The Organizational Structure of a Tech Startup
A clear and well-thought-out tech startup team structure is a prerequisite for success because, otherwise, a business can fail due to being too chaotic. Although many startup owners try to wear many different hats, they eventually develop their business enough to hire more people and delegate responsibilities. A well-defined startup team structure helps to increase productivity, ensure clear communication, and establish a smooth workflow.
We at Qubit Labs have decided to share some insights on startup organizational structure based on our experience of working with many businesses. So, let’s get down to the topic.
What is the team structure?
The team structure is a term that implies having clearly defined leadership roles within the team, the division of responsibilities, and work routines that all team members understand. It is also used to help employees be aware of their primary tasks, whom they report to, and how and why a business makes certain decisions.
As per HubSpot, business owners can choose from various criteria when deciding on a tech startup team structure. For example:
- Chain of command. It defines how tasks are delegated and approved. It can be long or short.
- Span of control. It defines who falls under whose control and which tasks rely on which department. It can be wide or narrow.
- Centralization. It describes where decisions are made. Decision-making is usually centralized or decentralized.
A clear-cut startup organizational structure helps define at least three critical elements of how the business will run. It also comes in handy when it’s time to hire new employees because it makes it easier for them to understand what employees are responsible for specific processes.
Besides, a tech startup organizational structure is also presented in a visual diagram, so if you need to pivot leadership, you can clearly see how the performance would change by adjusting certain parts of the diagram.
Surely, not all businesses need a clearly-defined structure at the outset. But the more startup team members join the company and the more products it develops, the more challenging it’ll be to manage everything without a startup organizational structure.
Usually, there are two principal roles in the company — CEO and CTO, and they have two distinct areas of responsibility. Let’s take a look at the mini-teams, specialists included in them, and their roles.
Tech Startup Team Structure: The CTO’s Areas of Responsibility
This technology team structure includes several experts of multiple sub-step specializations that are united to create products that meet the customers’ demands.
A UX design team comprises 3 different domains within the team, including UX design, UI design, and UX Content/Copy-writing. Each of them has dedicated experts that are responsible for certain tasks.
These are the following experts:
This specialist steps into the customer’s shoes to understand how they feel about specific products or services. The experts do this to understand the potential users’ pain points and see their preferences.
To assess the needs, a user researcher conducts interviews or imagines different personas. These activities help to create a perfect and seamless user experience tailored to a specific end-user.
This expert ensures perfect interaction between the product and users. These involve all expected reactions and feedback about the product as a response to the users’ actions. An interaction designer ascertains that the product works the way it should and meets the user’s expectations.
This specialist guarantees the absence of undesired outcomes during the actual usage of the product.
The overall aesthetics of the product and front-end engineering relies on visual designers. They use the results of UX research to choose suitable colors, typography, and iconography to make sure they match the end-user’s preferences.
Also, they ascertain the visual components are user-friendly, engaging, and allow easy navigation through the app. These specialists make sure the product is visually appealing to the consumers.
All the people included in the technology team structure have different opinions about the product, and it’s necessary to organize all the information and ensure it aligns with the development strategy. That’s why a Team Lead is essential. This specialist establishes clear communication and assures everyone is on the same page. Also, a leader encourages other team members and helps to eliminate misunderstandings.
Backend team includes specialists responsible for the product’s logic, efficient code, and data structure. They are accountable for the parts that users can’t see. They focus on databases, scripting, and website architecture.
This part of the software startup team structure includes the following specialists:
A backend engineer is usually responsible for building the structure of a software application. This programmer spends time writing business logic, server scripts, and application programming interfaces.
Besides, such experts optimize servers for scalability, speed, and stability; optimize security structures; generate data storage solutions; and generate reusable code libraries.
This is a specialist that helps to resolve defects and introduce changes to the programs. One collaborates with different teams to review product functionality and test results. A middle-stack developer handles various issues to allow developers to focus on their job without getting distracted by minor problems.
A team leader is the one who motivates other employees, gives instructions, and monitors their performance. This specialist manages different responsibilities, being skilled relationship builders and mediators, bridging the connection between the employees and management.
DevOps is a set of practices and tools aimed at solving specific tasks. It brings together development and operations teams to develop products of higher quality within shorter terms. Such collaboration helps to reduce errors, enable faster time to the market, allow for better quality, and make the products more efficient.
This technology team structure consists of the following specialists:
This is a senior member of the organization who is aware of all the business processes, has sufficient technical expertise, and communicates with all employees. One has a clear vision and articulates it across the team to inspire, motivate, and encourage the startup team members.
This person has hands-on experience with building cloud infrastructures and understands what they should include. They are responsible for converting the technical requirements of a project into the architecture and design that can guide the final product.
Site reliability engineer
The DevOps expert focused on ensuring stable performance and constant availability of high-load apps across large-scale systems. The responsibilities of a site reliability engineer are at the interface between operational tasks and the development of automated systems.
A specialist that establishes the proper operation of hardware and software and is responsible for the company’s cybersecurity.
This tech startup team structure implies having people that check how the product works. They look for the issues, check whether the program works the way it should, protect it from hackers, and see how it performs on different gadgets and various operational systems.
It includes the following experts:
This specialist is responsible for organizing the testing processes, planning and monitoring all the testing-related activities, and managing the testing team.
A QA analyst handles the testing phase of the production process and ensures that the final product meets the company standards. This person identifies whether products are functional, reliable, and meet the end-user’s expectations.
This specialist develops test plans to test new and existing software, debug code, and enhance the usability of certain products. Also, they analyze test results and report them to the development team.
Startup Team Structure: The CEO’s Areas of Responsibility
This is an indispensable part of the startup team structure if it aims to build awareness of its brand, promote products or services, and provide customer service and engagement via various sources.
Usually, this team consists of the following experts:
- Data Scientist/Analyst
- SEO Strategist
- Writer/Editor/Content Marketer
- Visual Designer
- Tech Expert
All these people help to define the experience the company wants its customers and partners to have. They create materials to promote the core products, contribute to managing social media pages, serve as media liaisons, conduct customer and market research via market research tools, and oversee outside vendors and agencies.
Human Resources Team
A tech startup team structure can’t be complete without experienced HR managers because they support employees and create a healthy and inspiring working environment. They make sure you recruit the right candidates, take care of payroll, update policies, maintain employee records, and conduct benefit analysis.
Besides, these experts help employees thrive. They make sure each person has career growth opportunities, offer individuals continuing education, support health, and wellness, and facilitate the communication between the leaders and employees.
This is a permanent department in the company that provides legal services to the company. A startup organizational structure should include these experts because they specialize in different fields, for example, employment and commercial. They ensure the legality and compliance of a startups’ actions.
A tech startup organizational structure should include sales experts because they are the ones who communicate with the customers and drive company growth. It includes several specialists, namely sales representatives, sales specialists, and customer service representatives who focus on different goals.
They help to generate sales, ensure customer acquisition and retainment, and make sure the company’s products are sought-after among the targeted audience.
How can Qubit Labs help you develop your startup?
A startup team structure can include in-house, partially outsourced, or fully outsourced employees.
Qubit Labs specializes in building dedicated development teams because that’s an excellent opportunity for startups to save time and money while cooperating with vetted developers. We build teams according to your requirements while you have full control of the software development process, management, and cost.
Our experts will be devoted to your company for successful cooperation.
Outsourcing is a smart form of investing, so feel free to contact us to discuss your ideas.