We take a look at the key areas any team or business need to look at in order to effectively scale.
Scaling a tech team isn’t exclusively about growth. It’s about working efficiently whilst also expanding capabilities, team size, and the amount you can do as well. Have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.
But how do you achieve this? Diving straight into hiring a lot of new people without a well-established plan can put a stop to scalability before it starts. Take the time to put together a good roadmap. Luckily, this is what we’re going to take you through!
There are 4 key areas that you need to consider when planning to scale your tech team: The Vision, The Team, The Structure, and The Process. Let’s break down each of these elements.
The question that underpins, and provides the foundation for, everything that comes after. Having clarity on why, will provide you with a clear goal that you want to achieve, thus guiding you through the scaling process.
But how do you achieve this clear picture? Identifying the challenges is a good start, as highlighting any problems indicates that you know why you need a solution. Get a working group together of key stakeholders to help you figure these out. This will give you a more holistic and detailed view of any challenges you are facing. Keep this working group together throughout the scaling process to help figure out other areas such as the new team setup, the new structure, and how you will implement scaling processes.
Scaling your tech team will be a continual process, but one that cannot rest on one person’s shoulders. It’s about empowering current and future team members to keep scaling effectively. This is important to think about as you form your hiring plan.
Scaling inevitably means hiring new talent. Having a good hiring plan in place will help smooth this process. Planning ahead and being transparent about your process, both internally and to candidates as well, will be beneficial here too.
This is important to know in advance, as it’ll help inform what new hires you need to bring in, as well as providing insight to the current team to know what their new roles might look like.
You can base your desired structure on existing models, and fine tune to your specific needs. There are plenty of models out there – a quick Google search will help!
Alongside your model, you’ll want to map out what skill sets you currently have in each team, what you need to add, and where you need to place them to scale sufficiently. And it won’t just be technical skill sets too. Product Owners, Delivery Manager and Agile Coaches will be needed to keep teams on track and working effectively as your overall team scales.
It is also important to think about which roles might require someone with multiple skill sets. You don’t always need one person for each skill, especially if they are cross-functional.
Consider the ‘balance’ of your new team structure too. This can be broken down into three key areas:
Experience levels in your team should be balanced. This gives seniors the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to junior levels, and this gives juniors the opportunity to upskill quicker and progress, reducing staff attrition.
A blend of both as you scale will enable you to continue working on short term projects whilst buying you time to implement your hiring process and bring on permanent staff. This cycle repeats as you scale further.
Creating a diverse and inclusive product development team with colleagues from all backgrounds means you can ensure that a wide range of perspectives, experiences and opinions are included in the development process. This will ultimately be reflected in the product itself, which is enriched by enabling users to use it without being subjected to the effects of unconscious bias appearing in the functionality of the product.
Processes and best practices will need to change and be implemented as you scale in order to keep up with the new demands that scaling your team brings. Let’s look at some:
You should be in a good state to scale efficiently and effectively. However, there are levels you ideally want to be at before considering scaling. Wanting to scale without hitting these levels will make your reasoning for doing so less prominent, and the whole operation will be less effective.
Ensure that your team is already:
If you’d like to talk more about how to scale a tech team, you can get in contact with our La Fosse Academy team who specialise in this area.