Dedicated Team vs. Extended Team: What’s the Difference?

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Julia Sakovich , Author at Geomotiv
Reviewed by Alex Kharkauski, COO at Geomotiv
Published: Feb 5, 2024

Today, many businesses prefer working with professional software development agencies instead of expanding their in-house teams with new members. The business reality now is such that, in many cases, it is significantly more feasible to power your team with external specialists than to deal with all administrative and hiring procedures that can’t be omitted when you want to welcome new experts.

The software development industry is very sensitive to such demands and responds to them with different engagement models. Which one to opt for? This article will compare the IT team extension and the dedicated development team model. Our analysis will help you choose the most appropriate variant of outsourcing services to boost your company's growth.

Dedicated Team Model: How It Works and When to Use

The dedicated development team model is an approach to providing outsourcing software-related services. It presupposes that this team functions as a separate entity from your team.

Dedicated Development Team Model

In this case, developers work exclusively on a particular project in a full-time regime and report directly to the client.

At the same time, all the tasks related to finding appropriate specialists according to the provided requirements, hiring, etc., are the responsibility of your outsourcing partner. In other words, we can say that outsourcing companies fulfill the function of intermediaries between development teams and firms that use their services.

And you, as a client, can focus on the interaction with the team only on the questions of project progress, tasks assignments, and daily activities monitoring. As for developers, they also stay fully concentrated on your project, leading to increased productivity and quality of their work.

Let us assemble a dedicated development team for you! Share your requirements with us and let us do all the administrative work.

Dedicated Team Composition

The team's composition is shaped according to your needs and can be changed if your requirements are updated. Below, you can find the positions typically included in a dedicated team.

  • Software developers. These specialists will create the required functionality based on the provided requirements and the project’s goals. Following the needs of your project, your IT partner will find front-end, back-end, or full-stack developers with the relevant skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • UI/UX designers. These specialists are responsible for the look and feel of your future product. Based on your needs and the project’s tasks, they will create interfaces bearing in mind not only the questions of visual attractiveness but also the principles of user-friendliness.
  • QA engineers. Your product's quality and correct functioning will play a very important role in your project’s success. That’s why paying enough attention to such processes as testing and bug fixing is important. QA engineers will closely cooperate with developers to discover and address all tech issues and vulnerabilities before making your product available to end-users.
  • Project manager. This specialist will be responsible for creating a plan for the project realization, scheduling, allocating resources, assigning tasks, and tracking the progress. A project manager should deeply understand and clarify the project’s goals to all team members.
  • Business analyst. Business analysts should closely work with all stakeholders to deeply understand all the requirements and then help the team to make tech-related decisions based on business needs. Though these specialists usually are not directly involved in software product implementation, they have a task to capture new business requirements during the project realization and transfer this knowledge to the development team.

Find out how we created a dedicated team that worked on developing adtech solutions for our client.

Read the case study

Benefits of Working with a Dedicated Team

So, why do many companies today prefer dedicated teams to in-house development? Below, you can find just a couple of reasons for consideration:

benefits of the dedicated development team model
  • Possibility to save money on salaries. We should admit that outsourcing is one of the ways to reduce your expenses without losing the quality of the work done. You can work with tech specialists from different corners of the world. You can opt for the region with the most appealing rates. For example, while the rates of software developers in the US are comparatively high, many US-based companies work with offshore teams based in Eastern or Central Europe.
  • Possibility to save administrative costs. Working with a dedicated team, you do not need to rent a bigger office for your staff or to pay for additional energy and other resources.
  • Flexibility and scalability of the team. At any moment of the project realization, you can easily update the composition of your team. For example, if you see that you need additional labor resources, we can easily find experts with the required skills who will join your team. If you feel you can reduce the team size to optimize your costs, you do not need to take care of any administrative processes. As your outsourcing partner, we will do it for you.
  • Precise focus on your project. When you hire a dedicated team at Geomotiv, all administrative and HR processes will be our responsibility. You can fully concentrate on your project or other key business tasks.

It can be a good idea to hire developers following this model in the following cases:

  • when you have a complex project that requires specialists with niche knowledge, and it is pretty challenging to find such experts in your local labor market;
  • when you have a long-term project that presupposes regular updates and modernization;
  • when you need to hire a team that will include different skills and talents for your project realization, such as developers, testers, project managers, and designers;
  • when you expect the team’s full engagement, the team will stay focused on your project from the business requirement stage to the project launch stage.

Team Extension Model: When Should You Choose It?

Now we should proceed to the extended team meaning. The specificity of this model is clear from its name.

Extended team presupposes the extension of your in-house team with one or more IT experts who have specific skills required for your project.
Extended Team Model

We can say that this model is useful when you have a strong development team but need just to fill some skill gaps. Staff augmentation can be viewed as one of the forms of team extension.

When considering the extended team model, the specialists who can join your project are not only software developers. For an extended team of startups or bigger companies, you can hire testers, DevOps, UI/UX designers, data engineers, etc. It means that your extended tech development team can include any positions that you need.

Staff augmentation explained. Here is what you need to know to succeed in it.

Read now

Development Team Extension: The Best Time to Choose It

When is the extended software development team model the best choice for your company?

  • Need for a quick solution. Team extension services may become a good option when you need to fill some skill gaps, especially in case of just one-time needs.
  • Lack of inner resources. Consider the extension of your team when you need to streamline and speed up the development process with the help of additional labor resources.
  • Need for niche expertise. The extended software team model will help you when you are looking for some specific talents to deal with just one or a couple of short-term tasks.

The main plus of the team extension IT model is that it allows you to maintain complete control over the whole team and ensure that your new developers seamlessly and efficiently complement it. You can maintain high-quality and reliable communication with them directly and within the group.

As a client who uses team extension outsourcing services, you can also actively communicate with candidates during interviews. Your team extension company will find candidates who meet your requirements, and you can choose the best of the best. You can ask questions and send additional test assignments to reveal what candidates for your extension team have the most profound understanding of the specificity of your industry and share similar corporate values to yours.

Read our case study, where we shared our experience and explained all the peculiarities.

Learn more!

Comparison of Dedicated and Extended Development Teams

After studying the peculiarities of these two models and identifying their strong sides, let’s compare them to define the key differences.

Comparison criteriaDedicated teamExtended team
CommunicationPartially externalInternal
HiringResponsibility of an outsourcing companyYour direct participation in the process of choosing candidates
Management and controlThe central part of the control is the responsibility of an outsourcing companyYou have full control
Cooperation with your in-house teamSelf-managed teamThese specialists are a part of your team
FlexibilityHigh level (limited by your agreement conditions)High level
Range of servicesBuilt following your needsLimited to your team’s capacities

So, we can summarize all this.

Advantages of dedicated teamsDisadvantages of dedicated teams
Amazing efficiency and total focus on your projectLack of feasibility for short-term and small projects
Cost savingsRisk of having a time-consuming onboarding process
Flexible team composition
Access to talents from different regions
Possibility to hire the whole team at once
Advantages of extended teamsDisadvantages of extended teams
Full control over their workNecessity to have an in-house team
Close communication between your in-house specialists and external expertsNecessity to coordinate the work of your in-house and newly added external specialists simultaneously
Possibility to quickly fill in the existing gaps in your team
Possibility of hiring an expert for a short-term task
Cost optimization thanks to offshore team extension

How to Choose the Suitable Model for Your Current Business Needs?

The best way to select the correct model is to analyze your current requirements and the project peculiarities.

We’ve prepared a short questionnaire to help you make the right decision.

a short questionnaire to choose the suitable model
  1. Do you already have a development team? 
  2. Do you need some help from external experts just for a short period, or are you looking for long-term cooperation?
  3. Do you want a team of developers who will be entirely focused on your project?

Based on these questions, you can come to the proper conclusion. The main thing is not to forget what these models are intended for.

The dedicated team model allows you to hire a team of developers who focus entirely on your project. It’s a good idea to choose this model when you do not have in-house IT experts but want to realize a long-term software project.

Though quite often it is believed that the dedicated team model is a good solution only for those who do not have in-house developers, it is not true. If you already have a team, but your project is rather big and complex, you can hire dedicated developers responsible for some particular tasks. Or if you have a core project and additional ones, dedicated teams may become a good choice.

The extension model will suit you when you already have an in-house development team and want to power it with extra talents, especially short-term needs.

At Geomotiv, we are always ready to provide you with any assistance you may need! Share your issues with us, and we will find a solution.

How to Make These Outsourcing Models Work? Essential Tips

Choosing the correct approach to building your cooperation with external developers is only one part of success. But it is also crucial to organize your work correctly.

What should you do next if you’ve chosen the dedicated team model?

  1. Organize a meeting with your company’s managers, set the priorities, and discuss the composition of a dedicated team and your further cooperation with these specialists.
  2. Find a company that will build a dedicated team for you, do research, and make sure that you consider only reliable partners.
  3. Organize a video interview with this company to ensure that it will be the best choice for you, discuss your requirements, and mention your specific needs. Remember that the more precise requirement you provide, the higher your chances to have an efficient, dedicated team. When the company starts working on building a team for you, you can relax for a while, waiting for the results.
  4. When you have your dedicated team, share all the necessary information and documentation with them. Set up clear goals, and do not forget to track the progress.

We have some other tips for those who have selected the software team extension:

  1. Create a plan with clear descriptions of all skills and knowledge you want to add to your team. It will help you to find the right developers faster and facilitate the process of outsourcing IT team extension.
  2. Plan and allocate your time correctly. Usually, it may take two weeks for us to find a required candidate (or candidates). As soon as you choose those who will join your team, specialists will be ready to dive into your ongoing business processes.
  3. Introduce your extended team to your corporate culture, values, and communication channels. It will make introducing the expert extension to your team smooth, making your interaction more efficient and productive.

As you see, both business models can be of great use when applied correctly. To choose the suitable variant, it is essential to fully understand your ongoing business needs and demands and the state of your in-house resources. If you are not sure, which model will better work in your case, do not hesitate to ask for advice. Our specialists are always at your disposal! Contact us via our website, and we will reach you back as soon as possible.

Real-life Examples of Companies That Outsource IT Services

Among companies that outsource software development services, there are a lot of prominent names.

popular companies that outsource IT services
  • Alibaba - the China-based company outsourced software development to the US as it couldn’t find experts with the required skills in the local market.
  • Google - the tech giant outsources administrative and IT services with a view to providing faster and more cost-efficient services to its customers.
  • IBM - the company has chosen the offshore outsourcing model for its IT-related tasks, including provision of IT infrastructure and network management.
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