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How to Scale Tech Teams: A Short Guide for CTOs

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The software development process is never-ending, as software products need regular revision and improvement to benefit your business and boost company scales. Software product scaling is inevitable to boost the growth and development of your business. However, it is critical to pick the right time to start scaling your product and technical team, so as not to fail this process overall. 

Further, in this article, we would like to discuss how to get the perfect time for scaling your tech team, and we also would like to share the experience and flow of scaling technical teams we do in Altamira. 

Reasons to scale your engineering team

Reasons to scale your engineering team

Nobody will pick a better time for scaling the tech team within your company than your CTO or Chief Technical Officer and other tech leaders, who are aware of all internal engineering processes. CTO team member is tasked with tracking the efficiency of the project and task execution and searching for boosting the productivity of the team.

The reasons to start scaling the team can be various, however, further, we would like to mention the common them that may help most companies and their technical team lead not to miss the right moment. 

Lacking inner resources to perform the project on time

The first common reason to think of tech scaling we would like to name is failure to perform the plans, deadlines, and eventually business goals. This often happens due to setting unrealistic goals from leadership positions, taking projects that don’t suit your services and unrealistic deadlines for their execution.

When your in-house development team struggles with the aforementioned challenges on inner projects, this indicates the need for scaling your engineering staff, whether you need it on a regular basis or for developing the software system as a separate project, meaning temporary developers.

For instance, a good choice for developing a single project is an outsourcing development team that will expand your tech team for the period of time you require. If you don’t need an entire team, you may prefer outstaffing services when software supplies your inner team with a certainly needed team member or some of them. As a key stakeholder, you are to choose the length of your cooperation with new hires based on your project requirements. 

You aim to scale business in the short term

The business perspective always entails software scaling. It means you can grow and develop your company, opening new locations and hiring new staff, because your actual business software will probably become irrelevant to the business overall. The software system you use for 50 employees cannot suit the team of 250 employees, for example, due to higher loads, lack of user accounts, and other reasons peculiar to your case.

To enable the quick business scaling within the software scale up, the resource of your current inner team of developers is surely not enough. And this is the next main reason why you need to consider the extension of your in-house development team to work on an existing software product or develop new business-related apps. 

Comparison of cooperation models with software suppliers

The scaling of technical team surely entails the availability of the core internal developmental team that will expand. But it doesn’t mean that in-house developers are the only way you scale your engineering team. Basically, there are three main types of cooperation with the new specialists in your technical staff, and we would like to take a close look at each of them so that you understand the difference and could choose the suitable variant for your company.

In-house engineers

The growth of your inner team with permanent engineers who will be hired full-time to your company. This type of cooperation implies stable work, face-to-face communication, and easier team management. This way of cooperation is a good choice if you scale your business and open a new office or several offices, each of which requires a separate tech team.

However, these days all technical issues and questions can be solved remotely by your core in-house team. And constant developers become unnecessary to maintain, as they will be engaged in developing a current or new software system for a certain period of time. 

Remote developers

A remote development team means outsourcing certain technical tasks and projects of your business to remote developers that are located in another country but hold a constant online connection with your company and other technical employees. Remote development teams or remote developers are popular as this type of cooperation provides your business with access to a wide tech talent pool, meaning you are to choose any location for your engineers with certain experience and rates that suit you.

Commonly, remote developers simply provide temporary cooperation – to help your inner team develop a software system for your business, upgrade the existing software or maintain the developed solution after launch, where maintenance is a durable process that can last as needed. Thus, you don’t have to keep such specialists all year round, you pay only for the actual working hours and other additional services on your project. 

Distributed development team

Distributed development is similar to hiring remote developers, but you don’t hire each developer separately, you can hire an entire team at once. When the team of developers has experience working together, the onboarding process to your project will flow simply and quickly, as well as distributing tasks on the project. Commonly, each developer from the distributed team can be located anywhere, but it has no influence on the quality of their work, meaning they cooperate between one another and your team online only. 

Challenges to be prepared for when scaling team

Once you have decided to scale your technical team, you need to be prepared for quite a number of challenges and obstacles that all can be overcome and shouldn’t confuse your plans. Further, we would like to discuss the potential issues the tech team scaling process and your new employees may have and what solutions can be applied to prevent them or resolve them in the short term.

Challenges of tech team scaling

The size of your new team is not precise

Scaling too much or too less can become challenge number one. Surely, as a CTO of the entire organization, you cannot precisely know how many and which engineers you need to hire to dilute the internal loads and tasks equally. Dividing engineers into different teams for working on different software projects will simplify this process, as each of these teams will precisely what resources they require at the moment. So, if your internal processes are structured properly, this challenge is easy to address.  

Communication issues

The more business and teams grow, the more communication channels are integrated. Internal communication is a key to successful cooperation between inner departments as well as remote development teams. It is pivotal to ensure all employees engaged in the technical branch have access to all required communication channels and can be reached by other company departments in case of need.

The communication should be diluted according to the software projects and people engaged in them, but it doesn’t exclude the need to provide a general channel where developers can be reached by other employees. 

Remote team management

By expanding your tech team with remote developers, it becomes harder to manage internal and external teams properly. The remote development teams may not be proficient in the common business goals, project aims, and expected results.

It is vital to address communication gaps and ensure all team members are aware of the current business strategy and ongoing requirements to them, especially if tech teams work in different time zones and relate to different inner projects. 

The onboarding process can be durable

Newly hired software engineers require the availability of a mentoring program, where senior developers on your software project will onboard them to all processes and make them aware of their duties and tasks. The more developers and tech leaders you hire, the more time the onboarding process will take.

Therefore, it is critical to arrange a certain onboarding flow for remote new hires or in-house developers that will completely inform them about your business strategies and goals, company policies and standards, and also about the software projects your current team works on. The onboarding process is surely pivotal to ensuring the stable and correct work of a scaled tech team. 

Altamira team extension services

Our company specialized inefficient and quick scaling technical teams for our clients in two different ways – as a part of team extension services when we supply the current team with a certain number of developers and a dedicated development team that entails a whole team of engineers who will remotely work on the client’s software project. Both of these team models imply temporary cooperation between our company and the company of our clients when the duration depends on the project’s requirements. 

Based on our long-term experience, the main condition of successfully scaling your tech team is to ensure your company is mature enough for this process. We managed to determine the core indicators that help CTOs or leadership team define the perfect time to start scaling up, these are the following:

  • Your business is ready to scale the tech team if the speed of the development process does not correlate to your plans at the moment;
  • The resources of your inner team are not enough to keep building the new features for your solution;
  • You have no precise strategy for your software solution development and maintenance;
  • You invest time and much money in the software development but see no profits from this software for your business;
  • Your solution has an outdated code that doesn’t allow the improvement of the system.

The flow of extending your tech team with Altamira

The key to success in scaling technical teams is building individual plans of development of the team, software, and technologies. Each step and new implementation needs to correlate with the business requirements. 

So the first step we do in Altamira is getting acquainted with your business processes. Our engineers explore the product you already have and use, the structure and duties of your in-house specialists and other team members, the structure of your inner processes within the tech team, and the range of technologies that are used. After we collect all details about your software projects, we are to build a personalized plan of development for your technical department and solution. We dilute the plan into three parts:

  • We define the urgent needs to supply your team with the required resource in the short term;
  • We build the plan of the following actions that are part of the complete strategy;
  • We plan the long-term strategy of building and improving your system consistently.

As the final stage of planning is finished, our engineering managers, particularly business analyst, solution architect, and project manager, along with your engineering team proceed with executing the planned tasks on the project, with the revising of each iteration (developed part of the system functionality).

How can Altamira help with scaling your inner team?

Business and software growth are interdependent, so if you don’t scale your software system, your business development will be hardly possible. Our teams have helped to scale the inner development team of our clients’ companies many times, and that’s how we specified the perfect formula on how to perform this process successfully and profitably for clients’ businesses. We know the benefits and the values that we share with our clients and that makes us different from other software vendors, particularly:

  • We perceive only the best results from cooperation with our clients, ensuring reaching their original business goals and expectations;
  • We qualify the engineers, we provide our clients’ teams with the ideal candidates for each role;
  • We choose the personalized approach to each project, considering the business needs and requirements of each client, supplying their companies with problem-solving solutions;
  • Process transparency is our top priority and competitive advantage that allows us to build trusting relations with our partners.

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