This article continues our previous material about choosing the right technology stack for startups. Today we will pay attention to enterprises and mid-size businesses that are looking for extra developers to meet a project’s deadlines.

Here we will compare the STAR matrix method and its analogs for choosing developers vs IT consultation. What is the best way?

How do companies that are already working on the development of their own product, prototype or project understand which developers are missing? What are their technology profiles, specialties, experience — and how many professionals their team lacks? If these are questions you’ve asked yourself, you are not alone.

There are several effective ways and methods to determine the direction that a project takes and to find out which developers are missing from a team. This article is going to shed some light on the matter and help you to figure out the most useful and effective tools and methods to use.

Can’t meet deadlines? Extra developers needed?

Parkinson’s law states that “the work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. From Parkinson’s law, we can clearly see the main working postulate: no deadlines — no work. As a result, the job that will normally take a couple of hours will be stretched across a whole day or even longer. Performing almost any kind of work will take as much time as you have for it. So, we need deadlines despite the fact that nobody likes them.

The deceptive deadline is the programmer’s constant companion. Everyone comes across this problem sooner or later. When the word “deadline” is mentioned, people start working harder, but strangely time runs super fast, and yet the amount of work done remains the same or even more. How is it possible and what can be done?

Sometimes the amount of work that needs to be completed is enormous, the deadline is too close, and the customers are piling on the pressure. In this case, the only option is to get help from extra developers who are able to reduce your time pressure. But there are other questions — what and how many developers?

Ways and methods to find out what and how many developers you need

If you are a business owner, it doesn’t mean you need to sort all the technical issues yourself. Finding and hiring a skilled team isn’t as hard as it might seem. Today, there exist many options that will help you find the necessary technical team exactly for your projects.

In this article, we are going to introduce to you:

  • STAR matrix method;
  • Management matrix;
  • IT consultation on extended teams.

Each option has its benefits that we are going to outline for you. The purpose of the ways and methods above is to secure the most required skills for your business project or a team. In order to successfully implement these tools, you need to carefully choose the one that suits your purposes best.

1. STAR matrix method

The STAR matrix method is a well-structured questioning technique that will help interviewers cope with asking the toughest questions in the most powerful and professional manner. As a business owner, it’s important to understand if you choose the right person to the team, to know what question to rise and how well a potential team member can manage in difficult and stressful situations.

This method offers you a clear formula on how to keep your questions and answers on track. All you need to know are the four words that describe STAR’s acronym: SituationTaskApproach, and Result.

STAR matrix to find developers for your extended team

S — Situation. Setting the scene

Here, you need to reveal the context and be specific about facts, names, and dates. It’s important to understand the background of the story.

Example: ”At Company ____, we had a team of five software developers responsible for the Fintech projects. It happened that at the same time we started 3 Fintech projects. The deadlines were very strict, and our capacities weren’t enough to finish all of them in time.”

— Task or Target. More details and specifics regarding the situation

Let’s establish the main characters, when the situation happened and what were the main tasks to resolve it. Here we find out about the significance of the situation and the difficulties we face.

Example: ”It meant we had to perform a huge amount of work and it is important for us to complete and present our ____ project in the best light. However, we’re having many simultaneous complicated tasks, we should never be behind the schedule, even when some of our team members had to take several sick days”.

— Action / approach. Skills applied, characteristics

How will we manage the situation to ensure the necessary results? What do we need for our project?

Example: ”At some moment we realized preparing all three projects at the same time was impossible, so the team should be extended with some extra developers and a new schedule created with the focus on the first-to-do-things. The deeper analysis of the projects we’re working on showed that we can’t complete _____ tasks for ______ projects that include ______ parts/features/functionalities in time. This part usually involves using _____ technologies. That is why we need to hire ______ developers. The time tracker indicated that we need an extra 180 hours to complete these tasks on time. That is why we decided to hire 3 _____ developers to get the tasks done by _____ 2020.”

R — Result — Outcomes

This is a culmination of the story where we understand how the situation was resolved. We expect a happy ending here, but we should understand that measuring the results should be done in iterations to find out whether our predictions and calculations were right. If not, we have to reconsider the developers’ qualities, our calculations or the schedule. And come to the Action section again.

Example: ”With extra developers, the three projects were fulfilled on time and we were able to satisfy the clients’ needs.”

That’s how using the STAR matrix method you find great developers with strong skills. The process includes your knowledge in programming, business processes, interviewing candidates and creating development roadmaps.

2. Management matrix

This method is broadly used by many software development companies including UppLabs. The management matrix approach is based on identifying the skills of your development team and strengthening them by hiring extra developers or upgrading and mastering the skillset of those people you already have in-house.

Skills are rated from poor to pro: from 1 to 5

Management matrix to find out whether you need to hire an extra developer.

In this example, you see that your project implies 5 main parts of the development that consists of five main parts: React Native, Algorithms, Backend, Testing, and UX. In your existing software development team, you have 5 devs who have some skills in these technologies. To successfully launch the product in time you need each part of the development to have a professional (a star ★) who can lead this track and who is aware of all the pitfalls.

To find out if (and where) you’ll need some extra developers, you have to create a comparison table with developers’ skills applied to all the main technology stacks you have on your project.

From the table above you can see that Oswald can be responsible for Algorithms (because he is a ‘star’ here and his level of knowledge in this field is incredible). Talking about React Native — Kirk will lead this track. And Ronald is absolutely the obvious choice to look after all the Backend issues.

But we have no ‘stars’ (★) in Testing or UX. Jimmy has ‘4’ points in UX — so we can consider him mastering his skills in UX to fill the gap for a professional. But it will take some time. So there is a discussion to be had with Jimmy along with some investment into additional courses and training for him. If he’s not ready for this — we’ll consider hiring a professional from the outside to help us on UX.

For Testing, we do not have a ‘4’ mark. So nobody among our existing developers is ready to master the skills for achieving a ‘star’ (★). For them, this process will take much longer than if we’d had a ‘4’ and this means we can’t finish a task on testing in time by ourselves. Here we definitely need to hire someone with a ‘star’ level skill.

As a result, we see that to finish this project on time, we need to hire a developer for Testing and put some effort to train one of our existing specialists for UX. This is how the Management matrix works.

3. Free IT Consultation

We find the method of consultation to be the most advantageous because in this case, the customer does not have to spend time and break his head over matrices and tables — everything will be solved by experts. In our case, by UppLabs.

Free IT Consultation lets you find much-needed developers by seeking advice from software development professionals. They will research your product and understand its details. Having a lot of expertise in software product development, IT consulting agencies will see the situation and figure out all possible variants and their results. If not — you have nobody to blame except them.

At this point, Upplabs as an IT consulting agency offers its clients a free IT consultation to understand the potential opportunities and risks.

We know and use all the methods above, and are eager to apply them while helping our clients. For you, this means that all the hard work will be done by us, and you will simply have to consider the options we advise. No pain and sleepless nights. Just the required number of qualified developers you need to extend your team.

We do not impose our software development services when providing IT consultation. UppLabs stands for trusted collaboration and networking. We value loyalty and are aware of the possibility that businesses we help with successful digital transformation might return to us in the future for software development. That’s why we do not insist on hiring us after the consultation.

The main benefit of maintaining free IT consultations for enterprises and mid-size businesses is the growth of the professional community. If we help a company that operates for example in Fintech, we’ll have a more healthy environment in this sphere and a competition that is vital for the growth of the industry. In this way, we all have more potential!

Get our free IT consultation! Don’t miss your chance to engage professionals to help your business!

Book a call with UppLabs!