Extended Development Teams: How To Use Them To Supercharge Your Software Development
Does it seem impossible to find great talent at home? That’s because it is. If only you could hire an extended team of developers in a neighboring country—or anywhere around the world. You can. (And should.) Here’s why:
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What is an extended team? And how does it work?
First things first. What is an extended team?
The extended team model—also called staff augmentation—is used by software development firms that need to scale their teams and their products. Their in-house team partners closely with the extended team, usually located in another country, on product growth, timelines, deadlines, and culture. This offshore team can either jump in on an ongoing project that’s already being developed, or their niche skills can help build a new speciality product that needs attention.
There are pros and cons to building an extended team. Let’s take a look at the scorecard:
Pros of the extended team:
#1 Direct management
The in-house management oversees both the in-house team and the extended team, so they are on top of (and aware of) fluctuating timelines, priority shifts, and who is working on what and when.
#2 Full control
There is greater transparency and control. The local and extended development teams work in alignment, so bugs get fixed more quickly, and iterations are more frequent.
#3 High commitment
When you hire a dedicated extended team to supplement your in-house group, you get their undivided attention. They’re focused on your product and your company, so there are no unexpected delays or a decrease in the delivery effort.
Because your offshore team works so closely with your core staff, they’ll communicate with you, be completely transparent about the work being done, share responsibility for the deliverables, and help increase your productivity.
You can ensure that all of your digital assets are secure because they are working within the security infrastructure of the in-house team (at least if you are doing it right!). Never have an offshore team that isn’t held to the same security rules and requirements as the rest of the development team.
Your team is much more agile when you have a team onshore (ie in house) and a team offshore. Your offshore team can flex or contract as your business demands, and you end up with a broader range of skills as many developers in other countries have deep niche expertise. Win/win.
#6 Custom fit
Speaking of which, the trust starts with you — so allow the team some room to make decisions, which in turn makes them feel relied upon and invested in the process. Delegate and watch the devotion (and your productivity) climb!
When you build an extended team of developers gradually, you’re assured that your teams are busy and that your budget is being used wisely. You’re able to start small, see how it goes, and hire more as needed. Scaling smart eliminates headaches and allows your growth to flow. Fingers on the pulse and the purse strings? Nirvana.
Cons of the extended team:
#1 Extended teams are not suitable for short-term projects
When you need a short-term fix, you want to outsource your project. Offshoring, on the other hand, is a longer commitment. Building out an extended team and integrating them into your processes, your in-house people, and your culture—along with timelines and workflow—is a much bigger undertaking. Bring these groups on when you truly need niche expertise or a more flexible, talented team who can push you to the finish line (and then turn around and get ready for the next race!).
#2 Culture or language barriers
Moreover, we embed your extended team within your culture, and we give them reasons to stay, things to look forward to, and a growth plan. Integrating offshore teams into your culture is smart, period.
#3 Time zone issues
Double the time zones, double the productivity.
How is the extended team model different from other models?
- It complements an in-house team. An extended team includes those from outside your company who are brought into your organization to complement your team. Bringing in those talented software ninjas off the international bench only serves to strengthen your squad. You play well, increase stamina, and succeed as a team.
- Tasks are shared between all team members. All team members are equally responsible for all tasks, both at home and offshore. But you oversee and have complete control over the process. The extended team is fully incorporated into your team, and that seamless connection allows for collaboration up and down the chain.
- Extended teams are not project-based. Unlike outsourced talent who are usually one-and-done, your offshore team sticks around for the after-party. They are 100% devoted to you so they aren’t looking for the next project to land. Eyes are on the long-haul prize.
- The international talent pool is deeper (and the water is warm) . The best performers are often found within international talent pools. They have versatile skills, specialty expertise, and live in countries with a lower cost of living—the benefits of which extend to you because salaries are lower. And when you hire an offshore team, and build them into your process, team, and culture (with TurnKey, obvs), you can forget the “easy come, easy go” mentality. Think more along the lines of “you get more than you bargained for” instead.
- The hiring process for extended teams goes faster. Competition is stiff when you’re trying to hire onshore (local) developers. And finding needles in haystacks in the dark with one hand tied behind your back and a hungry bear (your deadlines) in the corner is TIRING. It takes forever and frankly, you might get eaten alive before you find what you’re looking for.
Hiring an extended team offshore (remember that deep, warm pool we just mentioned?) makes it possible for you to assemble a team much more quickly—more options mean faster hiring, quicker integration, and the upward trajectory your product needs.
What are the different extended team models?
You may have read what we wrote about the options you have when you decide to go offshore for your software development. Just in case, let’s recap, shall we?
Outsourcing is a short-term relationship. You hire based on expertise, they deliver to your deadline, you both go about your merry way. It’s kind of like hiring freelancers or temporary workers—you needed a strong hitter, and you get your home run.
While it’s good for checking that box, outsourcing can have its downsides. There might be a reason that talent is available—maybe they just haven’t gotten booked and your timing is impeccable…or maybe they aren’t up to snuff. Also, yes they’re working on your project, but do you know what else they’re looking around for? Their next gig. Hey, they gotta eat, right? And the short-term roles have to come fast and furious or baby goes hungry. And since they’re just working for the dollars (no culture immersion, no career plan laid out for them, no long-term prospects), when a higher-paying position presents itself, you can bet they’re going to bounce, leaving you high and dry.
These are just a few of the key things to watch out for on the outsourcing front.
Hiring offshore gives you a dedicated development team. This group integrates into your in-house team and helps you achieve a specified software development objective, such as building a software application or product.
With TurnKey, your offshore dedicated team members work exclusively for you. They’re rock solid and available to support you anytime. They’re remote but they report to you and deliver to your specs and deadlines.
They meet YOUR needs, play by YOUR rules, and fit into YOUR company’s culture.
Yourshoring gives you control over transparent processes. You set timelines, YOUR team meets them. You determine culture, YOUR team assimilates. You drive productivity, YOUR team rises to the occasion (and works while you sleep, ayeee).
We custom recruit all the talent, and thanks to our attention to detail and our experience, our turnover is way (like WAY) lower than the rest of the bunch at just 2%.
When should you use an extended team model?
How do you know you need an offshore extension of your internal greatness? There are three cases in which we recommend it:
- When your home country is fresh out of affordable talent
- When your core team is slammed but you’ve got projects in the hopper that need to be worked on simultaneously
- When the runway is long and you need to integrate people you can manage over time
How can TurnKey partner with you?
We’ve walked in your shoes so we know what you need and where you’re headed. More importantly, we know how to get you there. Let us custom-recruit an offshore dream team that fits your company’s culture and project needs like a glove. (And that’ll be just the beginning to what our partnership will entail.)
This is offshoring! An extension of your core team that is located in another country but works for you, on your schedule, building your product. (With TurnKey it’s yourshoring, which is exponentially better. Just saying.)
Offshoring is your long-term solution. The team that takes you all the way to the end of the road and then starts paving the next path with you. Outsourcing is like hey, you seem good at this thing, here’s a project. And they finish it, hand it back, and you both walk away happy.
When you work with TurnKey, there aren’t any. (Just keeping it real.) But with other groups, you may feel the negative effects of the language barrier, different culture, or misalignment of time zones. Also, this is not the best option for short-term projects.