Dedicated Team Model for Your Business: Definition, Approach and Benefits
Dedicated Team Model for Your Business: Definition, Approach and Benefits
Dedicated team model is a reliable and cost-efficient approach to outsource a whole or a part of product development. It works well for different types of projects from scaling large web platforms to building an MVP from scratch.
In this article, we give a common dedicated team definition and talk about the basics of this approach, outline the key benefits of a dedicated team model, and give a quick walk-through of what to expect at the start should you decide to go for it.
A dedicated software development team is a group of remote specialists that you hire to design and build a new system or contribute to your ongoing project. This team is officially employed by your tech vendor and, in most cases, works exclusively on your project. As a rule, a dedicated team includes different roles (e.g. UX/UI designers, project managers, BA, frontend and developers, data scientists, QA and DevOps), and its composition may be tailored depending on changing project requirements and phase.
Unlike the staff augmentation strategy, which basically means adding talent to an existing tech department to fill in a skill gap or scale up the team, dedicated software development team model is a more holistic and business-oriented approach. As the name suggests, the team is dedicated to one client and has one set of business objectives in mind — your business objectives.
Moreover, this approach is often more time-efficient compared to hiring an in-house team locally. It usually takes less time for a vendor to put together a cross-functional team using their resources than for a company to recruit, onboard and train a full-on in-house team.
The list of benefits doesn’t end here.
Cost-efficiency is a principal motivation for outsourcing to a remote service provider, and this advantage works on two levels.
First, there’s a significant variance in rates and salary expectations in different locations, even when we talk top-tier engineers only. Companies that operate in the regions where the rates for skilled tech talent are the highest (the U.S., U.K., Western Europe, Australia) can cut their expenses tangibly by delegating projects to dedicated development teams in proven outsourcing locations (Poland, Czech Republic, Belarus).
Secondly, this approach allows a company to avoid legal and administrative costs since all employment expenses, including employee benefits, infrastructure, equipment, licenses, office and workspace setup lay on the vendor.
Transparent pricing model
This approach has a straightforward pricing model. Typically, you will pay the same amount for a selected period, e.g. monthly, and cover team’s salaries and provider’s fee. The amount is predictable — it depends on team composition, tech stack, complexity. It is generally tied to provider’s rates and agreed upon at the beginning of cooperation. Provider’s fee includes infrastructure costs.
Flexible team composition
Flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of building a dedicated team with a tech partner. It is also often the reason why companies that originally don’t have in-house teams or access to skilled talent prefer this model. The thing is, in many cases, clients don’t even know what specialists they need.
From the very beginning, a vendor, having studied project requirements and goals, suggests an optimal dedicated project team structure — e.g., a project manager, UX/UI designer, frontend developer, backend developer and a QA specialist. Classic. However, as the project evolves, requirements may change and call for new competence or extra manpower. In this case, a service provider can leverage their resources and quickly ramp up the team.
This is another reason why many companies that have neither technology expertise nor experience in managing IT projects opt for this model. Not only can a vendor put together a full-stack team but also lead and coordinate it every step of the way. In practice, dedicated product teams can take over a project at an idea stage, select technologies, work out an effective development strategy, implement it and deliver a functional product in the end.
It is equally true for the companies that do, in fact, have project management on their end and prefer to have more control over the progress and overall implementation. It’s not unusual, for example, to have a product team and tech leadership on a client’s side and a project manager or Scrum master in a dedicated team.
Tailored process and communication standards
One of the most important dedicated project team advantages is adaptability in terms of process and communication. It’s worth mentioning that if you work with a vendor who has been on a market for some time, you can expect the team to already have a time-proven process and standards in place. However, this doesn’t mean that these settings will be imposed on you.
On the contrary, your service provider will work out a communication framework and process that would sit well with your practices and needs. Since your dedicated team works in large part on their own and a great deal of communication is on a project manager or Scrum master, communication inefficiency becomes inexistent even if you work in different time zones.
Even though we mention it in the end, this is perhaps one of the most attractive dedicated development team benefits from a business perspective, especially for long-term projects.
As a rule, a dedicated team works on your project and your project only. Naturally, a fully invested team develops a deep understanding of your business and domain, knows the market, competition and technologies inside and out. It impacts performance, speed and overall product strategy.
Example: A dedicated application development team at Digiteum has been working on a web system for Printique photo lab for more than a decade. We set off with only 4 engineers responsible for the redesign and development of a web application for photographers and soon grew into a solid dedicated team of 20+ engineers continuously working on the client’s digital infrastructure and services. Over these years, the team has gained such profound domain expertise that allows us to not only ensure the client’s superior online services and technical excellence but also drive innovation and contribute to the company's evolution and business growth.
We have already mentioned several use cases when we were talking about the benefits of dedicated team model. Now let’s look into more detail and learn when dedicated project teams work best and why.
Long-term continuous projects
This approach is perfect for long scalable projects that always evolve and may go on indefinitely. Good examples are SaaS platforms or large business web application development projects that require continuous support, enhancement and adding new features. Such projects are usually stretched in time, so even partial outsourcing to a dedicated team brings significant savings in the long run.
No time/resources to build an in-house team
A dedicated team is a viable substitute to an in-house team for companies that can’t afford or simply don’t have time to hire developers locally. On average, it may take more than three months to put together a full-stack team compared to up to one month offered by a vendor. Not to mention expenses for recruiting, onboarding, and infrastructure setup. A reliable tech partner can solve these and other problems for emerging startups and established companies that are facing time constraints.
No tech or management expertise in-house
Dedicated development team model works well for non-tech executives and companies that lack experience in managing and leading software projects. In these cases, tech partners staff their teams with specialists who would lead and fully coordinate the project.
Despite all the benefits of dedicated development team, it is not a one-stop solution. Sometimes this strategy won’t beat the advantages of an in-house team. And in other cases, it won’t provide sufficient savings compared to other outsourcing strategies. Here are a few examples:
- Remote work disrupts the project. Sometimes remote collaboration, even though possible thanks to the abundant tools and communication platforms, disrupts the working process and doesn’t let the project progress at the pace it could. This is a case for the projects that require the development team to physically be on-site, collaborate with domain experts regularly, or work with unique hardware that cannot be shipped to other locations.
- A domain is too complex. A handful of projects cannot be delegated to outside providers because domain knowledge transfer is too hard or risky (e.g. relates to national security).
- A project is small and has a tight budget. A dedicated team strategy is usually not the best choice for small 2-3 months projects because of low budget and time constraints.
Let’s assume you consider this model of collaboration and are ready to make the first step. How do you start and what should you expect from your vendor?
Here’s a quick walk-through of the process from our decade-long experience as an IT service provider:
How we build a dedicated team at Digiteum
Step 1. Assess requirements
The first thing we do when we receive a request and talk about a project idea is to assess its potential and feasibility. As a technology provider, we need to understand if an idea is implementable within a given timeframe and, if yes, what it will take to bring it to life. To get all the necessary information, we conduct a series of Q&A sessions with a client and gather requirements, learn about limitations and primary objectives.
Step 2. Define scope and required resources
At this step, we engage BA and project managers as well as leading tech specialists to estimate resources, define scope and timeline, analyze risks and work out team composition.
Step 3. Set up the team
Once we have a go, we start setting up the team depending on the project schedule and roadmap. Normally, we can kick off from the research and design phase within only 2 weeks and put together a basic cross-functional team in as soon as 1 month.
Step 4. Scale up or down on demand
When we work on dynamic projects with changing requirements and scope, we often need to modify team composition, add competence and engage new specialists to cover ongoing needs. Depending on the exact needs, we either engage available engineers we have onboard or conduct interviews and recruit new talent specifically for the project.
Dedicated team structure
Team composition is determined by project phase, scope, tech stack, volume, management model, and overall development strategy. Generally, a long-standing technology provider can set up a team with diverse competencies and roles. Depending on project specifics and requirements for dedicated developers, team structure may include the following roles:
- Business: Business Analyst, UX Expert
- Design: UX/UI Designer, Product Designer
- Management: Project Manager, Scrum Master, Product Owner
- Architecture: Software Architect, Lead Engineer, Tech Lead
- Engineering: Frontend, Backend and Full-Stack Engineers
- Big data: Data Engineer, Data Scientist
- Quality Assurance: Manual and Automation QA Engineers
- Infrastructure: DevOps Engineer
Advantages of a dedicated team approach at Digiteum
Digiteum is a trusted technology provider for companies like Oxford Languages, Printique and Diaceutics. Over the years of working with enterprise-level brands and perspective startups, we have worked out a solid approach to building reliable and performing dedicated software teams.
“Business understanding creates great software”
All our specialists are trained to keep a strong focus on the client’s business goals and perform with short-term and long-term business objectives in mind. This helps us suggest better solutions, hand-pick technologies and tailor strategies that would bring more value from a business perspective.
Pragmatic approach and timely delivery
Fast time to market is crucial for many projects. We believe that it’s essential not to overpromise but to set realistic expectations and always deliver on time.
High quality of delivery
High quality of output and smooth deliveries are the pillars of trust between a client and a vendor. This is why we promote the culture of tech excellence and pixel-perfect design among our specialists and make sure it translates into the quality of the software we build.
Dedicated teams model is a practical alternative to an in-house software team. It is a cost-efficient solution for companies looking for long-term tech partnerships and a proven strategy to outsource end-to-end software product development.
If you need to get a dedicated team of developers and are searching for a reliable offshore or nearshore service provider, contact our team. We are a cross-functional full-stack software development company with a wide range of skills across web development, mobile (iOS, Android and cross-platform), IoT software and big data development.
- Faster time-to-market
- Focus on business goals
- Flexible team composition
- Easy scale-up
- Access to tech talent
- We start with a series of Q&As and workshops with the client to gather requirements, set a timeframe and assess project potential and feasibility.
- Define scope, estimate resources and work out team composition.
- Set up the team depending on project roadmap and timeline.
- Ramp up/down on demand as the project evolves and requires additional resources/new competencies.