Earlier we explained how to find an app developer of your dream. Now let’s talk about teams. If you’re setting up or already managing a social app development team, check out a few tips below to make sure you’re moving full steam ahead.
Make your requirements absolutely clear
This is the first thing you have to do - explain your team what exactly you want to get at the end of the project and how you want to achieve this goal. Provide detailed guidance on your social app and specify its market and key features:
- Will your app allow making voice and video calls and feature push notifications?
- What’s about multimedia file transmission and social integration?
- Will it allow creating customized profiles?
- Will its news feed (if your app is going to have it) allow filtering posts?
- Will users be able to turn the comments off (if applicable)?
All these and many other things must be absolutely clear, and all the team members must know what their scope in the project is, and what you expect them to do first. Clear requirements let the team better understand its goals and the product they’re developing from the start. As a result, they will have a solid vision of the product, and this confidence will work as an extra source of motivation and inspiration. Be sure, no one likes working on a project when its requirements are fuzzy and require constant clarification.
Decide on communication technologies
Flawless communication is one of the vital elements of any project. It is essential for effective interaction, data exchange, and strengthening team spirit. And here comes a good question: how to ensure effective communication? Skype and phone calls can be useful at some point, but you might need some more specific tools for your goals.
First of all, check Slack — it is a convenient messenger where you and your team can discuss anything. All the conversations are organized, so no piece of information will be lost. If you need not only conversations, but also reports, try Jira. You will have to spend some time on understanding it, but you will regret nothing - Jira is a great way to follow the status of your project.
Slack and Jira are not the only tools you can try — Facebook uses Asana, and also there’s Trello, Hipchat, Flow and so on. So it is important to decide on communication technologies and make sure that every member of your team knows how to use them. Also, if you’re going for outsourced teams, they should already know the best ways how to keep you posted.
Build a thought-through workflow
In the software development tasks usually go through several stages before they can be marked as “done”. It is essential to plan the task, to do it, to review the results, and, finally, to deploy it. That’s why it is essential to discuss the workflow - it will help your team to get all the things done in time.
It is also important to visualize and customize the workflow. As William C. Bradford says, 65% of the population are visual learners. There are enough tools and apps to create an efficient workflow. For example, here’s our internal workflow for project management.
However, task management is not the only point of a beautiful workflow. A well-developed workflow will also show you all the inefficiencies of the development process, so your team will know what to pay attention to. This is why it is crucial to make sure your workflow is explicit.
Do your best to hire top professionals
Average employees perform their work on the average level, and you need things to be done brilliantly. Jon Soberg, a managing director at Blumberg Capital, has a whole theory about why hiring so-called B players will kill your startup. This is what he says:
Jon Soberg is absolutely right, but we would like to expand his quote. Hiring top professionals is not only a tool to reach the best possible quality of your app. The presence of the best developers will motivate other team members, so they will also do their best. Top professionals can provide you and your team with a better overall picture of the development process, predict the potential opportunities and problems, and ensure a better structure of your social app.
Apart from this, having top professionals on your team will increase your chances of getting investments.
Treat your team right
This is a rule you should be familiar with since your childhood - treat other people in the same way you would like to be treated. If you don’t follow this strategy, your team will lack motivation. In turn, this can affect the development process and the quality of the product. As a result, your app can fail.
Besides, the staff attrition can have an adverse effect on your budget since you will have to spend funds and time on looking for new professionals. To avoid this danger, be honest with your team and always share your constructive feedback on the work they do. And please, don’t tell them how to do their work - no one likes this! 87% of startups fail exactly because of poor management. That’s a high rate (and it should be even higher for social app projects due to their complexity), and we don’t want your company to end like this.
Here are several things you can do to motivate your team and keep them on your project:
- Offer them flexible scheduling and rewards
- Let them move up the corporate ladder - no one likes working when professional growth opportunities are missing
- Conduct surveys to find out if your employees are satisfied with their job - this trick will not only help you to find out the management mistakes, but also show your team that you care about them.
Here is one more advantage of being a good boss: treating people in the right way is a must in case you are planning to attract investments - investors consider high attrition rate as a bad sign.
Set up the milestones
Setting key milestones will motivate your team and help them to complete all the stages of the development process. Besides, having them is essential for tracking the development progress. And, again, if you are planning to attract investors, a list of milestones is a must.
To make things clear, milestones are significant stages of your project. For instance, releasing the app’s Beta version and publishing your product on the store can be among the milestones of the development process. Then, after your app will be finally released, you will be able to set up the new ones: the first thousand of users, the first business clients ready to pay for ads and so on.
Don’t be lazy to evolve
Social apps should evolve constantly to stay attractive and interesting. If you’re ready for a long-term work on your project, that will inspire your team to do their best and build a high-quality product.
While some features might be boring for implementation, others will represent technical challenges for your developers, and knowing that these challenges are planned, expected and important for further app success is another driver for motivation for all team members.
Remember that Instagram had only 13 people onboard (and only 6 of them were developers) before it was acquired by Facebook. Probably, they were very motivated to build such a technological beast and work on it so well it turned out to be worth $1 billion.
Flawless Cooperation is Possible
Developing a social app is a rather complicated process, as there are too many things to keep in mind, too many potential dangers, too many competitors… You have got a lot of work to do, but now you know what things to pay attention to when working with your development team. Now go and make sure that your cooperation with them is simply perfect — we know, you can do this!