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How to Structure Low-Code Teams: The “Developer And ________” Approach

Steve Vanaria, Vice President, Customer Success
August 2, 2021

IT and development teams are embracing low-code for many reasons: It reduces technical debt. It improves collaboration with business users. And it makes you vastly more efficient by keeping things simple—including your application teams.

Unfortunately, even as IT organizations embrace low-code, many still rely on bloated, heavily specialized development teams. They’re only scratching the surface of low-code’s power.

The best low-code teams are made to be nimble and minimize dependencies. They’re small, with all the skills you need to go from idea to application. And they stay together across projects so they don’t have to spend time learning how to collaborate.


The "Developer And ________" Approach

Since low-code is easier to learn than high-code, specialists in fields such as UX, ethnography, testing, and business analysis can be cross-trained as low-code developers. These newly created “generalized specialists'' provide overlapping skills that allow you to build development teams differently and unleash the full power of low-code.

Low-code teams should be full of “developer and _________” roles, such as developer and tester or developer and Scrum Master. Everyone from team leads to architects will develop features. And every developer should have at least one additional specialty area—UX design, testing, architecture, and so on. This egalitarian approach lets you build better products with fewer people and see faster time to value.

Low-code optimized teams have lower costs both in terms of labor (less people, fully utilized) and product (truly cross-functional and collaborative teams are much more likely to build the right product). Low-code teams deliver a faster time to value because their versatile makeup removes internal bottlenecks and reduces external dependencies (e.g. no need to wait for a database specialist to free up if they are database expert and a low code developer within the low-code team).

6 Roles to Include on a Low-Code Development Team

Include these six specialty areas as you structure your low-code development team:

  • Product owner to guide the team to build the right things. This is the only role that does not develop features.
  • UX designer to ensure good design principles are followed and craft solution blueprints for important design decisions.
  • Architect to ensure the team builds the application the right way by directing the solution architecture.
  • Business analyst to dig into the business requirements and user needs, asking probing questions and thinking through various scenarios.
  • Tester to find breakable areas that aren’t caught by test scripts. They also have knowledge of tools for automated tests and performance and load testing.
  • Team lead or Scrum Master to enable the team to build quickly by coordinating work, removing impediments, and encouraging agile practices.

Low-code helps you quickly deliver powerful applications—but it works best if you also embrace some key agile best practices. Rethink big, specialized development teams and make them more collaborative and egalitarian.

For more best practices to optimize your low-code application development efforts, get the eBook: 4 Pitfalls of Low-Code Application Development.