Team extension vs dedicated development team
IT outsourcing is developing rapidly and more and more companies are making use of it. Examples of such services are Team Extension and a Dedicated Development Team. Both are helpful if we cannot finish a project utilizing our own IT department. Let’s explore what they are.
What is Team Extension?
Team Extension means expanding our IT team with specialists from an outsourcing company. We choose the individuals ourselves based on the skills we need for a given project. This model is most often chosen by companies that already have experience in IT activities, but only need to periodically increase the production capacity and knowledge potential of the team.
Features of Team Extension
- Independent management
The temporarily hired specialists contribute to the company's team, which is managed by us. The ability to maintain full project management gives us full control over it. We set tasks, pace of activities or priorities of the extended team. External specialists also function within our work methodology.
- Access to the necessary technologies
If we run projects of one type, we can create a team whose competences will be sufficient for them. It is different when there is a task that requires knowledge of a technology that is foreign to our own specialists.
The IT market is developing at a rapid pace and new software is constantly appearing. We may need to use some of them on regular basis, but there are situations when we need a specialist of, e.g. blockchain, VR or IoT only for the duration of one project. Then the best solution is to hire an expert from an outsourcing company.
- Acquiring knowledge
Working with specialists from an outsourcing company may help our team to learn about new technologies and how to use them. Even when we expand the team to include people of the same specialization as its current members, such cooperation is a great opportunity to exchange experience.
In addition, we can hire a high-end specialist, whom we appoint as Lead Tech in our team, which will definitely increase the level of competence of all its members.
In a situation where we undertake a project for which our team is too small, we have two options. We can start recruiting, but you have to take into account that it is time-consuming, there is a shortage of specialists on the market, as well as having to bear labor costs after hiring a new person.
Team Extension is a faster and cheaper solution. Our team can grow overnight and we can start the project immediately. We also gain access to specialists who may be scarce on the labor market (e.g. knowledgeable about completely new or unknown technologies). Moreover, if we only need a given technology for a limited time, hiring a specialist on a permanent contract for it is pointless.
- Lowering risk
When hiring a new person for the IT department, we must take into account that when we don’t need any more services from this employee, it means termination of a contract of employment. It has some consequences. In addition, it may turn out that in some time, e.g. for another project, we will need this person's expertise again. It may not be possible to hire them again.
In the case of the Team Extension model, we have the right to resign from cooperation with the temporarily hired specialist at any time. They will also be able to join our team in the future, if necessary. Moreover, if we conclude that the competences of a given specialist or their character are not suitable for our team and project, we may ask for someone else to do the job. At the same time, we save on a possible notice period and social benefits, not to mention the team's morale. We can manage risk much easier in the case of B2B cooperation.
What is Dedicated Development Team?
The Dedicated Development Team model means hiring not individual specialists but the entire team from an outsourcing company. The outsourcing company completes the team for a specific project based on its technical specification. The team works remotely, but full-time. Specialists are available and our team can conveniently coordinate its activities with them.
Features of Dedicated Development Team
- External management
The dedicated team is managed by an outsourcing company. We are not interested in its work methodology, we do not have to assign tasks to its members and monitor their work on a daily basis. This allows us to focus on our business and managing our own team.
At the same time, regular contact with a dedicated team obviously gives us a lot of room to make decisions. We are kept informed about the progress and we have an influence on the course of development of the project.
The Dedicated Development Team consists of people who have already worked together and thus make a good team. They operate according to their own work methodology, being familiar with one another's competences. Therefore, the work flow is very smooth.
Team experience is also extremely important. They have developed many different projects together. In this way, we reduce the risk of adopting incorrect assumptions when planning the scope of the product. Such assumptions could result in the necessity to make costly corrections after the completion of a project, or even entail rewriting the entire software code.
- Quick launch of the project
The outsourcing service provider is able to quickly build the team we need. As with the Team Extension Model, we save time on recruitment. It would be all the more difficult as we are talking about more specialists here, who would also have to be in tune with one another and the members of our team.
Compared to the Team Expansion model, by choosing a Dedicated Development Team we do not have to spend time onboarding new specialists. They operate in accordance with the needs of our organization, but they do not have to learn about its culture and work methodology.
- Flexibility and prioritization
In cooperation with an outsourcing company in the Dedicated Development Team model, a Product Discovery Workshop is initially carried out. These are workshops aimed at defining the assumptions and requirements of the project, and then, based on priorities, define its budget framework, schedule and the final backlog.
This approach allows you to adjust the work of the team to the real needs of the business. If the most important thing is the budget cap, we can give up the functions that we will not need so much. If we are after a specific product launch date, we can increase the team size. First of all, we care about quality and safety - no problem, we will hire Quality Assurance people and plan appropriate tests.
- Partner’s experience
In the Dedicated Development Team model, the outsourcing company is responsible for building the team. We do not have to rely on our own judgment when it comes to selecting specialists.
We also use the partner's experience in choosing the right technologies to create a product. We may not be aware of what technologies are optimal to achieve our goal. The outsourcing company is up to date with the dynamically changing market of new technologies and has implemented various types of projects. Thanks to their know-how, our product can gain quality and its development can be carried out faster and more efficiently.
Which model to choose?
Choosing the right model depends on the shape of our organization. If we have an extensive IT department or we believe that our own know-how and working methods are optimal, we should decide on the Team Extension Model. This expands our team only with the specialists we need, while maintaining the ability to manage the team. Our employees can also learn something new from the temporarily hired specialists.
When we are not sure which specialists we need for a given project and we want to delegate the management of new people to an external company, the Dedicated Development Team model is optimal. The contractor is responsible for the selection of the members and the effectiveness of the team. We focus only on self-management.
It should be noted that both models share significant advantages. We gain access to valuable knowledge and skills of external specialists. We also shorten the time of product launch because we can start work on the project almost immediately. We also save a lot, both on recruitment and labor costs. Hence the popularity of these two models, which reduce many complications for companies.