These are some basic development roles, as it relates to standard web development. Understanding who does what helps a team work in unison. Explaining this to a client may also help development go faster and may streamline support. Many firms fall into the trap of “wearing multiple hats”. This approach is a reality, but can be tempered by defining roles.
Sales is the front-line of development. Sales sets initial expectations and can cripple a project from the get go, or set it up to be smooth sailing. Every member of a development company should be code literate, if not a developer of some kind. Sales Vs. Development feuds are common, but shouldn’t be. The more Dev knows about sales and vice versa, the better your projects will deploy, bar none.
Generally architects are programmers with experience. Having a firm grasp of all the development steps allows architects to set a framework of success. Your architects should work closely with project managers and be well versed in project management as they are projects managers who like to be close to code.
“This isn’t hard, or complicated, it just requires proper structure.”
Do not mistake designers as people who “make pretty pictures”. Designers have the vision and technical to craft the UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) to perfection. Many a project has soared or sunk due to the design. Just like sales, the designers should be at the very least code literate.
The development team takes the SOW and the design and turns it into a functioning machine. Good developers understand scope and project management, as well has have some sense of design. Often times developers are roped into doing things they shouldn’t, like true design or true project management work.
Often overlooked or completely forgotten, content writers are second to none when it comes to SEO. Word choice, syntax and phasing all tips the scale towards or away from engagement and conversion. If you plan to create a web presence without a qualified and experienced writer, I wish you the best of luck.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control
“Who wrote this spec sheet? Is it a joke? Do you actually think this thing does any of this?” – Unfortunately, aside from larger firms, development companies rarely utilize the skills of a highly qualified QA / QC person. If the devil is in the details, QA will find him and his long lost pocket comb. If it has to work, and work everywhere, spend the extra money on a top notch QC phase, and do so without question.
It is akin to herding cats out of a burning building, but the task of staying on time and on budget often to the falls project manager. Truly everyone, the client included, should be concerned with the scope, but often nary a soul but the project manager seems to even recall what scope is.