Determining Limits of a Software Development Team


I'm currently managing 5 member (whom are also my friends) software development team for my startup and instead of looking for an angel investor I decided to finance my own product by my own. And in order to do that we have to take some other jobs for other companies.

My team is combined by senior students on bachelor programs and new graduates. I have currently confirmed the deal with 4 projects, and I'm trying to be careful about delivery timing and quality of the job so i can have the reputation that i need to keep cash flow stable. Thanks God up to now I had no problem with that.

But lately I'm exhausted for trying to catch everything. I always show them the best practices , I always try to solve their problems while I'm also communicating with clients. I feel like all this experiance is not enough to get them together efficiently for my main project.

Should I expand my team with someone more experienced or diminish the work load? Or should i change the way that we aproach the development methodology? I see nothing wrong with our development cycle and i don't want to expand team because i'm afraid from failing on managing it. But i also cannot diminish the work load since i want to raise the budget for my main project.

Management Project Management Time Management Team Project Planning

asked Dec 31 '12 at 09:06

2 Answers


Besides you who is the most Sr. person? Do they have the skill-set to lead the team? If not then you're wearing a lot of hats and need to bring on someone who can manage and/or lead the team while you secure new contracts. Set processes in place and adhere to them. I would also toss in a word of caution when it comes to hiring friends. Could you fire one of them if needed? If you do how will the friendship survive afterwards? Friends will work very hard at time, long hours and due to the friendship you can ask more out of them. Due to the friendship, they will do the same with you. They will expect for you to be easier on them if things get rough. They will expect you to make concessions because after all your friends and you should understand if something comes up etc. Also, hiring this new person will look like they come in front of friendship. It just becomes ugly over time.

answered Dec 31 '12 at 17:17
271 points


This really depends on how its organized and what type of projects your developing . If everyone has a near similar skill set you could do something like assign each one their own project , allowing them to call upon the rest of the team if they need help .

While you can manage the company as a whole . The one thing I'd advise against would be to assign the same person to more than one project at a time as their primary task . Say I'm programmer bob and I'm working on project A . I might help programmer dave with his project everynow and then , and he would help me with project A if I need it . But as Bob, my primary focus is project A .

This assumes smaller projects however, the needs of your company may vary .

answered Jan 1 '13 at 07:44
11 points

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