Today’s business world, dominated by necessarily quick decisions, agile reactions, and remote work models, generally favors outsourcing. Especially so when it comes to software development. However, not all projects are alike, and a collaboration model that was perfect for one can be not the right thing for another. As businesses explore the different paradigms, we will look at one of these – the dedicated development team model, and outline when and how to use it to the maximum benefit for your company.
A Dedicated Team Development: How it Works
The dedicated team model evolved as a way of providing the client with more control over the outsourced team, making it integrated more closely into the customer’s business processes – and (as the name shows) truly dedicated to the project at hand.
Unlike with the traditional approach to developers outsourcing, dedicated teams do not work on several projects from different customers. On the contrary, it functions essentially as part of the client’s broader organization in every aspect that is directly connected to the work itself.
The service provider, meanwhile, handles the recruitment process, work motivation, HR job, legal support, payroll, taxes, and operations to allow the team work. This lifts the organizational burden from the client, allowing to build the necessary team fast and start working and concentrating on the project itself.
This makes a lot of sense, as on average, about 68% of companies spend over one month to hire a single developer – effort that could be, and is, redirected and reduced. In a survey, 40% of CTOs consider outsourcing as a way to cope managerially in a rapidly changing environment – and 42% use it for quick scaling. With the dedicated team model, a business can use these benefits to get their teams and still enjoy the necessary level of collaboration typically associated with an in-house team.
In a nutshell, a dedicated team is one that feels like it’s in-house, but the client does not need to spend resources on anything except the project itself.
When is a Dedicated Team a Good Option?
Of course, it is important to understand when exactly to hire dedicated software developers, i.e. when it will be the best possible solution, as opposed to fixed price, or Time&Material models. Overall, the benefits cited for dedicated team model include:
- access to the necessary experts;
- direct control;
As practice shows, there are several scenarios in which having a dedicated team is exactly what’s needed:
- Long-term projects. A dedicated team is, by definition, better in situations when there’s a long collaboration ahead, requiring involvement and a lot of insider knowledge yet to be accumulated.
- A startup company that wants to build the team fast and grab the opportunity while it’s still new.
- Projects with vague requirements that can change over time.
- Companies that expand to an unfamiliar niche area and need qualified experts in the field.
Conversely, for short projects with strict requirements, one would rather consider other collaboration models. Dedicated development team services mean close long-term involvement, and that’s where they excel.
Dedicated Team Players and Their Roles
A dedicated team can be staffed in different ways, depending on the needs and projects it’s created for. The typical lineup will include the essential members:
- Project manager – overseeing and managing the team’s work on the project, handling communication, backlog, and so on.
- Business analyst – translating the business vision into validated requirements and planning the development activities accordingly.
- UI/UX designers – creating the optimal user experience for the product, influencing the details of the development tasks.
- QA engineers and testing specialists (black-box, white-box, unit testing, automated testing, pen testing as per requirements)
Additionally, a dedicated team may feature other specialists, as well:
- DevOps specialists
- Product Owner
- Industry consultants
How to Build a Dedicated Development Team?
While the dedicated team model relieves the customer of the typical headaches of recruiting, screening, and HR-related issues, there still are some “lifehacks” to keep in mind when building the team. Following these, and understanding the general process, can help maximize the benefits of the chosen collaboration model.
Let’s go through the major stages in the process.
№1. Communicating Your Requirements
At the very start, when tasking the service provider with finding the right people, it is a good idea to be meticulous about the requirements, and preferably formalize and document them as clearly as possible, with first- and second-level priorities. These requirements naturally include the tech stack – the languages, platforms, frameworks and other technologies, as well as some background information about the project and the industry. The latter is important, as it allows the provider to pick the best candidates with experience in the given field (e.g. developing health apps, or fintech), rather than just knowledge of, say, Python, React.js, or C#.
Additionally, it is a smart move to provide information about the company culture, values, communication habits and other details, so that the screening process will account for them, too.
№2. Interviewing the Candidates
The process of searching, contacting, and screening the candidates is the job for the provider’s team, and also includes the initial interviewing. The result of these efforts is a short list of the most suitable candidates that the customer reviews and picks the “cream of the cream”.
Then the candidates are interviewed by the customer, to ensure the optimal fit in terms of both skills (hard and soft skills alike), and the general “human factor” criteria: willingness to work within the corporate culture, psychological qualities and so on – anything that the client considers important.
In fact, there are two onboardings – one by the provider, covering aspects like payroll, equipment, benefits, and so on; and another one done by the customer – that is, onboarding for the project itself.
During this stage, it is advised to set up and explain processes and roles very clearly, establishing firm routines and practices for the team to be able to start working as soon as possible. Another good idea is to identify what information about the company in general is important for the dedicated team to know, what people from in-house teams they will need to cooperate with, and so on.
The actual kick-off can be done in the form of a meeting (like a video call) or a series of meetings. These can contain a recap of the most important points from the onboarding stage. It is also a good practice to establish and initiate the routine for communication and monitoring that will be convenient for everyone. For example, setting catch-up calls and other meetings in such a way as to consider the different time zones can increase the productivity of the team by making communication non-disruptive.
№5. Maintaining the Team
Even when the team is up and running, there still is room for improvement – after all, it is one of the advantages of the dedicated team model that you as a client can tinker with adjustments and adaptations to perfect the collaboration paradigm. Regular surveying can do the trick and bring up some aspects that could not be planned in advance.
How Does MWDN Hire a Dedicated Team?
At MWDN, we have extensive expertise in software development outstaffing, and setting up dedicated teams is one of the main points of focus for us. We start by providing a short consultation with the customer to ensure complete understanding of what is required, and then go through the entire process, from identifying, contacting, pre-screening and interviewing the candidates to legal, operational, and other support, including competence development and benefits management, as well as other HR processes like team building and performance reviews.
We draw from multiple talent pools, primarily in Ukraine and Israel, while specialists in our teams are found in different locations. You can contact us at any time to discuss building a dedicated team for your project and extend your capacities with the appropriate talent.