In mobile software development there are no teams anymore. More and more I am seeing a lack of formal teams. Now, we only use squads.
The days of coherent teams of people with various skills who join together to work on the same software product for a long period of time, are gone. Nobody wants to put together a team anymore. The reason?
Mobile development happens so fast that apps can be implemented and delivered in only a few months, instead of years. It is easy to shift focus of developers from one app to another every three to six months.
Since the developers do not have enough time to get to know each other and form a working bond, the true meaning of team is missing. They don’t have the time to build a good working relationship.
We now have a collection of random squads that are assembled and disassembled every few months. They move from one manager to another frequently. They are often going through the project startup phase multiple times a year, learning new member dynamics, and learning slightly new project processes.
Squads often have a lead that is designated at the start of the project. These leads are usually Sr. Software Engineers that are trusted to lead the project from beginning to end. They have the knack to start and end projects frequently and not get attached to any one brand.
If you are currently on a mobile development project for less than three months, you are probably on a squad that is being called a team. Look closely to see which characteristics you notice. Do you see the characteristics of a squad, or of a team. Chances are, you are on a squad.