What is a Dedicated Development Team and When to Hire One?
The ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey 2020 reveals that the American tech market is largely affected by the global talent shortage, and tech positions are among the top 10 toughest roles to fill.
Only 29.4% of candidates applying for the software architect position, and 39.6% of candidates for DevOps positions completely meet the recruiters’ expectations.
The bottom line is that hiring qualified developers with the required skills without overspending is almost impossible.
As a result, organizations worldwide are trying out newer alternatives to save costs and also achieve their KPIs. While some companies exclusively hire full-stack developers, some choose to outsource their projects to countries with lower development costs or hire freelancers at hourly rates. Another potential option is hiring a dedicated development team. This blog aims to educate CTOs and development teams to look at the dedicated team model as a healthy approach to software development.
We have created a guideline that covers tips and suggestions to help you hire the right team. Let’s begin!
What is a Dedicated Development Team?
A ‘dedicated development team’ is a group of developers who manage long-term software development projects for startups, mid-size companies, and enterprises. These developers are not freelancers; they work full-time alongside in-house developers to build and maintain software when time is of the essence.
A standard dedicated development team consists of this personnel –
- Front-end/Back-end/Full-stack developers build client-side and server-side applications.
- UI/UX designers create simple, responsive, and interactive user interfaces.
- DevOps engineers coordinate the development, operations, and testing processes.
- QA engineers ensure the delivery of bug-free applications by creating test plans and cases.
- Project Managers mediate between the client and the developers. They plan, manage, track progress, and mitigate risks for the project.
Business analysts assess project requirements, user data, and analytics and offer suggestions to CEOs and business owners.
Take a look at how Josh Wright describes his first experience of hiring a dedicated development:-
Here are some notable examples of global tech giants who employed dedicated developers to support their projects:-
- Skype hired an external team of developers to introduce Skype calls to 2G phones and add click-to-call buttons to third-party websites. Interestingly, the company also brought external teams into play to build server-side logic for its mobile applications.
- BBC engaged an outsourcing company to assist the in-house development team in merging two existing online stores on its global eCommerce platform. Ultimately, this 6-month stint brought about a 110% increase in revenue over time.
- Reuters delegated ‘The Wider Image’, a UX development initiative, to an external development team. The app won several awards at The Lovie Awards 2012 due to its exceptional features and performance.
How a dedicated development team works
The process of hiring a dedicated development team begins with a company providing the goals, timeline, and scope of the project. It is always recommended to specify the skills that the dedicated team members should possess and the number of developers required to work on your project. Based on this information, the vendor company begins hiring developers. You can either choose to onboard them for a project immediately or conduct additional interviews to gauge their abilities. Alternatively, you can ask the vendor company to add or replace developers depending on their expertise.
The vendor then provides either multiple team members or one or more developers as per your project requirement. Next, it will issue a pricing system inclusive of the team members’ salaries and the service provider’s fee for the entire hiring period.
What are the benefits of hiring a dedicated development team?
Let’s hear from Sandeepan Jindal about how hiring a dedicated development team proved beneficial for his startup, BidFortune:
He further points out some of the exclusive areas where a dedicated team was especially advantageous:
This infographic includes a comprehensive list of the benefits of hiring a dedicated development team–
Difference between a dedicated development deam and an extended team
The terms dedicated team and extended team are often used interchangeably. However, there are significant differences between the two:
3 actionable strategies to follow while hiring a dedicated development team
As a decision-maker, you’ll inherently conduct a background check for the vendor company and collect information about their past projects, pricing model, customer feedback, location among other factors. In addition, you need to have a clear understanding of the technical adeptness of the team. Ryan Vice highlights the factors in his opinion are vital while hiring a dedicated development team:-
While this is no silver bullet to software development, you can avoid common mistakes that companies end up making while hiring a team. Here’s an overview of what to consider while you hire a team:
A dedicated development team must,
Follow the newest trends and best practices in software development
The importance of following the industry’s best practices can never be overstated. They improve the workflow, reduce costs spent in experimentation, lessen the risks and failed deployments, and, more importantly, bring efficiency. Similarly, technology trends enable you to see what the industry experts have hailed as surefire ways to achieve the best performance. While no developer can recommend using a particular technology because it’s trending, it is always a good idea to consider them.
Whether you hire for a front-end, backend, or mobile app development project, always ask your vendor to present an approximate tech stack they plan on using. If your team has never worked with these technologies before, you can request the necessary documentation before the project kickstarts. Additionally, get your vendor to create a list of testing tools and cases they might use so your in-house developers are on the same page.
Encourage different agile methodologies
According to a report by PWC, agile projects are 28% more successful than others. Whether it is Scrum, Kanban, or Extreme Programming (EX), agile methodologies are preferred for the flexibility, continuous improvement, agility, and efficiency they induce within the development teams.
In addition, since the dedicated team works (either remotely or in the office) with in-house developers, there has to be a common ground between the two teams. Thus, before onboarding the dedicated team, you can arrange a combined training session for both teams to improve their coordination. Also, arrange weekly meetings and standups with the team and project managers to ensure that the project is heading in the right direction.
Strictly adhere to security protocols
The best SDLC has security embedded at every stage and a crucial factor to consider when hiring a dedicated development team. It’s the first step towards delivering a secure product to your users and ensuring maximum customer satisfaction. Discuss with the development team how they plan to use best practices to avoid any security vulnerabilities in the software right at the start of the project. Additionally, the in-house and dedicated developers can adopt a common approach to security testing based on their expertise.
This infographic about common myths and facts about dedicated development teams will provide a better insight into the hiring process of a team –
Now that we have seen how a dedicated development team functions, it is time to move to the next level – when should you hire a dedicated team?
When to Hire a Dedicated Development Team?
Shortage of development skills
Normally, developers are responsible for keeping abreast of all the changing trends and provide necessary insights to their organization. It also inspires them to experiment with new tools and practices to deliver an exceptional product for the organization.
That said, an in-house development team seldom enjoys the liberty to try an array of technologies. The reason being, teams generally lay their trust in a standard set of practices for long periods and are rarely willing to risk business. As a matter of fact, a report by Statista reveals that 46% of companies outsource software development projects due to the lack of skills found in in-house teams.
On the other hand, a dedicated team works on many projects involving different technology stacks, tools, and development styles. This training prepares them to consider the key requirements of a particular project and, accordingly, engage developers with proven expertise.
When the in-house team at Zenchef was neck-deep in pending tasks, it chose to hire a dedicated development team for their assistance. Julien Balmont, CTO and Co-founder at Zenchef, talks about the challenges that the in-house team faced during expansion,
“[…] I had a bunch of long-run tasks, like connecting external tools through API, building some scripts to automate tasks. I couldn’t handle it internally because time was missing.”
Hiring only a full-stack developer initially, the company hired a complete dedicated team of professionals, including middle to senior-level developers, back-end developers, JS programmers, and UI/UX designers. Currently, Zenchef is a leading independent restaurant booking system in Europe to handle 7 million bookings every year.
Projects with tight deadlines
According to a survey published by iCIMS, HR professionals took 81 days to hire software application developers in 2019 compared to 66 days in 2016. The leading cause for this extended timeline is found in another survey conducted by CodinGame. It reveals that 61% of recruiters face challenges in finding qualified candidates, and 24% have difficulties recruiting developers within tight timeframes.
Here’s a scenario – Your team is working on a software development project with a fast-approaching release date and you need to hire more developers to speed up the development. Can you wait for over two months to hire new developers and wait patiently till they finish their onboarding and join the team?
Well, no! That’s where dedicated development teams step in.
By submitting your requirements and project timelines to the vendor, you can strike hiring developers off your list and focus on high-priority tasks. The vendor company will take care of selecting the right team members and provide you with a fully functional team within less than 2 weeks.
Miranda Yan witnessed the benefits of hiring an external team of developers when working with strict deadlines:
Long-term development projects
When the startup esurance was fast expanding its business in the insurance industry, they were faced with several technical challenges that made maintaining their timelines and commitments extremely tiring. For an upcoming organization, such issues with performance delivery were unaffordable. The company sought help from a vendor to provide two experienced, dedicated developers to help them manage the platform. A priority step for them was to fix critical issues in the code and improve its maintainability.
Over time, as the company extended its operations across multiples industries, it hired an entire team of dedicated developers consisting of a team lead, scrum master, senior front-end developers, QA engineers and more, to strengthen their in-house team. For over five years, the two teams have collaborated to make the insurance platform a leading name in the industry.
A significant advantage of hiring a dedicated team is the flexibility that it brings along. As organizations grow, scaling the platform up and down and adding new updates becomes an ongoing process. It can get exhausting for your in-house team to ensure the smooth running of the platform and scaling it simultaneously. The dedicated team can take care of all the heavy lifting and help you maintain consistent performance for a long time to come.
Redesigning a web platform is a huge milestone for any organization. From ascertaining the project’s goals to reviewing user trends and customer feedback to updating the existing features, a redesign project demands meticulous attention and planning. Since dedicated teams work with various technologies, they acquire the necessary techniques and practices to develop a robust redesign strategy.
For instance, Danish Construction eCommerce firm Byg-E had to redesign their application to keep up with their competitors and provide their customers with a user-friendly platform. The dedicated development team working on this project had to resolve issues involving insufficient documentation and a massive amount of data divided into 2 systems and 16 subsystems. Some sections of the project were stored almost 15 years ago.
The team started with collecting as much information from the client and ensuring that they held regular meetings to assess the progress made. They leveraged task-management solutions to keep the in-house team in the loop always. Today, this eCommerce platform provides web solutions to 250 suppliers and 400 dealers, making it a popular name in the Danish construction market.
When not to hire a dedicated development team?
Although a dedicated development team model brings several advantages to organizations, it is not the ultimate solution to all software development woes. You should not hire a dedicated team if you are working on,
Short and middle-term projects
If the project’s scope is clear and you have a list of well-defined requirements and goals to complete it, you don’t need a dedicated team. Hiring a dedicated developer who can take care of all your development needs is a suitable option when your team needs a boost.
If your project does not require a full-time business analyst or a UX designer, you will end up spending way more money over hiring an entire dedicated team. So if you are on a tight budget, hiring a dedicated development team is not recommended.
By now, you have a thorough understanding of the ‘what, why, and when’ of a dedicated development team. It’s time to know the ‘where’ of it!
How can Simform help?
Simform offers a dedicated team of developers with proven expertise and experience in software development to help you achieve your goals and targets. With hand-picked professionals at your disposal, we aim to reduce your overhead and deliver a unique product to the industry. Without further ado, here’s a quick tour of our dedicated development services:-
- Based on your project goals and requirements, we prepare a tech roadmap and a hiring plan. Our technical consultation includes potential challenges and a suitable tech stack for solving those challenges.
- We conduct practical tests to vet candidates based on their skill sets, code quality, testing discipline, and performance. This practice enables us to provide you with only the best-in-class developers.
- We offer focused and flexible work schedules, a disciplined development process, and a global talent pool to pick only the finest candidates within our remote teams.
- With our decade-long experience, we have mastered the art of improving our workflow through timezones, long-distance, and communication barriers.
- We believe in constant communication. With video calls, daily stand-ups, one-on-one check-ins, and an annual retreat we always stay connected.
To wrap it up, hiring a dedicated development team and sharing your ambitious projects with them is a tough decision, and you need more than an article to understand the many corners of it. So, if you are looking to hire a dedicated development team for your organization, we would love to help you make the right decision. And if you hired one before, let us know about your experience in the comments below.