The Extended Team Model: How to Make it Work
Learn more about how you can augment your existing in-house development team with an outsourced extended team for more manpower.
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It's no secret that having the right people around is one of the key ingredients for the success of a startup. Yet, finding and hiring the best resources is one of the most challenging tasks you as an entrepreneur will need to face, especially when considering the limitations of your local talent pool.
Of course, you can always find an offshore team and outsource software development completely. But what should you do when you already have some technical staff in-house and simply need to augment it with specific skills or expertise? Here's when the extended team model comes to the rescue.
We at Eastern Peak have successfully set up a number of extended team for our clients. To help you navigate the most common pitfalls and make an extended team work for you, we would like to share some of our best practices and tips.
What Is an Extended Team?
An extended development team is not project-based and is not discontinued after the project ends. It is an ongoing cooperation between your core team and the extended team offshore.
There is no single extended team definition. Different companies can offer different variations of the model. However, there are certain specifics that distinguish it from other cooperation models:
- An extended team is aimed at augmenting the in-house staff, not replacing it. In this case, the key competency, both business and technical, is located on-shore and the extension team operates offshore, bridging the skill gaps in your core staff.
- You have complete control over the project. Additionally, there's constant and direct communication within the team (between your in-house staff and off-site developers). They all function as a single tight-knit unit.
- As a result, the responsibilities are distributed among all team members (both in-house and offshore). All of them are equally invested into the process of building the product, and all of them are equally responsible for its success or failure.
Why Should I Hire an Extended Development Team? Key Benefits to Consider
The listed specifics of the extended team model result in a number of competitive benefits:
1.The best talent, hand-picked just for you
You can take part in the hiring process by personally screening and interviewing potential candidates. Thus, you can ascertain whether or not the developers you hire have the required skills and will be able to assimilate into your core team.
2. Motivated and invested developers
The developers are assigned to your project full-time — they don't need to juggle multiple assignments and can focus 100% of their attention on your project. As a result, your extension team members become an integral part of your company, align with your corporate culture and vision, and work towards a common goal.
3. Flexibility and transparency managing your resources
You can manage your extended development team members as you see fit. There will be no intermediaries between you and your developers: you can communicate your requirements directly to them and solve any issues that may arise along the way.
4. Transparent and efficient payment model
With an extended team, you agree on a fixed monthly fee that covers the developers' salary, operational expenses, bonuses, etc., enabling you to not only plan your budget further in advance but to keep track of your expenses better.
5. No-hassle setup and operations
When you expand your team with Eastern Peak, we take care of all operational tasks, and provide your developers with all necessary conditions so they can perform at their best. Your developers work from a well-equipped office with a comfortable working environment.
The key benefit: an easy start with high scalability
With Eastern Peak, your own development team can be set up in a couple of weeks (as opposed to months when hiring locally). Moreover, after your extended development team is assembled and starts working, you can further improve its efficiency and can easily scale up or down depending on the project requirements.
How Do You Make It Work? A Guide to Extended Team Integration (As Used at Eastern Peak)
There is of course a learning curve when it comes to hiring offshore developers for your startup, and the same is true for making your core team and extended team function as one. Therefore we would like to assist you in this endeavor by providing you with some useful advice.
When you hire an extended development team with Eastern Peak, we make sure it works for you . Here is our typical workflow for setting up and project management with team extension.
To start with, consider the scope of your project and define the main roles it requires. Do you have the expertise to fill them in-house? Which skills should be sourced externally?
You can perform the initial analysis by yourself or request assistance from a professional technology consultancy, such as Eastern Peak. If you turn to us for advice, we will first analyze your development needs and internal processes in order to put together a suitable team for you.
2. Screening Candidates
Based on your requirements and project specifications, our recruiting team will conduct in-depth candidate research, and select and pre-screen the most suitable candidates. In order for a candidate to be able to become a valuable addition to your team, we verify that they have the technical and the soft skills necessary for the job.
You can personally interview the best candidates and choose the ones you deem most appropriate for hire.
3. Team Onboarding and Integration
While the previous steps were preparatory, the integration of a remote team into your workflow starts here. Namely, here's how your extended development team works with Eastern Peak.
The extended development team that you hire with Eastern Peak becomes an integral part of your in-house staff. They follow your internal processes and take direct orders from you or your project manager on-site.
Please, note: We can appoint our own representative to provide additional support. For example, our project manager can step in at any time in case you need help solving an issue or setting up efficient collaboration within the team.
The extended team model provides you with constant control over your project. You can track the time/effort ratio in real time and optimize it as you see fit.
The ability to directly communicate with the appointed PM as well as the developers leads to transparency and clarity within your team. Keep your communication channels open and available at all times.
We help you allocate responsibilities within your team so that your developers feel more involved and, as a result, more invested in the project. In addition to being responsible for certain tasks and parts of the project, every team member is familiar with the complete cycle of development.
Your extended development team will be up to date with your methodologies, practices, management style and corporate culture. We help you in setting up an efficient workflow and choosing the best communication and collaboration tools which your core team and extended team will both be comfortable working with.
Having on-site training and planning sessions with your extended team can be a great headstart for the project. We usually set up several company meetings so that your core team and extended team members can get to know each other.
4. On-Demand Scaling and Support
Using this model, we can provide more developers to your extended team on-demand, as well as dissolve the staff you no longer need. For example, you can hire a dedicated specialist to perform a certain task or implement a specific feature. As soon as you no longer need his/her help, we can terminate your contract with them and you continue working with the rest of the developers.
Our recruitment team will provide constant support and help you tackle any challenges you may face down the road.
An Extended Development Team with Eastern Peak: Your On-Demand Dream Team
To learn more about the extended team model at Eastern Peak, drop us a line using our contact form.
We at Eastern Peak have a vast track record building scalable and efficient development teams for startups and businesses worldwide. Using our expertise and direct access to a vast talent pool, we can help you set up your own extended development team and fine-tune your operations in accordance to your needs.
Published at DZone with permission of Maria Aleksandrova, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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