Mobile App Development Team: Structure, Roles, and Hiring Models
15 min.

In the 2020s, creating a successful mobile app has become much more than just having a brilliant idea. The whole app development process demands a well-structured, professional, experienced, and efficient team to bring that idea to life. You have to choose people meticulously, ensuring all roles and responsibilities are covered, necessary at the current stage of development, and connected to one another.

Do this once, and you’ll come halfway to product success. But how? What’s the golden app development team structure? What roles are there other than the actual engineers? And how to hire them properly?

We at ProCoders, an international staff augmentation company, aren’t afraid to say that we know everything about application development teams and how to assemble them. We’ve been in the business for almost a decade, having augmented 150+ teams and going forward now in 2023.

In this article, we will delve into the essential components of a mobile app development team, explore their roles, and discuss various hiring models to help you assemble the perfect crew for your mobile apps.

App Development Team Structure and Size

Your mobile app development team structure and size play a pivotal role in determining the success of your project. These factors can significantly impact agile software development methodologies and overall management.

Importance of Team Size

Here’s a closer look at how your mobile development team structure and size influences project management:

Agile Methodology Adaptability: Agile methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, thrive in smaller team settings. Smaller teams can easily implement agile principles like rapid iterations, frequent feedback, and adaptability to changing requirements. These methodologies emphasize collaboration, and smaller teams can often communicate more effectively.

Communication and Collaboration: Smaller crews tend to have shorter communication channels, making it easier for team members to interact and exchange ideas. This can lead to quicker decision-making and issue resolution. In contrast, larger teams may struggle with communication bottlenecks and a slower decision-making process.

Project Scope: The complexity and scope of your project should guide your team size. For simpler mobile apps, with limited features, a compact dedicated team may suffice. However, if your app includes a wide range of functionalities or targets multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web), a larger team may be necessary to manage the workload effectively.

Resource Allocation: Consider the availability of resources, both human and financial. A larger team requires more resources, including salaries, equipment, and workspace (unless you choose outstaffing or outsourcing, but on that later). Smaller teams can be more cost-effective, making them an attractive choice for startups or projects with budget constraints.

Expertise and Specialization: Evaluate the skills and expertise required for your app. While smaller teams often wear multiple hats, with team members handling various tasks, larger teams can afford to have specialized roles, such as UI/UX designers, front-end and back-end mobile app developers, quality assurance specialists, and project managers. This ensures professionalism from every side.

Risk Management: Smaller teams may be more agile and adaptable, reducing the risk of scope creep and project delays. However, they might face challenges when addressing unforeseen issues due to limited resources. Larger teams provide resource abundance, which can mitigate risks but may introduce complexities in coordination.

Project Timeline: Consider your project’s timeline and delivery expectations. Smaller teams may complete small, basic projects faster due to streamlined decision-making, but they may struggle with larger-scale tasks. Larger teams can handle complex projects but may require more time for coordination and collaboration.

The Interplay of Roles in the Mobile App Development Process

Application development team structure and size.

A successful mobile app development team relies on the interplay of various roles, each contributing its unique expertise and responsibilities to the project. Here’s a glimpse at how different roles collaborate:

  • Effective communication between designers and software developers is vital to achieving a seamless user experience.

  • Project managers act as a bridge between stakeholders and the software development team members, facilitating a smooth workflow.

  • Effective collaboration between product owners and mobile app developers is essential for delivering a successful app.

  • In agile development methodologies, a Scrum Master acts as a facilitator, ensuring that the engineers adhere to agile principles. They help remove obstacles, maintain the team’s focus, and promote a collaborative and self-organizing work environment.

  • DevOps engineers bridge the gap between development and operations. They focus on automating deployment processes, ensuring continuous integration and delivery, and maintaining the app’s infrastructure. DevOps practices are essential for streamlining development workflows.

Effective communication and collaboration among these roles are essential for the seamless design and development stage of mobile apps, among others. Regular meetings, clear documentation, and agile project manager tools can facilitate this interplay, resulting in a well-coordinated and successful project.

Now, let’s get deeper into the roles and responsibilities within an application development team.

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Core Roles in an Application Development Team & Their Key Responsibilities

Each dedicated team member plays a unique role, contributing their expertise to shape your vision into a reality. From visionaries and detectives who gather requirements to artists who craft the interface and tech-savvy architects who build the foundation, every team member here is crucial to the success of your project.

Product and Project Manager

Product and Project Manager experts serve as the guides of your mobile app development journey. They are responsible for setting the product’s vision, creating a roadmap, and ensuring effective communication with stakeholders.

These roles bridge the gap between your app idea and the development team, guiding the entire project toward success.

Business Analyst (BA)

Business Analysts are the detectives of your mobile app development process. They play a pivotal role in gathering and deciphering requirements, understanding market needs, and meticulously documenting every detail. By understanding the business context and the target audience, BAs ensure that your app aligns perfectly with your users’ expectations.

UI/UX Designer

The importance of a proper UI/UX designer.

UI/UX Designer is the artist who shapes your app’s identity. They are responsible for crafting its interface, ensuring it’s not just visually appealing but also intuitive to use. These designers meticulously consider user experience, making sure your app engages and delights people from the first touchpoint to the last.

Backend Developers

A Backend Developer is the architect behind the scenes. They handle server-side app development, manage databases, and build the infrastructure that powers your app. These tech-savvy professionals ensure that your app’s foundation is strong, secure, and capable of handling your users’ demands.

iOS and Android Developers

iOS and Android developers are both worthy, in our opinion.

iOS and Android app Developers bring your app to life on their respective platforms. They are the platform-specific wizards who code the app’s functionality and ensure it seamlessly integrates with the unique features and user experiences of iOS and Android devices. These experts are the ones who make your app accessible to a wider audience.

Quality Assurance Engineers

Quality Assurance Engineers are the app’s gatekeepers who can test anything from the initial app prototype to the final product. They conduct rigorous testing, identify and squash bugs, and uphold the highest standards of software quality. With their meticulous approach, they ensure that your app is not just functional but also reliable and user-friendly.

So, the right development team structure is clear. But how to hire team members to assemble such a crew? We’re sure you know the drill with the job listings, resumes, interviews, and all this kind of daunting stuff because it takes so much time and effort. Let us provide tips on hiring experts for a mobile app development team faster and more efficiently!

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How to Choose a Mobile App Development Team [12 Tips]

Looking back at our experience, we’ve made our share of error-and-trial hirings, so we’ve learned a thing or two about choosing a dedicated team for an intricate app development process. Let us share some of the most interesting recommendations with you.

Understand Your Needs

Before you embark on the journey of selecting a mobile app development team, take a moment to understand your own needs. Knowing the type of mobile app solution you want to develop, your target audience, and your project’s scope and complexity is vital. This self-awareness will help you find a dedicated app development team that’s well-suited to bring your vision to life.

The ProCoders Discovery Phase does that well, and you can gather a team with us as well!

Check Portfolios

When it comes to choosing the right team, their track record speaks volumes. Review their previous work as an indicator of expertise. Look for projects that align with your vision, and pay attention to the quality and user experience of the apps they’ve created. A robust portfolio showcases a team’s capabilities and creativity, providing valuable insights into their potential to deliver what you need.

Consider Communication Skills

Effective communication is the lifeblood of any successful project, and choosing a crew with seamless soft skills is paramount. A development team that understands your requirements, responds promptly to your queries and keeps you in the loop throughout the entire project, will save you time, frustration, and misalignment. Prioritize teams that prioritize communication.

Ethical Considerations

Evaluate the ethical stance of your chosen team. This is especially important for apps dealing with sensitive data or potentially controversial content. A crew that prioritizes user privacy and data security can help you navigate legal and ethical challenges more effectively.

Consider Outsourcing or Outstaffing

When assembling a team, consider outsourcing or outstaffing as alternative models. Outsourcing involves contracting an external company to handle specific parts of your project, while outstaffing allows you to hire individual professionals as extensions of your in-house team. Both models can provide access to a wider talent pool, cost savings, and scalability options. Proven with our experience!

Innovation and Creativity

Look for a mobile app development team that values innovation and creativity. This can lead to unique solutions and user experiences that set your app apart from the competition. Innovative mobile app development companies and teams are more likely to suggest fresh ideas and approaches, contributing to the success and marketability of your application.

Scalability and Future-Proofing

Think long-term. Choose a crew that can scale with your project’s growth and adapt to emerging technologies. Ensuring that your app architecture remains up-to-date and compatible with future OS updates and new mobile devices is vital for the future app and its sustained success.

Evaluate Technical Expertise

When choosing a mobile app development team, technical prowess is non-negotiable. Scrutinize their technical expertise, including their proficiency in programming languages, frameworks, and tools relevant to your project. Assess their ability to handle platform-specific development for iOS and Android app developers if needed. Technically skilled and dedicated mobile app developers are more likely to overcome challenges and deliver a high-quality product.

Assess Team Experience

Experience breeds confidence and competence. An experienced mobile app development team brings valuable insights, problem-solving skills, and a deep understanding of industry best practices to the table. Look for a crew that has tackled projects similar to yours, as they are more likely to anticipate potential issues and provide effective solutions.

Client References and Reviews

Don’t hesitate to ask for client references and read reviews or testimonials. Speaking directly with previous clients can provide you with a candid perspective on the team or project manager’s responsibilities, work ethic, professionalism, and outcomes. Positive references and reviews are strong indicators of a crew’s reliability and the satisfaction of their past clients.

Agile Methodology

Agile can transform your project!

Consider a development team that follows an Agile methodology. It promotes flexibility, collaboration, and incremental progress, allowing you to adapt to changing project requirements and market dynamics. Teams that embrace Agile principles tend to deliver results faster and with greater alignment to your evolving needs.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Mobile App Development Team?

Mobile app development is an investment, and the cost can vary significantly based on various factors. Understanding those and having a clear picture of the potential expenses is crucial for budgeting and planning your mobile app development project effectively.

In this section, we’ll dive into the aspects that affect the cost of hiring a mobile app development team and provide average estimates to help you make informed decisions.

Mobile app development teams costs

Factors Affecting Cost

1. Expertise

One of the most significant factors influencing how much does it cost to hire an app developer is the level of experience. Teams with a proven track record of successful projects and deep knowledge of mobile app development tend to charge higher rates. However, their expertise can also lead to more efficient and high-quality work, potentially saving you money in the long run.

2. Location of the Development Team

The geographical location of your chosen software development team can have an impact on costs. Teams based in regions with a higher cost of living and greater demand for tech talent, such as North America, typically charge higher rates.

3. Complexity of the Project

The complexity of your mobile apps plays a significant role in determining the cost. A simple informational app will generally be less expensive to develop than a complex, feature-rich platform with advanced functionalities. Features like in-app purchases, real-time messaging, or complex algorithms can drive up costs due to the additional development time and resources required.

4. Platform and Device Compatibility

If your application needs to be available on multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web), the development costs will increase. Each platform may require separate engineering and testing efforts, which can add to the overall budget. Additionally, ensuring compatibility with various devices, screen sizes, and operating system versions can contribute to the complexity and cost.

5. User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) Design

Investing in a well-designed and user-friendly interface is essential for the success of your application. A high-quality UI/UX designer can enhance user engagement and retention. However, hiring skilled experts in mobile application design can be an additional cost.

6. Third-party Integrations

If your product requires integration with a third party service provider, such as a payment gateway, a social media platform, or an API, this can impact the final cost. Ensuring seamless connectivity and functionality with external services often requires extra effort, but it sure pays off

7. Testing and Quality Assurance

Thorough testing by a quality assurance engineer (QA) is essential to deliver a bug-free, reliable app. QA engineers play a crucial role in identifying and resolving issues, which can add to the overall cost. The complexity of your solution and the extent of testing required will also influence these costs.

So, How Much?

We won’t provide any proprietary estimates as we can’t guarantee a cost range before finding out more about your idea. We can meet up during our Discovery Phase; we’ll study your project and provide a clear estimate for the product.

Specific costs can vary widely depending on your project’s unique requirements and the factors mentioned above, here are some numbers based on the current market:

  • According to Clutch, the average cost of hiring an app development company is between $25 to $49 per hour;

  • The cost of developing an application can range from $40,000 to $300,000 and up.

Remember that these are rough estimates, and the actual cost can vary based on your specific project’s needs and your chosen development team’s rates. It’s crucial to consult with potential development teams to get accurate quotes tailored to your requirements.

By understanding these cost factors and conducting thorough research, you can make informed decisions when hiring a mobile app development team and budgeting for your project.

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Hiring Models for Mobile App Development

When it comes to assembling a mobile app development team, you have several hiring models to choose from. Each has its own set of advantages and challenges. Understanding them can help you make the right decision for your project. Let’s explore the most common hiring models for your mobile app development teams, along with their pros and cons.

1. In-House Development Team

In-house development team is the first seemingly logical option. However, it has its perks and drawbacks.


  • Direct Control: You have full control over the mobile app development process, communication, and collaboration.

  • Immediate Response: Team members are readily available for meetings, discussions, and addressing issues.

  • Alignment with Company Culture: In-house mobile app development teams can be aligned with your company’s culture and values.


  • Higher Costs: Maintaining an in-house team can be expensive due to salaries, benefits, office space, taxes, and equipment.

  • Limited Skill Set: Your team may have expertise in specific areas, but gaps in skills could arise.

  • Resource Management: Managing a full-time team can be challenging when project workloads fluctuate.

2. Outsourcing

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Outsourcing can help you save money, time, and effort. You have to choose the right outsourcing partner, though.


  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing can be cost-effective, especially if you hire mobile app developers from regions with lower labor costs.

  • Access to Global Talent: You can tap into a diverse pool of talent from around the world.

  • Scalability: Easily scale your team up or down based on project requirements.


  • Communication Challenges: Time zone differences and language barriers can lead to communication challenges.

  • Quality Control: Ensuring the quality of work from an outsourced team requires a talented project manager. At ProCoders, you can get both a team and a PM!

  • Security Concerns: You should share sensitive information only after the team signs a non-disclosure agreement.

3. Freelance Software Developers

Freelancers offer great flexibility, however, the reliability may be questionable.


  • Cost-Effective: Hiring freelancers can be budget-friendly, as you pay for the specific work they complete.

  • Flexible Workforce: Freelancers offer flexibility in terms of project duration and scale.

  • Specialized Skills: You can find freelancers with niche expertise.


  • Limited Accountability: Freelancers may not be as committed to your project as full-time team members.

  • Coordination Challenges: Coordinating work across multiple freelancers can be complex.

  • Quality Variability: Quality of work can vary significantly among freelancers.

4. Remote Development Teams (Outstaffing)

Outstaffing is one of our two main working models here at our mobile app development company – ProCoders. We can totally vouch for it, but we also never shy away from the potential cons, all while removing them from our workflows.


  • Dedicated Resources: You get access to dedicated app developers, a UI/UX designer or several, or QA engineers.

  • Collaboration: Remote teams can integrate seamlessly with your in-house developers or work independently.

  • Cost-Effective: Costs can be lower than hiring locally.


  • Time Zone Challenges: Time zone differences may require careful scheduling for meetings and communication.

  • Communication Management: Effective communication and collaboration tools are crucial.

  • Cultural Differences: Understanding and accommodating cultural differences among team members may be necessary.

5. Hybrid Models

When looking for experiments, hybrid may be the way to go.


  • Flexibility: You can combine in-house, remote, and freelance talent as needed.

  • Scalability: Easily adjust your team’s composition to match project requirements.

  • Risk Mitigation: Diversifying your team can help mitigate risks associated with a single hiring model.


  • Complex Management: Managing multiple teams with different work arrangements can be complex.

  • Coordination Effort: Effective coordination and communication become essential.

Making the Right Choice

The ideal hiring model for your mobile app development team depends on your project’s specific needs, budget constraints, and your comfort level with remote collaboration.

Many companies opt for a hybrid approach, combining in-house expertise with remote or outsourced talent to strike the right balance between control and cost-effectiveness. Regardless of the model you choose, clear communication, a skilled project manager, and well-defined roles and responsibilities are key to success.

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Is it better to hire a mobile app development company locally or remotely?

Local teams offer easier communication but can be costlier, while remote teams provide cost savings but require efficient communication tools. The choice between local and remote teams depends on your project’s requirements, budget, and available talent pool.

What should I consider when evaluating a developer’s portfolio?

When reviewing a developer’s portfolio, look for projects that align with your app’s requirements, the variety of technologies they have experience with, the complexity of projects they’ve handled, and any relevant client feedback or ratings.

How can I ensure data security when working with remote development teams?

To ensure data security when working with remote teams, implement secure communication channels, use non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and consider encryption methods. Additionally, choose reputable remote teams with a proven track record of data protection.

What is the role of a Scrum Master in an agile mobile app development team?

A Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the agile mobile app development process, removing obstacles that impede progress, organizing and leading Scrum meetings, and ensuring that the entire development team follows Scrum practices. They help the team work efficiently and achieve project goals.


As you explore the diverse roles within this ecosystem, analyze portfolios, and weigh your options for hiring models, remember that each decision carries implications for your project’s outcome. Whether it’s the synergy of an in-house team or the flexibility of outsourced experts, your choice should align with your vision and resources.

Ultimately, each development process is unique and dynamic, and with the right Android and iOS developers, an experienced QA engineer, a skilled project manager, and other specialists by your side, you can navigate it with confidence, innovation, and the potential for remarkable success. Prepare for a fully-fledged mobile app, steady user flow, being on the same page with your target audience, and monetization!

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