What is Team Extension in software development?
Team Extension is now a very commonly used scenario in the field of software development. In simple words, it means bringing additional resources to an existing company to speed up a job/project. This is now commonly used in software development as it supplements the existing team. Team Extension is done by hiring and adding new employees, contracting with vendors and, sometimes a combination of both approaches.
This is a valuable tool for software development teams, but it is also important to do it right. When done right, it would help fill the gaps in the team with the right people.
How does the Team Extension work
With a team extension, you will have a team of developers that work devotedly to the project assigned to them. This might sound like getting a dedicated team, but an extended team is not like getting a dedicated team.
Here, the team works as an extension, so they will adapt to company cultures, they will strive towards achieving the same goals, and is thus part of the company itself. They are almost like permanent employees.
The structure of the extended team is also similar to having an in-house team. There will be a project manager to manage the team – guide and lead them while reviewing tasks, assigning new ones, and so on. When you hire a team of developers from the IT staffing providers, you will have an onboarding process wherein they will learn to adapt to the company culture.
The benefits of having a team extension
- When the company has to meet a tough deadline – When there is a tough deadline to meet and when the staff is already putting in heavy time with their designated tasks, then there is no other go but to hire more people. This would give fresh talent on the job and everybody moves at their productive phase.
- Adding new features to the product – When you need to add new features to your product, but your team doesn’t have the necessary expertise to do it, then you need to hire an extra team who can perform the tasks. This would also be helpful when the team is working on a complex project and needs people who know of new technologies.
- Improving productivity over a short time – Since more people are working on the same project, with complex or difficult tasks handled by the extended team, the project will finish much faster and thereby better productivity rates.
- No more hiring and onboarding costs – The extended team model eliminates the need for hiring and onboarding because as explained earlier, they will be hired mostly by the IT staffing agency and will already have an idea.
- Act as a complement to your team – The extended team is not going to be a threat to the in-house team, and they don’t have to feel threatened in any way. They will only complement the in-house team, and help them to achieve success in the project. They will help achieve the company’s goals.
This is somewhat like a win-win situation for everyone involved. The project manager will be pleased that the project will go as scheduled with the gaps in skills filled and the control button of the project be in their hands
Factors to consider while having a Team Extension
Team Extension is a valuable tool for any software development team. However, it is also important to consider the multiple factors involved while extending a team because you have to consider the cost, control and cultural fit. It would be advisable to do considerable research before hiring a team and choose an option that’s best for you.
However, it would be wise to consider a few other factors too because the fit has to be perfect or else it will lose its purpose. For one, the new team will have to align with the company’s culture and values. And it is also important to have a clear plan for the process of integrating the new resources into the team. And lastly, it is important to monitor the progress of the project to ensure that it’s on track
To whom would the Team Extension model suit best?
The Team Extension model is perfect for all kinds of businesses, both startups and large enterprises. While it helps the tech startups to get an extended team without bothering with hiring a dedicated team, enterprises embrace the idea because they can dip into the large IT tech talent pools available all across the world, especially in Eastern Europe, and use those skills to fill the gaps.
The model would be a perfect one if you are looking to:
- Save expenses – Since the talent is vast and varied, you can hire developers according to your budget as there are so many excellent options.
- Enjoy flexibility – Thanks to the vast availability of digital tools, the teams have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere in the world as they don’t have to report to the office physically.
- Scale faster – A growing company needs the right tech talent to support them. With team extension, you can easily meet the goal of scaling faster.
- Nice skills and talents at your disposal – If you are looking for certain specific skills, and your in-house team doesn’t have them, then you can tap into the global talent and set a team with the specific skill set.
The Team Extension model is so different from the Dedicated Development Team model. Commonly known as the DDT model, it is the other most often utilised scenario for completing projects outside of your regular employees.
In the DDT model, you engage an entire team, and they work on your project in a separate office. They do not act as a supplement to an existing team. The DDT model works when you have a deadline approaching and the project is complex. The team will be dedicated to working on your project, and hence the vendor who supplies the team will choose the team members possessing appropriate knowledge, skills and experience.
When you decide to outsource your software development projects, you have quite a few options that make the project successful, and the Team Extension model is definitely one of the most sought-after ones. With this model you will be able to bring new skilled talent to work synergically with your in-house team, supplementing their skills and enabling your company to reach its goals. This is a good option, and so is the dedicated team model.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.