Mobile App Development Team Structure [Tips, Roles, Hiring Models]

The number of mobile app downloads is constantly increasing.

In 2018 it was 194 billion, which will significantly increase to 299 billion downloads in 2023.

Users are increasingly preferring mobile apps for personal and professional purposes. It would be a major blow to your business if you weren’t present on the very platform where users spend most of their hours.

However, mobile app development is more than just an idea. It includes planning for the user, designing the interface, and most importantly finding the right person to support the tech and business logic needs.

A solid mobile app development team is at the core of a successful app. Being a top mobile app development company, we know the structure, roles, and responsibilities of mobile app developers. So, we decided to write a dedicated article on this topic.

In this guide, we will cover the need for a solid mobile app development team structure and their roles & responsibilities. We will take you through the ideal development team structure, and the things you should consider when determining the team.

The Need for a Solid Development Team Structure

It is important to understand why you need a solid development team structure before you know the roles they will play in developing your iOS or Android app.

  1. Proficient in the Subjects

    Imagine hiring a designer but not having a UX expert in your development team? That would mean you are designing without keeping the user at the core. Though your app is exceptionally designed, you haven’t taken care of how your users consume an application. As a result, it may not be experiential for the end users.

    A solid structure would mean you have considered people with proficiency in all areas. As a result, it would help you ideate, design, and develop keeping the users at the core.

  2. Past Success

    They have the necessary experience and have delivered successful applications in the past. With their experience, the mobile app development timeline can be reduced, and you can accelerate time-to-market. It also means they are aware of the issues that can crop up when developing an application. With their expertise and experience, they can find ways to overcome challenges and mitigate risks. That’s why you need to ensure proper software development team structure.

  3. Handle Complexity and Scalability Needs

    When you are hiring an expert in the field, they would be able to handle the complexities and advanced features you need to include in the application. With the right development team structure, you will be able to manage the scalability needs of your business app.

    For instance, a simple MVP requires a basic development team. However, if you are planning advanced logic, AI-based algorithms, and increasing complexities, you might need a stronger team for your business application. The future app depends on the mobile app company’s structure and capabilities.

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The Ideal Mobile App Development Team Structure

We have realized the importance of a mobile app development team structure. Check out the people and their roles as part of mobile app development.

  1. Project Manager

    The project manager owns the particular mobile app development project for the specific time period. They are core to your development team. For example, an MVP would be considered a project. The manager would help a team with the mobile app development strategy.

    They will be part of the mobile app development process when required.

    The project manager’s responsibilities include completing the project on time, tracking the background activities, and measuring the outcomes of the software development team.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Proficient with project development methodologies
    • Expertise in developing the business strategy
    • Ability to understand consumers’ needs and demands
    • Capable of completing documentation
    • Identifying the technology and skills best fit for the project requirements
    • Excellent with scrums and task management
    • Delegating tasks, allocating resources properly and prioritizing the work
    • Estimating the project cost and overall budget
    • Streamline communication between the client and app development team
    • Iterate the mobile app development strategy to meet newer needs and use cases
    • Mitigate risks and overcome challenges
    • Divides the work into milestones, and ensures they are met effectively
  2. Product Manager

    They are the owners of the product that you are developing, in this case, the mobile app. They will be responsible for identifying new features, knowing how to make the product better, and keep iterating it to meet the newer demands and needs.

    Their main purpose is to keep looking for ways to improve the value of the product and enhance the experiences.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Proficient with current tools and technologies
    • Complete understanding of analytics and the required tools
    • Knowledge of customers & business
    • Communication skills
    • Documentation capabilities
    • Task management and prioritization abilities
    • Delegation and marketing skills
    • Time management
    • Problem-solving
    • Persona creation
    • Analyze the market and users for primary and secondary research
    • Define the product roadmap for creating an ideal solution
    • A/B testing to know the ideal product
    • Monitoring the feedback attained from early adopters
    • Implementing the USP and marketing it
    • Identifying risks and challenges in product development
    • Keeping up with latest trends
    • Streamlining the operations between the sales and marketing team.
  3. Business Analyst

    You might be surprised to know that 30% of Business Analysts are hired by Fortune 500 companies. A business analyst will be responsible for developing new models, and work closely with IT teams, designers, and finance teams whenever required. Being in the position of a business analyst should have a combination of hard skills and soft skills. BA needs to know how to pull, analyze and report data trends.

    It is not necessary to acquire a background in information technology. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of how tools, products, and systems work.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Impressive oral and written communication
    • Strong interpersonal skills
    • In-depth knowledge of business structure
    • Cost-benefit analysis
    • Deep understanding of networks, databases, and other technology
    • Create wireframes to enhance user experience
    • Review and research latest business processes
    • Identify and prioritize both blogs according to its functional requirements
    • Explain ideas and find important findings in the meetings
  4. UI/UX Designer

    According to Truelist companies who invest in UX design and enhance their website convert 83% more than normal websites. Therefore, the user’s experience with your application and the interface movements are important to increase engagement.

    If the user finds your app difficult to use and challenging to access, you might find them abandoning the application. User experience takes into account the user’s behavior on a mobile app. It creates the persona based on which the design experts can build the frontend for the mobile app

    UI and UX design are done together so that it can build the experience the customer is looking for.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Proficient with tools such as Figma, Miro, Invision and Sketch to develop the initial app prototype, app movement, and complete interface plan
    • In-depth UX research and knowledge that can help deliver the apt user experience
    • Prototyping and wireframing
    • Experience with basic level coding
    • Problem-solving abilities
    • Knowledge of micro-interactions and how to create them
    • Create the user personas for the different mindsets, based on their consumption habits
    • Design the prototypes to check for accessibility and usability
    • Usable and functional UI design
    • Define the movement of the app from start to end
    • Complete user experience testing from data input to outcome
    • Complete documentation for the application
    • Design for the aesthetics (include color, font.)
    • Implement the feedback to make the application interface more intuitive
  5. Native or Cross Platform Developers

    You can choose to build your app for the specific operating system (iOS or Android) or for multiple platforms. Depending on your choice, you need to choose the developers for the team.

    According to developer’s survey 2021, 42% of developers use Flutter. One-third of software developers use cross-platform tech and others use native tools to develop powerful mobile apps.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities

    iOS Development Team

    • Proficient in programming languages for iOS – Swift, Objective C
    • Experience working with XCode IDE
    • Well-versed with the current version of iOS
    • Design guidelines
    • Apple Human Interface Guidelines

    Android Development Team

    • Proficiency in Java, Kotlin & knowledge of Android Studio, and OS
    • Complete understanding of Android interactivity and how to use it in app development
    • User interface design guidelines
    • Converting the sketches and prototypes designed by the UI/UX team into a quality coded screen
    • Reusable and high-performance code for the mobile app
    • Developing responsive and scalable mobile apps
    • Implementing the latest technologies and tools
    • Identifying the bugs in the app, and fixing them at the earliest
  6. Backend Developer

    The backend developer is the one that makes communication between the frontend and data seamless. They plan the logic, and underlying algorithms, maintain the patterns, and dig deeper to improve the insights. They run their magic on servers, data, and logic to code what’s called seamless and automated operations. Backend developers are responsible for the security as well of your application.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Should be proficient with development programming languages- Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails, or others
    • Should have data management and storage abilities
    • Well-versed with data management tools and technologies such as MongoDB
    • Expert in current trends and technologies such as AI, ML
    • Server side experience- LESS and SASS
    • Complete knowledge of server compliances
    • Sound understanding of OOPs
    • Implementing security, and presentation layers for the app
    • Enhancing data storage and retrieval abilities
    • Creating the communication logic between interface and backend
    • The operating logic for the specific device
    • Taking into consideration fragmentation and coding for the different form factors & resolutions
    • App architecture and structure definition
  7. QA Engineer

    Before QA deploys your application to the respective app store, the QA team conducts thorough testing. It should include fixing the bugs and identifying the errors in your application. The idea is to keep up with your app experience needs and ensure the removal of bugs from the application. QA engineers can help you ensure the app is in sync with technical aspects.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Creating test plans
    • Time management
    • Problem-solving ability
    • Attention to detail
    • Proficiency in latest technologies
    • Well versed with testing tools
    • An understanding of quality standards for the individual platforms
    • Critical thinking
    • Plan, develop and execute test cases for the different parts of the app
    • Check if the app meets the user expectations throughout the lifecycle
    • The final product should be clear of bugs and errors
    • Automated testing and unit testing
    • Performance testings
    • Identifying and deploying bug tracking systems
  8. Delivery Engineer

    The delivery manager is the person responsible for getting the project done. They are technical experts and have understood how to complete the project without interruptions. They are the ones that have a complete vision of the project and can convert it into a fully managed application.

    Skills RequiredRoles & Responsibilities
    • Time Management
    • Get it done attitude
    • Technical skills and expertise in current technologies
    • Proficient with programming languages
    • Well versed with toolsS
    • Critical thinking and problem-solving ability
    • Time managements
    • They are the people who help the execution team imagine the delivery vision
    • They help accomplish the tasks with minimal issues
    • In case of technical issues or technology related problems, the delivery manager will act as an issue solver
    • They ensure all the tasks are completed on time
    • Transparency of the project

We are aware of the people within the app development team; it is time to understand what things will help make the team stronger.

How to Choose a Mobile App Development Team [4 Tips]

It isn’t enough to choose the right app development partner or hire dedicated developers; you should also look into the factors that can keep up the pace and improve processes.

  1. Manage the Hierarchy

    You have hired specialists for the app development teams. For example, you have a senior designer, a junior graphic designer, and an intern on the design team. However, imagine the chaos when you have all the designers communicating with the other teams. That’s why you need to hire team leads for individual teams.

    The leads will connect, grab the business requirements, and pass it down to their team. This hierarchy within teams can help with managing the jobs well, and ensuring they are completed within the time.

    The team leaders are responsible for allocating the tasks, monitoring the resources, and managing the workflow. This will help streamline the processes and accelerate the development time. However, before hiring you can take consultation with a leading app consulting company to know the number of developers needed for the project.

  2. Defined Processes

    A strong team is incomplete without a solid app development process. A process will enable a strict and controlled environment, where app development can flourish. A mobile app development process must be followed for successful mobile app development.

    As part of the process, the teams will gather information regarding app development, and this will help them plan the project accordingly.

    For example, if the designer will take 10 days to complete the screens, at the end of the time period, they should connect with the developer for a job transfer. The developer will take a single day to understand the job, identify the key requirements, and then transfer it to the team.

    This level of app development process definition can help accelerate the jobs and ensure a seamless transfer.

  3. Catering to Proficiency Levels

    The team should be proficient. When you are selecting software development team members, define the proficiency of the entire team.

    For example, when selecting designers, you should have key requirements in mind. They should be proficient with design tools. You can call for people with time management and problem-solving abilities.

    Now that you have an idea of who is your ideal designer for the team, it makes things easier. You can choose the people with the right skillsets.

  4. Collaborative Environment

    The entire team cannot be proficient in everything. Some members may excel in certain aspects while others would be thorough with other tasks.

    You need to create an environment that can foster collaboration, and enhance team cooperation. This environment will strengthen the app development team, and enable better outcomes.

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App Development Stages and the Application Development Team Roles

Mobile development team structure is not limited to Android and iOS developers alone; there is a lot more work that goes into mobile app development.

The application development team will differ for the different stages of the whole app development process and the teams that are needed to complete.

  1. Discovery Stage

    This is the stage when you are defining the goals for the application, its USP, and app features. This is more like building on your app idea to understand if people would be interested. You are looking for technology options, defining the target market, and knowing how competition is surviving.

    Once you come to the end of this phase, you would have developed a medium fidelity app prototype (more like built on the idea). This would help you know if the audience is in favor of the app.

    Team StructureResponsibilities
    • Project and product manager
    • UI/UX Designer
    • At this point, you are creating the concept out of the idea. The project manager will be responsible for identifying the process and helping with all the key definitions (target market, technology).
    • The product manager will be deep diving into the target market to understand the user’s pulse to help translate the idea into a concept
    • The UI/Ux team will create the first prototype; more like wireframes or sketches for the idea.
  2. Validation Stage

    The next phase is validating the idea. when you have a basic version of the application, you will know if there are any takers. You have defined the visual for the application, and this would give you a chance to see how the audience reacts.

    If people think it is similar to the multiple applications already available, you might face stiff resistance. So, validation is an important phase of the mobile app development process.

    Once you have the reactions of the end users of the application, you can create a high-fidelity app prototype for the application. This would help the teams translate your vision into an app.

    Team StructureResponsibilities
    • UI/UX
    • Project and Product Manager
    • The project manager along with the product manager will be responsible for understanding the market.
    • The UI/UX team will be responsible for working on the MVP structure and preparing it for the end users
  3. UI/UX Strategy Stage

    Once you have planned the app development, and built the MVP, it is time to think of the users of your application. This is when you create a detailed layout of your interface and begin planning the interactions.

    You can develop an intuitive MVP at this stage that users can try. If the users feel good about using the MVP, you can convert it into an app. Incorporate user feedback regarding interactions and learning curves into your application. This phase will help you deliver an app solution that the users will approve.

    Team StructureResponsibilities
    • Product Manager
    • UI/UX Team
    • Android App Development Team and iOS App Development Team
    • Backend Software Developers
    • QA Engineer
    • The whole team will brainstorm on the ideal way to develop the mobile app. you cannot create the screens and interactions on your audience requirements alone; you need to do a feasibility study of all the possibilities.
  4. App Design and Development Stage

    This is the pre-final stage of mobile app development. At this point, your entire team is translating the MVP into a full-fledged app solution. The screens for the MVP are coded at this point. The designers will work on creating more responsive application screens that will work on all types of devices and form factors.

    The interface designed at this stage is accurate and in sync with the feedback suggested at the UI/UX stage. However, you need to complete the testing process for a complete mobile app.

    Team StructureResponsibilities
    • Product Manager
    • UI/UX Team
    • Android and iPhone App Developers
    • Backend Software Developers
    • At this stage, the UI/UX, design, and development teams come together to deliver the optimal solution for the end users
  5. Testing and Feedback Stage

    Continuous testing of the mobile application is essential to ensure a bug-free solution for your business. At this point, you will need to measure the performance, analyze the quality and fix every bug appearing in the mobile application. You can also test for the new features added. Keep iterating the mobile app based on the user’s feedback.

    Testing Team StructureResponsibilities
    • Product Manager
    • UI/UX Team
    • Android App Development Team and iOS App Development Team
    • Backend Software Developers
    • QA Engineer
    • This is when the quality assurance team will be working full-fledged. They will be joined by the other teams like UI/UX and development to make the necessary iterations to the mobile app solution.

How to Hire the Mobile App Development Team?

You can choose from the several models available, the one that meets your requirements perfectly.

  1. In-house Team

    They are hired solely for your indigenous mobile app development project. You need to put in the effort to hire Android developers or iOS developers who understand your project in-depth and develops as per your requirements.

    Find the right team, hire experts at all levels and build it from scratch. You can even hire Android developers or iOS developers

    Advantages of Hiring In-house TeamLimitations of Hiring In-house Team
    • Fully focused on your app development
    • Would provide you the quality and time-to-market you need
    • Defining the security that will enhance app usability
    • Can help with scaling the applications
    • The hiring process is long and tedious
    • You will need to stay focused on app development as well
    • It is pretty expensive
  2. Freelancers

    You can hire individuals for the different requirements within the team. For example, you can hire a freelance designer in tune with your team’s setup to accelerate the process.

    Advantages of Hiring FreelancersLimitations of Hiring Freelancers
    • They are your direct contact
    • Inexpensive resource
    • Efficient for one-time tasks
    • Cannot manage the entire project
    • Will be working with other teams too
    • There is always the risk of hiring someone who is not too qualified
  3. Dedicated Team

    You can hire a dedicated mobile application development team from a reputed mobile app development company to develop a fully-fledged mobile app. If you hire iOS developers and Android developers who dedicatedly work for your project full-time, you can have full control over the team.

    Advantages of Hiring Dedicated TeamLimitations of Hiring Dedicated Team
    • It is cheaper as compared to hiring a freelancer or going in-house
    • Complete control over deadlines, similar to in-house team
    • Focused on your project, hence accelerated outcomes
    • Efficient with project completion
    • Language or culture issues need to be handled
    • There is the risk of disclosing your confidential information.
  4. Outsourcing

    Find the right mobile app development team to whom you can outsource the development. Outsourcing to the right tech partner can free up your time for core duties.

    Advantages of OutsourcingLimitations of Outsourcing
    • Inexpensive way to develop mobile app
    • A fully organized development process
    • A hierarchical structure that ensures quick development
    • Communication or cultural issues that need to be overcome with protocols
    • Limited control or visibility in the projects.

    Want to know more about hiring app developers for your business? Here’s a complete blog of how to hire app developers that perfectly fit your requirements.

Let’s try to answer the frequently asked questions of a mobile app development company and the requisite team structure.

FAQs About App Development Team Structure

Is the sales manager part of the app development team structure?

Sales managers are not part of the app development team; however, they play a pivotal role in establishing the requirements and identifying the vision for the mobile app.

For example, the sales team can help identify the gaps that exist in the grocery delivery app. They will know what the users need in such on-demand applications, which helps the business analyst establish the app requirements.

How to manage an app development team?

Here are a few steps that can help you manage the app development team.

  • Set the expectations
  • Appoint a lead for every team
  • Have a project manager at the core of the application development
  • Conduct one-on-one meetings
  • Maintain consistent efforts
  • Plan your pace
  • Incorporate feedback and monitor the progress

Hire Dedicated Mobile App Development Team

Every team member is responsible for ensuring the perfect app structure and enhancing the app development. This guide was created to help understand what is the ideal team structure, and how you can hire the developers for your project. We also covered the roles and responsibilities of the team members and their skill sets.

Space-O Technologies is an expert mobile app development company. By partnering with us, you can convert your idea into a capable app solution. We have developed custom mobile app solutions that have helped further business profits.

If you are looking to build on your idea, connect with our team. Fill out the contact form with your requirements. Our team will get in touch with you at the earliest.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.