There are many ways to get a software solution for your organization: order services on a turnkey basis, buy a boxed solution, or even assemble it on a constructor. Relatively recently, a new model has appeared, which is called a dedicated development team.
This is an ideal option for businesspeople who want to control the process personally but are not interested in employing staff. Next, we will talk in detail about the features of the model and show several mistakes that are often made when hiring.
Dedicated Software Development Team: Definition, Types, Skills
This is a collaboration with a third-party team outside the client’s office, mandatory on a long-term basis. The composition of the team is formed in accordance with the area of tasks that the client seeks to solve.
Types of dedicated teams by work area:
- Designers: user interface design. UI and UX are two different profiles: one is about visual performance, other is about creating an interactive experience. These skills can be combined by a UI/UX designer, which should be considered.
- Developers: frontend and backend. A full-stack specialist understands both directions.
- QA: fixing bugs in the solution. The tester makes a significant contribution to improving the workflow.
- DevOps: automate tasks related to setup and deployment. An engineer is familiar with both programming and infrastructure.
- Analysts: define requirements. This is an intermediate link between developers and a customer.
- Project managers: coordinating the actions of specialists to achieve goals. A manager supervises the team (or several teams).
If it concerns a specific work area, you can involve one or more performers from a specific field. If you need to create a full-fledged project from scratch, you will need different skills. Therefore, the team is formed of all the above specialists.
Team structure is divided into roles:
- Main: developer, designer, tester. They work in sync to create a stable product that fully meets the client’s expectations.
- Additional: DevOps, business analyst, project manager, product manager, scrum master. The field of activity lies a little aside in relation to product development. In fact, they create optimal conditions for faster work and synchronize different performers.
Dedicated specialist soft skills:
- Self-confidence: the #1 skill for a participant in a large project. Self-confident performers form a strong and cohesive team.
- Responsibility: awareness of personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of tasks.
- Self-discipline: the desire to work for the result and competently organize the work process, even without the manager’s influence.
- Decision making: the ability to act quickly and coherently in complex cases, making profitable decisions.
The effectiveness of such a team is high in relation to long-term projects. Although we emphasized this at the beginning, now we want to underline it. Agree that hiring an entire team to perform a one-time task is impractical and financially unprofitable.
Another thing is if you have a long-term expensive project, the work on which you want to manage personally. Here the question may arise: why not use your own resources and not involve the staff in the project? It’s time to draw a parallel with In-House.
Dedicated Development Team vs In-house Team
You can answer the above question yourself, simply by calculating how much time it will take to hire staff: search, paperwork, adaptation … Add numerous financial costs: maintaining a large staff, renting additional premises, buying equipment, paying software licenses, etc.
But what if the staff already has the right specialists? We note right away that this is a rarity: in most cases, the company does not have enough skills to perform the entire range of tasks. But even if the staff is complete, employees are likely already busy with other tasks that are no less important for the business.
So, to dot the “i”, we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both models.
skills are selected specifically for the project and are 100% consistent with the client’s requirements.
Team prefers large orders to small projects with small budgets and deadlines.
administrative, personnel, social and tax issues on the contractor’s side.
work on the client’s terms and quickly adapt to new tasks.
|Access to powerful resources:
the latest technology and licensed software of the highest standard.
a complete set of documents, legal security of both parties.
personal acquaintance with the technical team and direct communication.
|Building a team from scratch:
a long hiring process – from finding skills to training and adaptation.
distribution of tasks, control, and discussion of problems live.
|The need for a stable workload:
a fixed salary, regardless of task availability.
|Team as part of the company:
employees have a deep understanding of the company’s goals.
monthly salary, taxes, holidays, medical insurance, equipment, and rent.
employment in the state on the terms of an employment contract.
|Lack of alternatives:
the problem is quickly replacing an employee who has gone on vacation or quit.
As you can see, in terms of flexibility, financial benefits, and matching skills to actual needs, the dedicated team wins. But don’t write off in-house. This is the best option for small projects for which a deep goal and task understanding of the company are important.
When to Hire a Dedicated Team?
This model works for both start-ups and established organizations. The team willingly takes on projects that are planned to be expanded in the future. Also, you cannot do without its participation if the product needs research and does not have clear requirements.
Who and when can benefit from the help of dedicated developers:
- A startup at an early stage of development sees no point in wasting time and money on finding and hiring specialists for the staff.
- An industry project requires the participation of specialists with experience in a narrow niche, which is problematic to find in the local market.
- A company is working on a large project (or several) and needs to expand the team.
- A product has the potential for development and scaling, and only a strong team can manage it.
- A company plans to release an innovative product, for which it needs access to new knowledge and technological resources.
- An idea needs careful research, and the project needs elaboration of requirements.
- A product needs to be changed or improved by adding completely new functionality.
- A large company plans to carry out digitization, which is problematic on its own.
For startups and small customers, this is a great opportunity to both create a working MVP and develop an already finished product. Medium-sized business chooses this collaboration model to make changes to the product and expand its functionality. Large enterprises attract dedicated specialists to update the tech stack, switch to a new one, create a product from scratch with subsequent scaling and digital transformation.
However, this approach is not universal. We recommend abandoning this model if you need help with a short or medium-term project. In the first case, a fixed price model is more suitable, in the second, T&M. If your time and budget are limited, but the scope of work and requirements are clear, you can also choose FP.
Each company, regardless of the business size and the field of activity, receives serious benefits from such cooperation.
5 Benefits of Working With Dedicated Software Developers for Business
- Cost-effectiveness. Finding and adding new employees to a team is always stressful for a business. Including a financial point of view. First, it is necessary to provide a fully equipped workplace. This entails the cost of renting an additional office, purchasing equipment, and licensed software.
Secondly, the maintenance of a large staff: from a monthly salary to social benefits. Cooperation with the team means that you are relieved of the burden of responsibility for administrative, personnel, and organizational issues, including the selection of the necessary resources to complete tasks.
- Control functions. Every businessperson would like to control and manage their own work processes, especially remotely. For freelancing, this could be a problem, but everything is much simpler. The rights and responsibilities of the customer and the contractor are discussed onshore and documented.
So, you have every right to control the choice of specialists for your project, choose management methods, establish a workflow, evaluate performance, and track progress. Basically, you get the same level of control as you would with an in-house team.
- Budget Transparency. When it comes to money, things are often rosy only at the beginning. Then there are pitfalls that were invisible at the start. This model is valued because you, as a customer, get full transparency in financial relationships. Even at the stage of negotiating terms, the team provides an estimate of costs.
Your company knows exactly what it pays for because it can see the volume of tasks and track their progress. This not only simplifies budget planning but also strengthens the client-customer relationship.
- Continuous Integration. To strengthen a product’s position in the market, it is necessary to develop it constantly: add new features and improve existing ones. This is especially important for highly competitive industries such as B2C e-commerce. For this industry, UX plays a big role in generating conversions, and therefore it needs to be constantly developed and adapted to new requirements.
The help of dedicated professionals is priceless for projects that require growth over time. To move the product to a new stage of development and establish technical support, the owner does not need to form another team. The skills of those specialists who were hired at the very beginning are enough.
- Focused Approach. Ideally, a team should focus on a single project. This allows to dive deep into the work and distribute the workload correctly. But this cannot always be achieved. For example, when you work with a freelancer without signing a contract, you cannot be sure that they are not working on your competitor’s product too. Dedicated software development team is focused specifically on your project.
Specialists work without distractions because they do not switch between different projects and tasks. Thanks to this, they can generate extraordinary ideas and implement them without haste. After the product is developed, specialists can easily take patronage over it in implementing new features and technical support.
Another major benefit for the business owner is choosing the type of cooperation.
3 Types of Cooperation With a Dedicated Software Development Team
A team consisting of all subject matter experts required for the project is placed at your disposal. They provide a full range of services: business analysis, design, development, testing, deployment automation, management, and coordination. You just have to control the workflow and give new tasks.
When it comes to a specific area of tasks, you can involve one or more specialists of the appropriate profile. Let’s say you need to delegate the tasks of testing functionality. Then it makes sense to turn to QA on-demand.
Your product is ready and requires maintenance? You can hire a separate sprint team that includes developers, QA, a manager, and support staff. These specialists will take on all the tasks of technical support and scaling of the finished product.
We have considered in detail the features of the model. It’s time to talk directly about hiring: where to look and how to hire performers.
Where to Find Dedicated Software Developers?
In the digital age, you have a thousand opportunities to find the people your business needs. But are they all reliable and lead to success? We have identified two popular methods.
Where to look for dedicated performers:
Freelance. Freelancers are, in fact, independent professionals who work on the principle of “I am my own boss”. You can find them on freelance sites like Upwork, message boards, IT conferences.
- Pros: the best option for one-time tasks and small projects, a large selection of performers, relatively low prices.
- Cons: the risk of encountering a fraudster and a dishonest employee, lack of contractual relations, difficulty in checking skills.
Offshore. Offshore companies also work remotely, but they are focused on legally legitimate relationships. Clutch, GoodFirms, TopDevelopers platforms are suitable for search, where experienced companies from all over the world are represented.
- Pros: detailed customer reviews, no unexpected costs, wide talent pool, high reputation, lower hourly rates in certain regions.
- Cons: language and time differences. These barriers are easily eliminated through competent management.
Let us clarify that further, we will talk about hiring teams from offshore companies since this method has many important nuances.
How to Hire Dedicated Software Developers: 6 Simple Steps
- Formulate a goal
You must know at the start who you are looking for and for what tasks. Create an MVP? Consider design? Improve functionality? How about 24/7 product service? The specifics of the tasks will determine how many performers will be needed for the project and what hard skills they should have. Also, at this stage, it is advisable to decide on the budget to understand your financial possibilities for hiring.
- Choose the format of cooperation
Earlier, you decided on the skills, which means it won’t take long to choose the format of cooperation.
Everything is simple here. If you are interested in development from scratch, you`d better choose a full-service cooperation model. In case you need to solve several tasks from one area, the on-demand model would be a great fit. Does the finished product need support? Choose maintenance format.
- Research the market
This is an important step that should not be rushed. Do thorough market research, starting with the previously mentioned aggregators Clutch, Goodfirm, etc. These platforms are good because they give a complete understanding of the company’s activities: scale, location with the head office, branch locations, and so on.
In addition to information about the business, you should study customer reviews and look at previously completed projects. Every self-respecting company has a portfolio describing the work and results within each order.Make a list of potential performers and choose the one that best suits your requirements. The choice can also be made after interviewing each team.
- Conduct an interview
An interview is a great opportunity not only to communicate in person, but also to evaluate the skills of the performers. In order for the interview to be successful, you should choose a reliable and convenient communication channel for both parties.
Typically, a remote interview takes place in two stages in different channels:
- Audio communication: 20-30 minutes. Acquaintance and discussion of common issues. Your task: to tell about the company, business goals, requirements, required skills. The task of the performer/team: to answer basic questions about work experience, education, describe their expectations. Result: you and the candidate will form a first impression of each other and arrange a video interview.
- Video call: getting to know each other better and checking skills. Your task: to evaluate technical skills (for testing, you can involve a full-time employee with the appropriate education and experience or an independent expert) and soft skills. The task of the performer/team: to prove the quality of their services.
You can interview several teams from different companies, gradually reducing the list of candidates.
- Choose a partner company
The paperwork confirms the choice of a particular company. It is important to make sure that the contract contains all the necessary data: a complete list of services/tasks, terms, cost, payment procedure and delivery procedure. Therefore, it is recommended to invite a lawyer familiar with the specifics of IT to sign the contract. The help of a lawyer will also be useful in compiling the NDA. This document will be a guarantee of protection of your product idea.
- Establish management
You should take control from day one. Set up KPIs to make it easy to track progress in each task area. By the way, we recommend choosing proven tools such as Trello, Kantree, Jira to monitor tasks.
Decide on a management methodology:
- Waterfall: doing tasks one by one when the end goal is clear.
- Agile: re-evaluate the project as you work to adapt to new requirements.
- Scrum: cycles (sprints) for 2 weeks, allowing frequent review of work and changes.
- Kanban: visualization of tasks and goals when consistency is important.
How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes?
Do you want to hire a strong team to which you can delegate your success? Then you should try not to join the ranks of companies that make mistakes. We will tell you what these mistakes are and how to avoid them.
- Lack of purpose. Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? But this is one of the most common mistakes. Many companies are looking for performers without clear requirements for them and without understanding the scope of tasks. This leads to the fact that the company hires 2-3 specialists, but it is not enough. Or, conversely, assembles a larger team than the project requires.
How to avoid: Formulate a goal and outline the range of tasks to be delegated. Decide on a budget, so you understand your options.
- Emphasis on low cost. Sometimes a company chooses the performer who offers the lowest price. The consequences are disappointing. As a rule, the mistakes of unsuccessful cooperation are corrected by professionals and already at a higher cost.
How to avoid: a low price is a warning sign. The contractor wants to draw attention to their services but cannot do it any other way: most likely, they do not have a decent portfolio and feedback from satisfied customers. Choose by examples of work, reviews, and recommendations on resources that you can trust.
- Neglect of checking. Not all companies test candidates. By the way, this would help avoid the previous mistake. Not wanting to take the time for testing leads to hiring inexperienced professionals who have embellished their skills.
How to avoid: Plan the interview and testing so that you learn everything about the candidate. Bring in an independent IT expert or in-house employee who is good in the industry.
- Focus on hard skills. Sometimes the interviewer is so keen on testing hard skills that they forget about soft skills. And it’s too bad because they help you work in a team, bear responsibility, and solve problems.
How to avoid: During the interview, set aside time to ask questions about teamwork skills, workflow organization, and approach to problem-solving.
- Underestimating deadlines. The desire to achieve a goal as quickly as possible can play a cruel trick. Some companies misjudge the volume and complexity of tasks and plan a short- or medium-term project. But then the timeline expands, and the goal gets further away. It turns out that the project requires more time.
How to avoid: Consult with a product development expert about the scope of tasks and deadlines, and only then move on to hiring.
Hiring a Dedicated Software Development Team can be a daunting task. But if you do everything right and avoid the pitfalls, you will be pleasantly surprised with the result. Professionals will do everything to achieve your goal quickly and without affecting quality.