Running a tech team startup is not a cakewalk. The primary reason why many new businesses fail is that it needs time to structure better in order to deliver results. Leaders remain on top. The structure that follows them is what runs the show.
A general tech team structure has two main leads: the Chief Executive Officer, and the Chief Technical Officer. A CEO navigates the operations of the business. This position is responsible for managing departments like marketing & sales, human resources, finance, legal, and management departments. A CTO drives the tech, if you will, by retaining UX, backend, and DevOps teams.
A tech startup should streamline its operations around its team as it can offer different perspectives on every situation. Having multiple perspectives is better as compared to having a singular view — of a founder.
Onboarding a tech team widens one’s horizons, and it serves as a learning opportunity for everyone with different skills and expertise. These can be utilized to distribute the workload and get better output.
Building a high-performance team is crucial. A startup can carry on its operations profitably only if the team performs well. Here’s how you can make a high-performing tech team for your startup:
1. Identify the cause of concerns.
The majority of IT firms are founded on the idea of providing answers to modern-day concerns. The success of Uber and Grubhub, for example, demonstrates the need for speedy taxi service and food delivery, respectively.
But, as you work to identify prevalent everyday problems, look within to identify the business issues. You may need tech resources, or you might like to accelerate the marketing part — whatever it may be, it is crucial to identify and address it.
Here are some of the quick questions you can ask to identify the tech startup causes:
a) Do you have the team strength to achieve the desired results?
Most times, your team would overwork and eventually burn out. Ensure that you have a happy team that can accomplish tasks, and that excel in mission-critical tasks in order to deliver results that matter for growth.
b) Is your revenue stream optimized?
Revenue optimization requires amassing huge libraries of critical customer information through CRMs and ERPs. Each contact that a client or prospect makes with your business or product creates an information trail, ranging from basic customer information to customer behavior, while using your product.
Now, do you have a team that can ensure such optimization? If not, you need to have experts who outsource the job.
c) Is lack of skilled resources at a competitive cost delaying your activities?
Leverage the pandemic to access the remote resources for hiring skilled team members at a competitive cost-to-company. Hiring expert resources from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, or from affordable outsourcing countries, will help you plummet the hiring cost.
While these three are key causes of concern, there are many others that your tech startup may encounter. Therefore, the first step to ensemble a team should involve identifying the startup’s issues and addressing them.
2. Grab the experts.
An expert plays more than one role in a tech startup. They offer advice and technical inputs to the team. Additionally, a tech expert brings a geeky culture that every tech startup should have.
Investors evaluate the teams before banking on a startup. Most of them prefer to put their money into a startup, with its tech team led by a tech expert. Outsourcing this department is an alternative.
This alternative, however, would only work for short durations. An in-house tech under the leadership of a tech expert can better follow the vision of a startup.
As a CEO or the owner of a business, you also feel confident in handing over the technical department to your employee. Consider outsourcing only if you fail to find the desired talent cost-effectively.
Serial entrepreneur, Darshan Somashekar, who runs the popular gaming platform, Solitaired, explains, “I always hire expert contractors first to immediately bring specialized skills in our business. This gives us the flexibility to determine what functions are most important to our business. For example, we started with a freelancer to design the card decks in our solitaire games, but later, brought that position in-house given our user’s positive response to new designs.”
How do you ensure hiring experts?
- Visit talent aggregating platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Toptal, etc. to check out the skills and cost associated with it.
- Ask your network for consultants and freelancers to discover what value they can bring.
- Hire dedicated developers and a technology team from an IT company on an hourly, monthly, or project basis.
3. Outline the company culture.
A tech startup’s beliefs and values are an important aspect of the company’s culture. And it is the responsibility of a leader to introduce the value system.
You must understand your startup’s objective in order to guarantee that the culture is appropriately defined. The mission might be to create something that solves a critical problem or provides efficient customer service every day. Having a mission insight helps to create the culture accordingly.
It enhances communication among and within the departments. Everyone knows who they should address in case of a problem, along with how it should be addressed. One thing about cultural communication is that it should stay intact no matter where the team works from — home, office, or elsewhere.
4. Delegate and Offer a Sense of Ownership.
Delegation is what happens once you have built a team. In terms of a tech startup, delegation can happen at any stage. The great thing is that it should happen at any possible stage.
One person can only take a limited amount of work—the higher the burden, the lower the employee productivity. The same applies to the leader of a tech startup. It is important to keep less weight on your shoulders because this relaxes you and makes you more productive.
Delegation generates a sense of ownership among team members. They understand the seriousness of the work. Delegating also offers scope to the team members to take initiatives. Various studies have concluded that delegation has increased the number of initiatives taken by team members. Through delegation, team members get a chance to come in line with the vision of the tech startup.
How do you keep your team motivated and productive with the right delegation?
The best thing about properly delegating is that it works as a real exponential multiplier. When you delegate successfully to your team, you not only accomplish more, but your team does more as well.
Additionally, as your team assumes increasing degrees of responsibility, you are freed up to work on more strategic initiatives for your business. The cycle then continues as top managers delegate a lot more to their employees, freeing them to perform more strategic work.
That said, as great as delegation is, it can become a burden if the instructions aren’t clear. It may be a good idea to use webinar software to meet with a department directly when a project gets complex and you want to make sure the team fully understands what’s being asked.
5. Retaining Talent who Adapts Fast.
A tech startup runs on uncertainties. There is no assurety that the desired output will be achieved or that everyone in the startup will stay longer. Retaining the best employee remains the biggest challenge for every early stage startup founder. Thus it requires one to be flexible while working for a tech startup.
The departments may be invisible, but they exist. Administration, for example, is overlooked for other departments, even though the administration department contributes equally to the growth of a tech startup. One team member may be asked to handle the administration department for a while. The team member must positively take this and manage the administration department.
Here are some tips to ensure retaining the fast-adapters
- Introduce ESOP in your tech startup. Make it available for the skilled talent who rise above the rest
- Involve them in your key decisions. This will motivate them to stay prepared and perform better.
- Promote them to a better position with higher authority to make quick calls without your interference.
6. Team Engagement.
Team engagement can be understood as ensuring that everyone in the staff remains active in productive tasks. For this purpose, you might want to consider involving them in the process of decision-making.
This is a great method to boost team collaboration. If it is difficult to involve all the team members in the decision-making process, consider seeking their feedback or opinions. One way to execute this is by scheduling regular meetings. Remember to keep the meeting engaging by giving the team members their space on the stage. Moreover, scrum meetings are helpful even if your team is working remotely to get quick updates.
In the case of in-office work, you enhance team engagement by organizing fun activities. This builds the team network in a better way. Every team member gets to see the fun side of each other, and the feeling of inclusiveness that all the team members receive is a bonus.
A tech team defines your tech startup and helps you to achieve greater success. Hence, it is important to build an efficient team, and following the techniques mentioned above will help you direct efforts in the right manner to achieve the desired results.