Every business owner aims to find a cost-effective solution to get the maximum profits. As an entrepreneur, you must wonder whether adopting the extended team model into your business is worth the risk and costs.
Below, you will discover what the extended team model is and why it is one of the top alternatives to outsourcing.
WHAT IS THE EXTENDED TEAM MODEL?
The extended team model approach is the newest and most efficient outsourcing alternative. With this model, you can integrate experts from different fields and geographical areas into your in-house team.
In the extended team model, the business employs remote outsourcing teams in different parts of the world at a lower price. Moreover, it helps involve specialists with diverse expertise to tackle technical debt.
Projects are shared between your in-house team and external experts provided by a third-party vendor. This approach differs from the outsourcing strategy as you only partially hand over the entire project management to another firm. It leads to increased productivity and flexibility.
For instance, an in-house team is in charge of the custom web development process of the project while also employing expertise from around the world. It is a customized offshore model, which ensures greater productivity and long-term partnerships with various vendors.
Key Benefits of Extended Team Model
The extended team model is a refined IT department outsourcing alternative. With the extended team model, your business spreads throughout the world. Therefore, you can tap into talent from international markets and get the resources unavailable locally.
Hiring an extended team model is better than offshoring and outsourcing because of the following reasons:
1. Comprehensive control
Even if your offices are spread out throughout several continents, you will be directly heading the project. There won't be any communication gap between the international and in-house teams. The international team will have clarity on the specific requirements of the project.
2. Access to top tech talents
Software team extension is the best outsourcing alternative that foresees the opportunity to fill a technical gap quickly. Businesses can contact an agency and draw the required number of software engineers with different expertise. Moreover, the extended team model foresees the ability to change team composition fast and stress-free.
3. No recruitment
One of the main benefits of the top outsourcing alternative is that businesses avoid the talent scouting, hiring, and onboarding burden by opting for well-managed services. A selected partner is responsible for finding tech-strong specialists, assessing their skills, and onboarding them to the clients' projects.
4. Long-lasting partnership
Usually, people outsource a limited number of projects to a company. The contract ends when the project is completed. It is a hassle to establish new relationships with firms for every project. With the help of the extended team model, entrepreneurs can turn an extended team into an external branch of their business. This way, long-lasting relationships can be developed, so you can always draw skilled software engineers upon demand.
5. Project dedication
When you outsource a project to an external firm, it may work on several other projects simultaneously. Hence, assigned developers may only partially be dedicated to your project.
With the extended team model, your project will be prioritized. Extended team members will work on your project exclusively.
6. Complete integration
The extended team model differs from traditional outsourcing as it integrates a remote team into the business. It runs under the terms and conditions of your business in the management, development, and design of the entire project.
The remote team's work and efforts are in sync with the in-house team. Hence, even a time zone difference can not affect the efficiency of a composed team.
7. Collective goal and commitment
The remote and in-house teams must work on making the product a success. Their work continues after the launch of the product as they work towards promoting it into the target markets. They also initiate other projects as an outcome of the response to the previous success. An extended team has one goal across the board.
8. High flexibility
As you have complete control over an extended team, you have flexibility in getting tasks completed. Business owners share your requirements directly with remote teams. If they can't help you, you can get another team without trouble.
EXTENDED TEAM AS AN OUTSOURCING ALTERNATIVE
The outsourcing model may not fit business needs in certain cases. Therefore, entrepreneurs may look for alternatives to outsourcing to solve their business problems and maintain comprehensive project management control.
What are some alternatives to outsourcing?
There are many different solutions other than IT department outsourcing to enlarge a team. The three most popular are:
- team extension
- freelance workers
- remote employees
Let's compare the three most popular alternatives to outsourcing below.
||Extended team||Freelance workers||Remote employees|
|Involvement||Complete involvement. Augmented team members are integrated into an existing in-house team.||Moderate involvement. Freelance workers are hired to tackle defined tasks.||Moderate involvement. Remote employees have limited opportunities to cooperate with an in-house team.|
|Time to start||Fast. Experts can be quickly allocated and onboarded by an agency.||Moderate. Entrepreneurs must find freelance workers, interview them, assess their skills, and onboard the selected experts.||Moderate. Businesses need to find remote employees, check their skills, and onboard them remotely.|
|Expertise||High professional expertise. Agencies thoroughly assess the tech skills of software engineers to hire top-tier professionals.||The expertise of freelance workers should be assessed to select the best experts.||It's vital to thoroughly access the tech skills of remote employees to hire skilled professionals.|
|Cost||Moderate. Businesses need only to cover the time spent by IT experts.||High. It's required to compensate for the time spent and cover fees applied by freelance platforms.||Moderate. Businesses need to compensate for the time spent by remote employees. There is no need to establish a physical workspace.|
|Control||Significant control. Augmented staff uses the same collaboration environment as in-house team members.||Low control. Freelance workers can supplement the existing in-house team or complete assigned tasks independently.||Moderate control. Project managers have limited options for supervising remote employees.|
|Security||High level of data access control and supervision. Also, an NDA agreement is signed with all extended team members.||Moderate level of data access control. An NDA agreement is signed optionally.||Remote employees sign an NDA agreement. Also, business owners can limit data access.|
|Flexibility||High flexibility. The number of hours augmented developers spend is not fixed. Various tech experts can be drawn to complete different tasks upon demand.||Moderate flexibility. Freelance employees can be hired to complete certain tasks only.||Moderate flexibility. Remote employees have no ability to attend workshops in physical locations and communicate with mentors constantly to learn new skills.|
|Legal issues||Well-thought-out agreement with a vendor.||Possible legal challenges due to the law difference around the globe.||Well-defined agreement with a remote employee.|
REASONS TO HIRE EXTENDED TEAMS
Businesses opt for extension team models to integrate professionals and diversify their workforce. Augmented team members are qualified specialists with experience in their relevant fields.
The extended team model provides a strategic advantage to businesses compared to offshoring. The primary reasons to hire extended teams are:
Your team might be busy working on a significant project with a tight deadline. Along with this project, other projects with tight deadlines also come about. In such cases, with the help of the extended team model, you can divide the increasing workload of your business among outsourcing teams. This makes it easier to handle various tasks at once.
The extended team model presents numerous growth opportunities for businesses. They can continue to take on new projects without the fear of missing deadlines.
No Conflict of Interest
Since you have complete control over your business operations, there are no conflicts of interest. The process of making the final decisions becomes more accessible with a single entity in charge. With everyone in your business on the same page with the same interests, overall productivity is bound to improve.
Due to efficient communication, all team members, whether in-house or extended, are integrated into the same cooperation environment. They have an equal contribution as there is greater transparency between team members. A business with a completely integrated team offers more productive development strategies.
Access To Diversified Knowledge
The extended team model allows access to a broad knowledge base and the cultures of different markets through your outsourcing teams. With the help of new technology and diversified skills, your business will flourish as it will promote diversity.
When there are different people from diverse backgrounds working together on a similar project, they bring about their unique set of skills and knowledge to the table because of their distinct experiences. Thus, accumulating different ideas and experiences will lead to business growth.
Integration of Different Cultures
You can tap into different markets with a remote team in different parts of the world. The remote team will help you know what people in a particular geographical area want based on their cultural preferences. This way, your business will become more diverse as you include products and services for people of different cultures.
With the help of remote teams spread out all across the globe, your business will have a global impact. The company's global outreach will attract more customers in the international markets, making the business grow.
The extended team model promotes effective communication among team members, leading to greater transparency compared to traditional offshoring and outsourcing. The increased openness inculcates a culture of trust and accountability among different business teams. With trust developed, the business becomes more productive.
The extended team model promotes scalability. It is easier to include developers from different areas rather than concentrating all the developers in the head office. As a business grows, more remote teams can be added.
Capability To Tackle Multiple Projects
The most significant benefit of extended teams is that the diverse workforce makes it easier for your team to work on various projects. The requirements may increase over time, and if you had only one head office dealing with it, you wouldn't have access to the required tools and resources to complete the project.
Some projects may go on for an extended period and require a lot of human resources for completion. For such projects, the in-house and remote teams coordinate and integrate workflow to complete the project smoothly.
TEAM EXTENSION WORKFLOW FOR SCALING ENGINEERING TEAMS
The extended team model needs the business to find a reputable agency and draw IT experts with the required expertise.
Different agencies have distinctive workflows. Usually, clients share all the requirements so that agencies can allocate the top specialists. After selecting an extended team, they should onboard and integrate it into the existing in-house team.
At CodeIT, we apply a well-defined workflow to ensure our clients get top talent. It implies the following stages:
1. First Call
Our representatives contact the client to learn more about a project and collect business requirements. Also, we sign the NDA agreement to keep all the confidential information safe.
2. Team Draft
Review the CVs of our tech specialists to compose an extended team. Also, we analyze the requirements shared by the client and prepare a software team extension proposal. It can be accepted or adjusted by the client.
After composing an extended team draft, we prepare an onboarding plan.
3. Soft Start
We allocate the minimum required number of tech specialists to tackle business tasks and spend resources wisely. For instance, there is no need to involve quality assurance (QA) engineers in the initial stage. However, they need to join a development team when the first increments are released to ensure that the new software works without any issues.
The client has to consider the best collaboration and communication tools. Also, we help onboard an extended team. Product owners and team managers can receive daily progress reports generated by the task management tools we configure.
4. Team Scaling
Our clients can access all the tech talents in our team and draw them upon a need to scale up their in-house teams. Also, they can change the composition of extended teams in case project requirements change.
When our clients need software engineers with industry-specific expertise, we help find and hire new extended team members. Our company helps scout new team members and assess their expertise to select the best ones.
CODEIT EXPERTISE IN TEAM EXTENSION
A startup from the United States needed to gather an extended team of IT professionals to develop a resource planning and scheduling system for professional services.
After receiving the request from the client, we started cooperating, following our workflow. Since the client didn't have many in-house team members, we were required to provide comprehensive software team extension services.
We have allocated an extended team of seven experts with different expertise to the client's project. The roles that the client has hired are:
- UI/UX designer
- Project manager
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- QA engineer
- Marketing manager
- Customer support representative
The ongoing project has been running for six years because the client is completely satisfied with the extended team drawn at CodeIT.
WHEN TO HIRE AN EXTENDED TEAM
The software team extension can help business owners get tech talents with the required expertise upon request without hassle. Also, the extended team model helps deliver digital solutions faster and spend money wisely.
Despite the many benefits of one of the most popular alternatives to outsourcing, it's not a perfect pick for every business. For instance, projects without clearly-defined requirements and tasks can hardly benefit from hiring an extended team. Drawn tech experts should have backlogs of clear and prioritized tasks to start working as fast as possible.
The team extension services are perfect for businesses that:
- need to fill an expertise gap
- have to replace a team member fast
- should increase the number of tech talents
- have tight deadlines
- have no hiring expertise
Your business will establish an international presence using the extended team model. It is a mainstream alternative to outsourcing and offshoring. Many business owners shift toward hiring extended teams to make the management processes more straightforward and their businesses more productive.
Your extended team will work according to your business's core values and objectives and establish a uniform identity for it. Besides, you will be able to hire the required tech talents to achieve business goals fast and stress-free.
It is a mainstream talent sourcing approach. Extended team members work exclusively on a client's project, supplementing the in-house team. A business owner needs to contact an agency and draw the required team set.
To hire an extended team of software engineers, you should follow these steps:
- Find a trusted vendor
- Share your requirements
- Review CVs of IT experts
- Choose a team set
- Onboard drafted experts
Being one of the most popular alternatives to nearshore software development, the extended team model has the following advantages:
- Comprehensive control
- Access to top tech talents
- No recruitment
- Long-lasting partnership
- Project dedication
- Complete integration
- Collective goal and commitment
- High flexibility