Mobile App Development Team Structure: Who and Why

Let’s discuss who are the members of a successful mobile app development team, what are their responsibilities, and how to create a smooth work process.

7 days ago   •   8 min read

By Mariia Yuskevych

A professional and reliable mobile app development team is half of the success when it comes to getting an application for your business. A well-established process involving experienced specialists from each app development area ensures that the final result will match your expectations and meet your business goals. Let’s discuss who are the members of a successful mobile app development team, what are their responsibilities, and how to create a smooth work process.

Which Collaboration Model to Choose

Before we dive right into the roles in a mobile app development team, let’s discuss the ways you as an app owner can get your product developed. Usually, the choice is between

  • Collaborating with freelance specialists
  • Hiring an in-house team
  • Outsourcing a dedicated team from abroad
  • Outstaffing

Each of these models has its pros and cons. For example, collaborating with freelancers means that you can hire highly-skilled professionals to work on one-time tasks. At the same time, you need to dedicate extra time to hiring and managing the specialists, establishing processes between them, ensuring communication, and so on. Additionally, we recommend taking extra time to check the specialists’ reviews and make sure they are reliable and trustworthy.

The same goes for hiring an in-house team. While it gives you a better connection with the team members and more control over the process, it is also a time-consuming and often a rather expensive model to follow as you need to take care of HR, legal, and financial aspects of the work too.

When it comes to outsourcing a dedicated team, most often, this model is more reliable, cost-effective, and time-saving. When collaborating with an outsourcing app development company, you will get a fully-formed dedicated team, who already worked with each other and have all the processes established. Such teams are usually experienced in certain domains and can share expertise among themselves. While a dedicated team doesn’t require extensive management from your side, you are always welcome to engage in the process.

Finally, outstaffing means hiring only certain team members to work on your project based on the time & materials model. An outsourcing company will provide you with specialists based on your requirements. Such a system is similar to working with freelancers but more reliable as a company is responsible for the work outcomes and management side of a matter.

Let’s now discuss the must-have members of your mobile app development team.

Who Makes Up an App Development Team

Usually, a development process includes a project manager organizing a consistent process, a UI/UX designer coming up with a clear and eye-catching app design, a developer using the most recent tools to bring the design to life, and a QA engineer checking for any inconsistencies or vulnerabilities.

Additionally, some teams might be enhanced by a product manager or business analyst who is responsible for discovering the app’s strengths, creating a business plan, marketing the product, and so on.

Let’s discuss the responsibilities of each core app development team member in more detail.

Project manager

A project manager is a link between you, as a product owner, and the team working on the application. Without a project manager, your app development project has all the chances to become, well, quite chaotic. This person is responsible for

  • Setting realistic deadlines and project milestones
  • Writing out the requirements
  • Communicating with the clients, answering their questions, and addressing requests
  • Keeping an eye on the project’s progress, reviewing the team’s work
  • Setting tasks and deciding on the work scope for the team members
  • Resolving any bottlenecks and blocks during the project; adapting the process to possible changes
  • Working on the project documentation
  • Budget and resource management
  • Risk management
  • Organizing team meetings and retrospectives
  • Motivating the team and taking up the leadership role
  • Resolving any conflicts inside the team

A project manager is a person who overlooks the bigger picture while the team members are working on their areas of responsibility. This specialist allows UI/UX designers, developers, and other professionals to focus exclusively on their work while not spending time on the management aspect of the project.

You or your team members don’t have to worry about possible budget issues coming up in the middle of the process or missed deadlines, because a skilled PM will ensure that such issues don’t occur or are resolved in the best and quickest way possible.

Don’t hesitate to ask your project manager virtually anything and give as many details as possible. If there is something bothering you or any problem occurs, address it as soon as possible to minimize the consequences.

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Pro tip from the Perpetio team: Even though you will mostly communicate with a project manager, you should definitely meet the whole development team.

UI/UX designer

A UI/UX designer is a specialist who takes your business idea and turns it into a full-scope mobile application. Some bigger teams have separate UX designers (overlooking research, app concept, navigation, and journey map) and UI designers (overlooking the visual aspect). Often enough, an experienced UI/UX designer can undertake the full cycle of the app design process. More precisely, a UI/UX designer is responsible for:

  • Preliminary research (market and competitor research, user persona research, interviews with potential users)
  • App concept creation
  • Outlining the app’s journey map and user flow
  • Creating mockups, low-fidelity, and high-fidelity prototypes
  • Working on the app’s branding, color palette, typography
  • Communicating with the client to get feedback and adapt the designs accordingly
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Pro tip from the Perpetio team: Proper communication is the only way to get the results you want when it comes to design. Unfortunately, mind reading isn’t included in the long list of UI/UX designer’s skills. That’s why it’s best if you hop on direct calls with designers to discuss your expectations and review their suggestions. You can even show references of the apps you like!

Mobile app developer

A mobile app developer can specialize in one of three possible areas:

  • iOS app development
  • Android app development
  • Cross-platform app development

Depending on the platform(s) and development approach of your choice, the number of app development specialists engaged in the process might vary. For example, your business might only require an app for iOS or you might need to reach both iOS and Android platforms.

In the case of the latter, you might either go with native (two separate iOS and Android apps) or cross-platform ( one app that can run on both iOS and Android). Your development team can give you recommendations as to which approach suits your project better.


Native App vs. Cross-Platform App: A Choice in Terms of Business Flexibility


Among the responsibilities of a mobile app developer are:

  • Implementing all the design elements precisely
  • Integrating necessary services and tools, such as in-app payment gateways, video or audio players, maps, databases, and so on
  • Communicating with designers and QA specialists to make sure that the app’s look&feel and performance are as expected
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Pro tip from the Perpetio team: Don’t hesitate to discuss details about tools your development team is using, ask to explain certain choices, and get involved in the process. After all, it is your app and it’s best if you know its ins and outs. 

QA engineer

Testing is a compulsory part of any app development process and something you shouldn’t try to save money on. Even though sometimes a developer can check their own code for bugs, it is better to assign the job to a specialist in testing. The list of QA engineer’s tasks is quite extensive, including

  • Checking the app manually and automatically to detect any functional and non-functional errors
  • Tracking the app’s performance (such as load time) as compared to the requirements
  • Rating the app’s usability
  • Detecting security vulnerabilities
  • Documenting and reporting all the issues found
  • Communicating with the developer
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Pro tip from the Perpetio team: Dedicate enough time to the testing stage in your mobile app development plan. It is better to spend some extra hours before the release than disappoint your users with missed mistakes. 

Choosing the Right Team for Your Project

It is a huge challenge to build a high-performing mobile product with an inexperienced and unreliable team. On the opposite, a well-organized, professional team makes success effortless and the work process pleasant. That’s why choosing your mobile app development team is a step you should give good thought to. Before signing a contract make sure to

  • Check the team’s or specialists' reviews online
  • Look through the portfolio of previously completed works; search for projects in your domain or using the technologies you prefer
  • Hop on a call with a team representative and specialists you are to work with and ask them about their process, collaboration style, and values. Ask about the negative side too: how does the team or specialist handle conflicts or fails?
  • Make sure to voice your expectations and requirements beforehand

Remember that projects of different scopes require a different amount of specialists. While for a cross-platform MVP project, one designer and one developer can do all the work, a more complex app development project might require a product manager and two developers (iOS and Android).

Consider Perpetio Your Trusted Partner

While choosing the suitable collaboration model and team scope, you first and foremost should base your decision on your project’s needs and requirements, including its size and budget.

In most cases, a dedicated team is a perfect match for full-cycle app development from scratch. In such a way, you can get a full team of skilled specialists without needing to take care of the management process while still being highly engaged in the process. Usually, such a team will consist of a project manager, UI/UX designer, mobile app developer(s), and a QA specialist.

Perpetio offers both dedicated team and outstaffing app development services. If you are looking for an experienced outsourcing company with a strong portfolio to prove expertise and well-established processes, we are right up your alley.

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Perpetio is open to new app development projects! Contact us, and let’s discuss your idea. 

FAQ

What app development models are out there?

Usually, the choice is between collaborating with freelance specialists, hiring an in-house team, outsourcing a dedicated team from abroad, and outstaffing.

What is a must-have composition of an app development team?

Usually, a development process includes a project manager organizing a consistent process, a UI/UX designer coming up with a clear and eye-catching app design, a developer using the most recent tools to bring the design to life, and a QA engineer checking for any inconsistencies or vulnerabilities.

How to choose a reliable app development team?

Before signing a contract make sure to check the team’s or specialists' reviews online, look through the portfolio of previously completed works, hop on a call with a team representative and specialists you are to work with, and ask them about their process, collaboration style, and values.

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