Digital Teams

Build a mobile development team in 5 easy steps

17th September 2015

“A full 85% of enterprises have a mobile application development backlog of one to 20 apps; 50% have a backlog of 10 to 20 mobile apps” (Channel Insider)

Developing mobile apps and building mobile development capability into your company can seem like a daunting task. In today’s lightning paced business world, mobile expertise and thinking is hard to access. Demand for experienced mobile developers has never been higher and finding the right talent has never been such a huge priority for enterprise companies. Many large companies now have an enormous backlog of mobile projects that require immediate execution but with no expertise to deliver what’s required. Some companies will have dozens of apps waiting to be produced but can’t act quick enough due to lack of expertise. If this sounds familiar, read on, we’re about to unravel the secrets of tapering mobile development capability into your team in the fastest possible timeframe. Today we’re focusing on how you can build a mobile development team in 5 easy steps.


Step 1.) Create an awesome company culture

Attracting top mobile developers is very challenging. They’re in high demand, tend to move frequently and follow corporate perks. They’re attracted to good salaries and holiday entitlement so you need to ensure you have these bases covered before you start your recruitment drive. But it’s not as simple as offering material incentives, you’ll need to go above and beyond the perks outlined above. Bringing them into your company means you have to create a company culture that appeals to them. Brilliant mobile developers want to work with other like minded people. This means there’s no room for B and C players within your team. They also want to work on amazing projects that help to change the world. If this sounds like a tall order and you’re worried your culture is unappealing to great mobile talent, don’t worry, there are other options. Consider a build, operate, transfer (BOT) model that will enable you to inject a mobile team into your company without having to jump through these hoops.

Step 2.) Avoid ‘rockstar’ developers

This is similar to the above point but deserves special attention. The best mobile development teams operate as a cohesive team unit. They foster a collective work ethic and work hard to support one another no matter how difficult the challenge. Effective mobile development teams don’t have room for ‘rockstars’. The problem with mobile development rockstars, irrespective of their technical prowess, is they tend to act based upon self-interest rather than the goals of the team. This self-centered approach towards app development often leads to problems and fails to motivate other team members who are trying to focus on a collective development philosophy. You need to understand how to spot trouble makers and members of the development team who are liable to have an adverse affect on other developers. The warning signs can sometimes be difficult to spot, but if you suspect there’s a problem, you need to take action now. Again, build, operate, transfer (BOT) can be a great solution whereby you enable another, more experienced mobile development company to pick out the real star performers to build your team.

Step 3.) Understand what makes mobile developers tick

Mobile capability within large companies is in massive demand right now. But there’s a reason why large enterprise companies find it so hard recruiting the right blend of talent and expertise. The best mobile developers rate company culture above salary. They’d rather work with cool people on awesome projects for a reasonable salary than be paid mega bucks to work for a seemingly faceless corporate entity. Apart from working with great people on cool stuff, there are a few other things mobile developers like that enterprise companies don’t understand how to deal with. They like go-karts, ping-pong, nerf guns, pizza and craft beer. It’s very difficult for big companies to speak this language in order to attract the right people. This presents big companies who have massive demand for mobile capability with a serious problem. However all is not lost, there are easy ways to work around this and we call it ‘false flag recruitment’. Follow this link if you need to find out more.

Step 4.) Be truly agile

Developers love agility. But doing agile things and being truly agile are not the same. Using agile development practices and mobility are perfectly made for each other. Mobile developers prefer not to get caught up in arduous planning exercises and bureaucracy. They like to code and get stuff done fast. Mobile developers understand agile and in order to attract the right people you need to understand it to. Agile is about creating a minimum viable product and shipping it to market quickly. It means focusing on the features that deliver the most value to users in the fastest possible time scale. This enables agile companies to ship lightweight mobile prototypes that can be launched into the market and optimised to perfection over time. Mobile app development projects move at lightning pace and software can be developed quicker than the documentation traditionally designed to support them. Top mobile developers understand split testing, actionable metrics, pivoting and continuous deployment. If you’re a company looking to get into mobile, it’s essential to understand agile and what makes mobile developers tick. But don’t worry, if you’re coming at this from a traditional desktop software development background, all is not lost. There are companies that can help infuse mobile-first thinking into your team through a process of positive contamination. We call this build, operate, transfer and you can learn more about it here.

Step 5.) Build, operate, transfer (BOT)

Building a mobile team from scratch is very challenging. It can be time consuming and costly and there are no guarantees you’ll get it right first time. Using an agency to taper mobile expertise into your team can be the fastest and most efficient way to get your mobile product into market. The process is simple. Use an agency to deploy mobile developers into your team and build a product. Use the agency to help manage the team, launch your app and optimise it over time. Once the app is stable and you’re happy, an agency can transfer the team over to you. Not only does this enable you to get a mobile product up and running in the shortest possible timeframe, it also allows you to diffuse mobile knowledge into your existing team. So there you have it, if you’re looking to run a build, operate, transfer model in order to spin-up a ready made mobile development team into your organisation, contact us today to discuss how Waracle can help.

Waracle help enterprise companies from across the world to taper mobile thinking and development expertise into their organisations. Getting mobile right is hard. It’s a different animal when compared to traditional desktop software development. They key is to do something about it quickly. If you don’t already have a mobility strategy in place, the time to consider one is now. Building a team from scratch is hard and that’s where BOT comes into play and enables you to have the best of both worlds whilst managing commercial and technical risk factors. If you’re still not convinced that mobile is the right thing for your company and are unsure about potential ROI, check this out.

Insights like these directly to your inbox

Keep up to date with out latest thoughts
subscribe icon