The 4 Phases of Chatbot Development – The Essential Team You Need for Success From Day 1

Chatbot Development Plan

So, you’ve decided to take the leap and embark on a journey to develop your conversational AI bot.

But who exactly do you need to make this work? And more importantly, what kind of skills are required in your chatbot development team?

Conversational AI is starting to consolidate into a professional area in itself. But that doesn’t mean you need to hire a full team of conversational AI professionals to get your project off the ground. 

Plus: When you build with Teneo, our experts work with you throughout the development journey to plug any gaps in your team.

  • Governance & Planning
  • Design
  • Development 
  • Quality & Optimization
Roles required in a bot project team

Governance & Planning Phase

Although you could argue that management isn’t a project phase per se, this part of the project is a critical component to ensuring successful project delivery. 

Which brings us to the first essential project team role:

Project Manager or Scrum Master

Your project manager will oversee the entire project completion, as well as task and sprint planning. It’s their responsibility to coordinate the team’s efforts to deliver the project on time and on budget, and report the status of the project to ensure all stakeholders have visibility of progress. 

In the early stages of the project, this role will usually be covered by one person. But their responsibilities can also be split between two project managers:

  1. One in charge of the project governance as a whole
  2. One responsible for managing sprints

Skills and Experience 

The person(s) taking on this role should have experience with Agile, or more specifically, Scrum methodologies and project management.

They should also have some degree of knowledge of Conversational AI as well as the business processes and technical setups required.

Design Phase

This phase is where the blueprint of the bot is created. A mixture of technical and business skills is required here to start bringing your bot to life.

The main roles include:

  • Conversational Designers
  • Business Analysts
  • Technical Architects

Conversational Designer

The focus of the conversational designer is to nail the user experience design

The person filling this role should be devoted to defining the bot’s persona and personality, flows, conversational structure, and maybe even the look and feel of the bot.

It’s important that the user experience across all these elements is designed in a way that ensures the bot is on brand and interacts smoothly with its users. 

Skills and Experience 

People working in this position usually have a background in linguistics, UX design, communication, and marketing. 

In smaller projects, the person appointed to this role usually also acts as a conversational copywriter (more on this in the next phase).

Business Analyst

The business analyst works very closely with the conversational designer and is responsible for defining the business requirements of the bot.

This is essential to ensuring the use cases the bot is handling are correctly addressing the business needs in a way that drives value for customers and return on investment for the business.  

Skills and Experience 

Fulfilling this role requires a profound knowledge of the business. 

Hence, the role is often filled by a member of the company’s department that originated the use case. This could be someone such as a marketing analyst, customer service agent, or customer experience manager. 

Technical Architect

The technical architect is in charge of ensuring the architecture, bot hosting infrastructure, security, and network requirements are all met. 

Skills and Experience 

It goes without saying that the person appointed to this role has to have a very strong understanding of the company’s existing technical setup to facilitate the integration of the final project with existing systems.

This role is generally covered by a member of the IT department such as a backend developer or DevOps engineer. 

Development Phase

This is the phase where the team gets down to business.

The team will start building flows, training the machine learning model, and building the required integrations with the company’s backend systems.

In early-stage projects when teams are small, the roles associated with this phase are often delegated to one single person.

The main responsibilities include:

  • Conversational AI Developer
  • Conversational Copywriter
  • AI Trainer
  • Technical Developer

Conversational AI Developer

This role involves picking up the project scope defined by the conversational designer and building them into flows – which can be done directly in our Teneo Studio interface

This role is also in charge of other tasks such as assisting with the configuration of entities, listeners, and conditions.

Skills and Experience 

This role is typically occupied by AI software engineers, computational linguistics, and developers.

Conversational Copywriter

The conversational copywriter is the creative mind that formulates the words and expressions the bot will use to communicate with its target users. 

It’s their responsibility to ensure the conversation script stays on brand and delivers the best user experience possible.

Skills and Experience 

The person behind this role typically comes from a marketing background.

AI Trainer

The AI trainer takes responsibility for developing, training, and optimizing the ML model behind the bot.

Skills and Experience 

This person typically comes from a tech or linguistics-related background in roles such as computational linguistics, machine learning engineer or data scientist.

Technical Developer

Experience with the company’s technologies and a firm grasp of the APIs are essential to allow for seamless integration, as they will be overseeing the coding and building of the required integrations. 

Technical consultants using Teneo must be well versed in Java and Groovy for example.

Skills and Experience 

It goes without saying that the technical developer is typically from a tech-related, management role. 

Quality and Optimization Phase

This phase is all about continuous improvements by analyzing the bot’s performance with the goal to enhance it. 

The main roles required in your team at this stage are:

  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Bot Analyst

Quality Assurance Engineer

The QA engineer will be in charge of creating and implementing tests during development and before going live to ensure the bot meets the defined quality standards. 

Skills and Experience 

People occupying this role must have some prior experience with testing and IT QA processes. 

It’s common to integrate the responsibilities of this role with the conversational AI developer as this function derives directly from the developer’s work.

Bot Analyst

The bot analyst is responsible for measuring the bot’s performance, user interactions, and the overall quality of the project.

This role will also fulfill the responsibility of collating and distributing reports and dashboards to the relevant stakeholders. 

Skills and Experience 

The bot analyst will be someone with a background in data analysis and reporting tools. 

In small teams, the role of quality assurance engineer and bot analysis can both be delegated to the conversational AI developer. 

Complementary Roles

All conversational AI projects are unique and may require additional specific roles to achieve success.

For example:

Expanding into new markets and territories may require a Localizer. Essentially, someone that can translate and adapt the bot’s content to each language.

Or projects that require mobile app or website integrations will need a frontend developer to ensure seamless integration.

Or finally, projects involving channels using voice will require a specialist in automatic speech recognition to ensure the proper ‘text to speech’ and ‘speech to text’ technologies are in place.

Working in Teams with Teneo 

Even though this sounds like a lot of roles to cover… Don’t panic! 

There is no single formula for creating a perfect chatbot development team. Every company should adapt its team size and skill set to the requirements and demands of the project.

During the early stages, it’s common for one person to cover a range of these roles. 

But as the project develops and becomes increasingly complex, conversational AI requires more specialized expertise – which is often when the number of team members begins to increase.

And it’s important to remember that the team creating and deploying the bot is not solely responsible for its success. Other departments such as legal and compliance, IT, and marketing are always involved and consulted during different development phases. 

With Teneo, we can help facilitate collaboration and cooperation between all of these roles – and plug the gaps in your development team.

Teams can work and collaborate on the same project while separating responsibilities using user permits, version control features to keep track of changes made to projects, and Version Flags.

Get in touch to chat with one of our experts about starting your conversational AI project with Teneo.