.12 months. While the large teams would complete the task sooner than the smaller teams, the total project cost would be more. Why are smaller teams more effective according to the QSM study?

  • Smaller teams can be organized and re-organized with minimal struggle. They are also more aggressive
  • Coordinating tasks and efforts and communicating with a smaller team is easy
  • They hardly experience workflow or even administrative complications
  • Small teams can operate more independently

How many People Should Your Small Team of Developers have?

Let’s take an example of what already established companies have done to maximize productivity. Amazon has adopted the two pizza rule which states that if two pizzas are not enough for your entire group, it means the group is too big. Today, this tip is used to outline the size and team structure of your development team. As an entrepreneur, your business will benefit more with a small team of about 4 developers.

How can You On board an Already Large Team?

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You don’t necessarily have to dismiss some of your team members if you already have a large team. Take Uber for example. In 2017, they had approximately 100 iOS developers but that did not stop them from coordinating their working procedures. You can reorganize your large group to form small ones.

When asked about their experience, the lead technician for frameworks and architecture at Uber said: with a small team, you’ll experience minimal problems. He reiterated that when you increase your team, you must hire another manager who shall regulate the tasks among individuals and the group as a whole. This way, the business avoids a case where different teams work on the same features without realizing it.

Why are Smaller Teams more Efficient as Opposed to Larger Teams?

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Coordinating and communicating can be a costly affair for a large team, especially when the project requires constant communication among the team members. What’s more, large teams are incapable of accomplishing the objectives of everyone participating in or coordinating the project, something which a smaller group can achieve with ease.

According to QSM, developers in large teams were more likely to quit than those in smaller teams. Pulling out from a project is time-consuming in terms of documentation, discovery, and reconditioning which can be a cost consuming task albeit non-beneficial.

Developer On boarding Best Practices to Gain Lasting Employees

Studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggested that 5.4 million employees were hired in 2017. However, 5.2 million detachments were announced within the same period. These were either necessitated by layoffs or even quits.

While this trend is an indication of rising employment opportunities the number of detachments is alarming seeing that replacing employees can be cost consuming. This explains why on boarding hire developers for startup carefully is critical.

As a team leader, you need to focus on instilling in them the applicable skills for the task at hand in a manner that will help them trust the company. If you asked employees why they leave, they will cite various reasons such as; meager salary, disagreements with the company leadership, inadequate benefits, and inadequate opportunities to advance their careers.

With the ideal project on boarding checklist, team leaders and managers can solve many of these problems by positioning new hires for prosperity. Here are some tips to enhance employee on boarding.

Contact New Developers Prior to Their Start Date

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Research suggests that approximately 33% of new employees will decide whether or not to stay with a specific organization within the first month of working. If you don’t communicate with your new just before they begin their job, they could feel ignored. You want to devise a strategy to connect with new hires before they start working and make them feel accepted and welcome.

Your HR can offer to orient them on what is expected of them on their first day at work. Their departmental team leader or manager can also introduce them to the department even before their first day at work. In today’s digital era, there are numerous means of communication and your team can leverage on them to connect with the new hires.

In the absence of proper guidance, new hires will feel confused and lost. Your team leaders can avoid this by utilizing an onboarding platform or even a shared calendar to generate duty schedules and lists for the new hires. This gives them a clear picture of what to do and when.

Regardless of how vague the task sounds, scheduling it can ease coordination while making work easier for both the management and the new employees. As the new hires master their tasks, you can ease their schedule and allow them to plan their tasks accordingly.

Ensure their Schedule is well organized

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Studies indicate that companies with a robust on boarding process enhance new hire retention by approximately 82%, which promotes productivity by more than 70%. Organizing a new employee’s tasks for the first few weeks keeps them occupied. It’s also a great way of helping them master their tasks.

What’s the Best way to Lead a New Team of Developers?

These tips will help you enhance your leading skills if you’ve just been appointed to lead a new team of developers.

Avoid Pre-determined Strategies

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Companies will hire new team leaders in order to help solve specific challenges already communicated to them. Coming in with a pre-conceived strategy on the same is not recommended. Of course you will want to demonstrate your value to your employers, however, there are various ways of doing so.

You may want to understand the existing challenges and then work towards establishing the ideal solutions. To achieve this, hold clear discussions with your team and have them share their issues with you. This way, not only do you get to know them on a personal level, but they also learn to trust you.

Avoid making Abrupt Changes

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Study the organization and identify patterns and make sure that your planned changes will tackle the existing problems on a long term basis. Instilling abrupt changes can discourage employees. They could even start resenting you which can affect the advancement of the company. You’ll need the cooperation of your team to make knowledgeable decisions. Further, you want to involve the key stakeholders in your decision making.

Finally

Starting a company can be a daunting task especially when you don’t have sufficient funding. Fortunately, there are numerous investors today willing to fund startups until they stabilize. Once you’ve received your funding, the next step involves choosing your anchor team. Out of excitement, many entrepreneurs are likely to hire a large team which as we’ve seen here is a bad idea. You want to start small and build your brand first before increasing your team depending on the increasing demands.