Dedicated Team vs. Extended Team

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven business world, the ability to get the IT resources you need when you need them is essential. Not only does fast access to the right expert technical talent allow you to nimbly respond to customers and changes to business requirements, but it can also help your company stay on budget and on time with key development projects.

That’s why outsourcing, outstaffing, and IT staff augmentation have become increasingly popular among organizations of all sizes. In fact, the total contract value of IT outsourcing has already reached $62 billion while the IT outsourcing market size is projected to grow by $409 billion by 2022.

To get the most out of your outsourcing budget, it’s important to choose the right model for extending your team. In this article, we’ll look at the two main options along with their pros and cons, and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

Dedicated Development Team vs. Extended Development Team

There are two basic models for IT outsourcing:

Dedicated Development Team

A dedicated development team operates as a separate entity from your internal team. The service provider has all the dedicated personnel required to help you complete tasks and projects over an extended period of time.

A dedicated development team for hire is ideal for complex projects that:

  • Are high-volume and have a long-term development timeline.
  • Involve a variety of resources, such as designers, project managers, and software testers.
  • Require end-to-end engagement, from discovery and requirements gathering to testing and launch.

Extended Development Team

An extended development team is an extension of your in-house team. The resources are usually hired to perform non-core IT tasks or fill skill gaps. There’s typically a close partnership between the internal and extended teams.

This model is most effective for:

  • Filling skill gaps, particularly for one-time needs.
  • Ramping up development to meet an aggressive project timeline.
  • Adding “muscles” to a project within short notice.
  • Completing tasks that are backlogged.

The Pros and Cons of Dedicated Team vs. Extended Team

Understanding the pros and cons of each team extension model can help you decide which one is right for your business:

Dedicated Development Team Model

Pros:

  • The service provider will have an in-house project manager to orchestrate your projects, taking a majority of management responsibilities off your plate.
  • The team is fully dedicated to your project, so you can expect a cost-effective and cohesive solution.
  • It is a flexible, scalable, just-in-time solution that provides you with the necessary expertise and resources to meet specific needs.
  • It helps you reduce overhead costs associated with hiring and HR while maintaining complete control over the quality of the output.

Cons

  • Potential language, cultural, or time zone barriers if the dedicated team is located remotely.
  • Due to the more extensive ramp-up time required, it’s not an efficient solution for short-term projects.
  • When you hire dedicated development team members abroad, incremental management may be required to successfully communicate with them.

Extended Development Team Model

Pros

  • It offers a nimble and cost-effective solution for adding resources to short-term projects or filling skill gaps in one-off tasks.
  • It provides the temporary resources the in-house team needs to meet deadlines and milestones without adding overhead.
  • It’s highly scalable so you can get the skillsets and resources as required by each project while keeping the cost down.

Cons

  • Management resources are required to oversee the remote team and coordinate communication.
  • Possible disruption when changes are made to core projects and the teams have to pivot.
  • Potential communication and collaboration challenges may arise if the external resources are not in sync with the in-house team.

How To Decide Which Team Extension Model Is Right For You?

Here are a couple of use cases to illustrate whether a dedicated team or an extended team is a better option:

  • If your team is already working on a larger product, such as launching an MVP, and you need additional team members to help meet an aggressive deadline, an extended development team model can give you quick access to the required resources.
  • If you need to develop a prototype for a startup based on a loose idea without hiring an in-house dev team so you can minimize overhead and better control the budget, a dedicated team model in which the service provider oversees end-to-end engagement from discovery to testing and launch will be more cost-efficient.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT tasks including saving time and money while still maintaining control. Using the right team extension model can help you optimize efficiency while remaining flexible and keeping the cost down, so you can stay competitive in today’s fast-changing business environment.

John Griffin

John is the CEO and co-founder of Spiral Scout, a software development company based in San Francisco, California.

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