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

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Julia Sakovich
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Apr 18, 2022

If you are working on a huge software project and do not have enough in-house resources to deal with it or when you do not have a development department at all, the first thing that you will probably think about will be hiring new specialists. But on-boarding in-house developers is not always a good idea. For example, what do you know about working with a dedicated software development team? Or have you ever heard something about the peculiarities of extended development teams?

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 members on board.

In this article, we are going to compare the IT team extension and the dedicated development team model. And we hope that 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.

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.

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.

The team's composition is shaped according to your needs and can be changed if your requirements are updated.

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

  • 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);
  • 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 additionally used energy and other resources);
  • Flexibility and scalability of the team;
  • Precise focus on your project.

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

  • when you have a complex project, and you are looking for long-term cooperation;
  • when you need different skills and talents for your project realization, including testers, project managers and designers;
  • when you expect the team’s end-to-end engagement, starting from the business requirement stage to the stage of project launch.

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

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

Read now

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

  • When you need to fill some skill gaps, especially in case of just one-time needs;
  • When you need to streamline and speed up the development process with the help of additional labor resources;
  • When you are looking for some specific talents to deal with just one or a couple of short-term tasks.

The main plus of this model is that it allows you to maintain complete control over the 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 you (or your HR specialist) have to hire these new team members, you can find people who share your corporate vision and values and deeply understand the specificity of your industry.

Dedicated and extended development teams: Pros and Cons

The most obvious thing we can say now is that everything on this Earth has its pluses and minuses. And it is true. That’s why let’s look at the peculiarities of both models.

Dedicated teamExtended team
CommunicationPartially externalInternal
HiringResponsibility of an
outsourcing company
Your responsibility
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
Your time required for working with a teamAn outsourcing team solves the majority of questionsYou should solve all the questions
Range of servicesBuilt following your needsLimited to your team’s capacities

So, we can summarize all this.

Advantages of dedicated teams:

  • Amazing efficiency and total focus on your project;
  • Cost savings;
  • Flexible team composition.

Disadvantages of dedicated teams:

  • Lack of feasibility for short-term and small projects;
  • Risk of having a time-consuming onboarding process.

Advantages of extended teams:

  • Full control over their work;
  • Close communication and good interaction between your in-house specialists and external experts.

Disadvantages of extended teams:

  • Necessity to have an in-house team; 
  • Necessity to find specialists who will be able to enter the already existing team.

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.

  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?

The dedicated team model allows hiring a team of developers who entirely focus 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.

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 IT 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.
  2. Stay patient and allocate some time for integration. When you hire new people, it is not sensible to hope that already, on the first day, they will show everything that they can. People should have the possibility to adapt.
  3. Introduce your extended team into your corporate culture, values, and communication channels. It will make your interaction more efficient and productive.

Wrapping up

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.

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