What you need to know about building a development team for a marketplace platform

It is not enough just to find good developers in the project working group. To put together a cool product team means defining goals and limitations, rallying, and allowing you to work together on common goals. To do this you should take into account the specifics of the product, the size and composition of the team, the psychological types of employees, their goals, the style of perceiving information, communications type, and many more other factors.

In this article, we have collected some basic tips for building good e-commerce IT team. We are sure that these tips can be used for any other business area.

Find your unique team type and size

Are you hiring generalists, highly specialized developers, or do you want to build a hybrid team? It depends on the project type, complexity, the time for developing a marketplace, and the affordable budget.

In general, the information amount people need to become an IT specialist has become significantly less. The code has become simpler. At least, the entire IT business is now striving for this. The work of the programmer is automated.

Therefore knowledge of the domain area is more important than technical knowledge. When developing a platform for e-commerce, we focus primarily on its adaptability. For example — we create the main functionality of the marketplace, and then the customer company refines it to the desired state, independently changes, and adds the functionality necessary for its processes with its internal team. It should be easy to make any changes to the product, even after a few years.

Now let's consider team size. Small teams usually focus on results rather than corporate communications. The ideal team size is 3 to 8 people. You can divide the large team into two or three smaller cross-functional independent teams. Every team should be led by a manager. This is an approach from the Agile methodology, which we will discuss below.

The number of teams depends on the blocks that will be in the marketplace, for example, the PIM system, Merchant Administration System (Sellers' Account), Order Management System).

Define the stages of development

Let's describe the stages of marketplace development in general.

Research and analysis

Analysis of the current market, a study of demand, and a study of competitors' services. This part can be done on your own or together with an experienced business analyst. The consultant's help will give you detailed project requirements that will be a good starting point for development.

UX and UI platform design

This work is important for making it convenient for users to work on the marketplace website (here, we are talking about your merchants first of all - they should be comfortable on the platform).

Interface and back-end development

This is the main part of the development work. The terms of this part can only be calculated by taking into account the tasks and functionality of the project, the selected technology stack, the size of the team, etc.

QA and bug fixing

The development and quality control processes must be carried out simultaneously. The QA engineer covers as many use cases as possible, ensuring that users do not run into an unexpected problems while using the platform.

Starting small is fine, as long as you think about scaling further. However, you should not take MVP too literally, as really the bare minimum - you don't need to release a "raw" product. It's important to focus on core functionality, but it's equally important that the product is user-friendly. In other words, MVP cannot be a draft, the marketplace must be set up before showing it to the world.

Choose a tool for efficient work

In developers' work, the Agile approach has proven to be effective. It is not focused on processes, tools, documentation, or following the original plan. It allows the team to focus on interaction and collaboration, work products, and rapid response to change.

Thanks to Agile methodologies, the team can be more flexible and adaptive. You can choose from different types of agile implementations such as Scrum or Kanban.

Each framework is visualization oriented so the workflow is usually displayed on a whiteboard making the whole process more transparent.

If you choose Scrum, it is characterized by well-planned sprints that are reviewed and adapted along the way. In this case, you need the Scrum master in your software development team.

The success of a software development project depends a lot on communication. Lack of proper attention to communications can harm the entire project. Clear communication between team members can speed up the process, and increase creativity and innovation. It is very important to encourage transparency and facilitate communication within the team.

Communication is one of the core values of Agile methodologies. So his practices, such as daily stand-ups, pair programming, or face-to-face meetings can be a great base.

IT outsourcing can be optimal for building a marketplace. Because it is a one-off project, hiring a freelance team working with similar tasks is much easier than building your own internal team. Third-party developers like the Scallium team have the technical expertise and specialized skills to implement a marketplace platform quickly.
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