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The Complete Team Extension Guide

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Development
25 January
15 min read
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The demand for software team extension is more significant in today’s fast-changing and highly competitive technology-driven business world. Quick access to the proper technical knowledge not only allows you to respond quickly to the market changes but also helps your company accomplish key development projects on time. So, here we’ll discuss a team extension as a service.

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Created at Fireart

Types of engagement models

Development team extension model involves a much broader partnership than just expanding the team for development. It also covers a wide range of software-related services such as business analysis, CTO as a service, design, UI/UX design, quality assurance, project management, support and maintenance.  You may also try IT Staff Augmentation or a remote dedicated team.

More often the dedicated team model is a type of outsourcing where you hire an entire remote extended development team and outsource the project to them. The outsourcing company you choose has a dedicated team, but it also includes a project manager, which reduces the need for hands-on management by the client.

The teams are hired on the basis of the Fixed-Price Model or The Time & Material Model more often than other cooperation models.

Also, read about Customer-Centric Company: Key Features & Examples.

What is the team extension model?

With a team expansion model, your company can minimize the costs associated with hiring, payroll, and project management. This model is also scalable – it’s much easier to scale a development team than an employment contract. In addition, this complete shift of responsibility allows you to cut down on HR and employment formalities and focus on your core business.

Team extension vs dedicated team: What`s the difference?

A dedicated development team is going to be one of the business approaches to software and web application development. This kind of outsourcing is closely related to the Time & Material collaboration model.

Unlike team extension, in the dedicated team model, the software service provider is deeply involved in the development process, so their incentive to achieve the best possible outcome is higher. In fact, the software provider acts more like a close and trusted partner than a temporary service provider.

The dedicated team model includes the client, the outsourcing company, employees, a dedicated testing team, and the developers. The outsourcing company acts as an intermediary and selects employees who can complete the project assigned by the client and fully satisfy their requirements. This model is typically used for long-term projects where requirements are unclear and change frequently.

So, team extension is a type of outsourcing of software development services in which a software company provides its specialists in the form of external hiring, usually on the basis of a contract of time and materials. It is similar to the dedicated team model; the only difference is that it is not a standalone team of its own, but an extension of an existing internal team.

In fact, the relationship with such developers is not as a third party but as a specialized group, part of a larger whole that complements the main working group of the company. This means an entirely different dynamic from the role of the isolated contractor.

Unlike outsourcing with a dedicated team and the Time & Materials collaboration model, in which the client usually deals with the project manager, extension approach, in most cases, ensures that communication takes place directly between team members. The staff communicates directly with the rest of the company’s internal team. This means that the extended team is fully integrated into the overall workflow, which increases the speed of work and simplifies communication between all the process participants.

Benefits of team extension cooperation model

The extension has many advantages, but they all require high-quality communication. From finding the right candidates to motivating your team, the benefits below will help you and your team make the right decisions and get the best results. Having an extended team leads to a number of benefits:

1)Access to international experts

Effectiveness of your projects depends on the expertise. With extended teams you get the expert in any field from an international labour market and your company doesn’t have to rely entirely on local experts. To survey the best talents on the international market and find exactly the right professional is always a benefit.

2) Team synchronization

Synchronization of the main development team and the extended part of the team is the biggest advantage. Given how important it is to keep everyone involved in the process on the same wavelength, synchronization is critical when it comes to long-term, multi-stage projects with ever-changing requirements and goals. With other outsourcing models, this process can be time-consuming due to intermediary communication or long iteration periods. The extension model provides a more dynamic development process with increased scalability and consistency of effort.

3) Effective communication

Communication is probably the hardest thing about any type of outsourcing. All people sometimes misunderstand each other, especially when information is passed through several people in a chain. The involvement of extension optimizes the interaction between all participants in the process, eliminating intermediaries. Due to the fact that team members can communicate with each other directly on agile terms.

4) Clear and well-organized payment model

What both the vendor and the teams like the most is a transparent communication and well organised payment structure applied with augmented tem cooperation. Since proper budgeting process lets an organization plan and prepare its budgets for a set period, in dedicated teams the terms for that remain very flexible. Efficient control of expenditure is also a plus.

5) Transparent and flexible management

In fact, a number of benefits may arise from the close agile collaboration between the augmented team and the company’s core team:

  • Transparency around the project & terms,
  • Continuous and productive communication,
  • Shared responsibility  & leadership,
  • Improved productivity.

Fostering an agile culture in any organization is an ongoing process of encouraging behavioural norms to develop an agile mind-set and a great corporate culture for dedicated teams. Clarity and transparency are also at a higher level when using teams for extension, because you, as a client or product owner, have more information about the progress of the project.

Another benefit is the sense of shared responsibility between core developers and extended team developers.

6) Shared responsibility

A consequence of increased accountability is that participants share responsibility for the overall quality of the development process and its subsequent outcomes. Shared responsibility promotes alignment between core and extended teams. Everyone acts under the motto: we are in this together, which contributes to more productive and well-coordinated teamwork. This creates a more hands-on collaborative approach that increases the team’s overall scalability, which leads to the next point.

7) Scalability

One of the most important elements for managing any development team is its ability to scale with the current needs of the project. There are times when you need to expand your team but don’t have the time or inclination to handle all the interviews and administrative work. In addition, it happens that you need specialists whose services are either expensive or difficult to find. This is where extension is the most effective solution, allowing you to add members to your team by focusing on core business needs.

8) Increasing business visibility

Giving your developers more visibility into the business is another way to ensure that your technical teams can bring a deeper understanding of what needs to be done to achieve mutual business goals. With team expansion, you don’t overwhelm your current developers with additional tasks to complete (which prevents the risk of burnout), but the work doesn’t stop either.

9) Moving on to cross-functionality

Sometimes the best way to get more out of your product development team is to split them up and put them into cross-functional teams that bring together talent from different aspects of the business. This is especially effective if you find projects that are stalling due to communication issues between the departments.

Software development team extension challenges

Software development team extension is a great idea for your business, but you should mind some challenges too.

1/Empowering your engineers

Engineering teams can often find themselves at odds with the management, business development, or marketing of any project – often because they are seen as serving others, rather than like-minded business partners with specific skills.

2/Lack of ideas and knowledge

Due to staff growth, software developers may lack knowledge about your company, your projects and products, your previous work experience or industry knowledge. Therefore, they cannot be expected to be as active or innovative as regular employees.

3/Trust issues

Long-term relations need trust. Looking for a reliable software development partner and an extended development team to hire you will definitely mention trust as the ultimate factor for making the final decision.  To reach out to a credible partner who is capable of seamlessly extending your team without any hidden motive and deliver the project on budget and in time may be challenging.

4/Understanding

First you need to understand that hiring a team extension is a trade-off, which will not always be the best way to develop software products. The best option is to select programmers for your own development team. If you can’t find programmers or create your own team is too expensive for you, a business approach, attracting a dedicated development team from aside can be a great way out.

Rules for integrating an extended development team into your project

An extended software development team may be integrated easily if follow a couple of simple rules.

1.     Provide multiple communication avenues

From the on boarding period for developers to accepting their roles and then  being able to complete their sprints independently there should be clear and straight communication. This way they will be familiar with the business, the code they are working on, and how your team actually operates.

2.     Make it a close partnership

Without a solid foundation of mutual trust and understanding, there can be no fruitful business partnership. By outsourcing a dedicated development team, companies usually establish long-term and permanent business relationships. A close partnership allows you to better understand the real needs and challenges your company faces. Without trust, it is difficult to avoid frustration and discomfort in everyday work.

3.     To err is human

No one‘s perfect, neither your team is. Processes remind us that all we are dealing mostly with people, and they are not programming machines, and when they err we need to provide an ethical and supportive path to a problem solution. Organization should also allow the team to be part of the key decision-making process, provide solicit feedback and arrange brainstorming sessions on a regular basis to prevent any further mistakes.

4.     Practice inclusion

The point is that when new people enter your usual circle they’re strangers. In-house team or in-house plus your extended development team, and there will be the collection of people who still need to be the one, a unit and the team as if it was forever. So here it’s wise to make sure that each member needs to feel a part of the team, either of them.

How to determine the correct extended command structure?

To create an ideal extended team, you need to create a basis for effective and transparent communication, form a management bridge that will further connect both the in-house team and the members of your new remote team and make estimations. Then it will be easier to define the type of the structure that will perfectly fit your business as per the current business goals and other requirements.

Analyze

Clearly define project goals and criteria. It’s important to understand that extended teams are most well suited for the following types of projects:

  • Long-term multi-component projects, with a changing set of requirements, when you do not have specialists in all necessary technologies on hand.
  • Projects that may have a side project attached to them and you don’t want your core team to work on it and be distracted.
  • Ongoing projects that are gradually expanding and require more manpower for further development.

The main difference between this model and others is how communication is organized between the participants in the process. Understanding of goals and everything is the key.

The clients must have an idea of what exactly they want. They must determine the number of employees required for his project and what technical skills they need to have.

Prepare

So, after researching with the outsourcing models, it’s time to point out the one that is often the most convenient if you already have developers on your own team and prepare the team for integration. You may ask an outsourcing company for assistant in picking the staff and alignment all the process participants.

Select candidates

The contractor hires or organizes a special team that meets the requirements of the project. The team, together with the client, agree on the workload and requirements of the project for a specified amount of time. Specialists start work during their usual working hours.

The client normally has full management control over the project and the team, while the team is focused on delivering the best results.

Scale

Both fast-growing start-ups with 10 to 250 employees and small groups of technical workers rapidly growing within large organizations can experience drops in productivity and communication difficulties. Scaling and maintenance on-demand are a great way to achieve perspectives in team cooperation. Traditionally, the tasks associated with expanding a business are solved by hiring new employees. But increasing the number of staff often only escalates. Team extension may become a solution for effective scaling and your team communication improvements.

Adjust management

It’s essential to form a management bridge between the teams that are newly formed. All this brings much more trust to the developers and eliminates the doubts that sometimes arise when outsourcing development. Transparency of and management models creates productive team dynamics based on superior accountability. This can be a critical factor in maintaining a healthy and skilled workflow across the entire team further on.

Keep them motivated by giving them interesting assignments and providing learning and career opportunities. Keep teams focused on priority projects. Provide them with the resources they need to perform their tasks well.

Why choose Fireart as your team extension partner?

The extended team model may fit you the best as the tactic if you need to get your startup fast into the market. By means of using the ideal extended team model you are able to grow your business capabilities without eating the margin. To respond quickly to the market changes and move by the competition will be the best way. To ensure smoothness and efficiency, you will need a wise advisor. And that’s Fireart digital product agency because it has years of practice and a reputation.

If you have doubts or concerns about staffing services, it is best to seek specialist advice. At Fireart Studio you can get a free consultation from our experts. Describe your project, requirements, time and budget constraints, and what level of flexibility you expect, and our team will select the most convenient and cost-effective model for you.

Software development team extension services cost

The model costs may vary depending on multiple factors. Only relying on the extension vendor’s location, the cost may vary from $5,000 to $25,000 per month. When digitalization is pressuring business owners, making them to hire extra IT experts for full-time positions long term as well as for short-term projects, owners are seeking for optimal costs. On average, it may be $100 per hour from freelance platforms. The main idea behind the software team extension model cost from a reliable partner is outsourcing tech specialists for any company that will meet all specific requirements at the most convenient price. And Fireart can set it up. Depending on the ideal pricing model in your individual case, your new team will be accomplished and the project launched.

Update:

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