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How to Build an External Dedicated Development Team?

In a dedicated development team model, you work with an IT services company to help you realize your project idea or improve your existing project. The company advises you on the appropriate technology stack and team roles and manages the entire project from start to finish. This model of cooperation allows you to outsource the end-to-end management and development of your project to a reliable technology partner. 

In this post, we will give you tips on how to build a dedicated team with the help of an IT service partner. You will learn the best practices for collaborating with a dedicated team at every stage of the project.

The Discovery Phase

Team members dedicate their time, effort, and knowledge to your business growth. From the discovery phase to a successful launch, maintenance, and further product or service expansion, a dedicated development team contributes to every single stage of the project lifecycle. Thus, it’s critical to know who you should hire.

Define key team roles

Consider what are the key roles that you need to fill. Some of the most common team roles consist of Project manager, Product Owner, Business Analyst, Software Consultants, QA consultants, Data Engineers, DevOps Engineers, and others. However, you do not need all of them in every project. Sometimes, one person can wear several hats – being a PO, PM, and a Lead Developer at the same time for smaller teams and projects, or one role can be taken by several people for bigger and distributed teams.

Download Whitepaper: Dedicated team model in software Development: How Does it Work?

The dedicated development team can consist of either generalists, who know a wide range of technologies, areas, and skills, or specialists focused only on a particular area. However, both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and there is no right or wrong approach, it merely depends on what you want to achieve.

If both roles, combining both generalists, and specialists, but it takes time and effort to build such a team from the ground and find the right talent.

Find the right dedicated development team size

When thinking of your team, and the roles within it, it is important also to consider the proper team size for your case. In my experience, the best approach is the gradual building or set up of a dedicated team, starting focused and small, and building your team around the first key players that you hire. That does not mean that you have to find all leaders from the beginning, it means defining the roles that you need from the beginning to have a certain foundation.

Make outcomes a priority

Putting budget first might seem alluring, especially if it is a practice among your industry counterparts. However, you cannot expect to maintain a competitive advantage if innovation capacity lies upon savings considerations. There are examples of large companies with spending splendor and cost-conscious startups who have taken a 180-degree turn to boutique service providers after embarking on the price-first highway to hell. Seek the balance between cost, value, cultural proximity, and agility to find your perfect fit.

The Set-up Phase

The setup phase is the time to lay the foundation of successful collaboration and a chance for both sides to try and test the ground. Good onboarding is especially important for remote dedicated development teams since they do not have as many opportunities to organically integrate into the company processes.

Start with a small project

Collaborate on developing a clear plan for the outsourced dedicated team’s first weeks so you’re both aligned on the expectations for the roles. Provide an opportunity within the first couple of weeks for cross-team collaboration or knowledge discovery to introduce them to your business case and clear requirements.

Focus on growth over time

Define your partnership success metrics, whether they are hard-coded like a product release in a certain time span, or synergy-oriented like team size expansion, integration capacity, etc. This will help you observe how your relationship grows and redirect the track you have taken together, if necessary.

Build trust in the team

The most challenging aspect of remote collaboration is trust – relying on your technology partner’s word and having confidence in the team’s expertise. It might take you a while to build that trust, especially if it is your first time working with an external dedicated development team or if you had an unpleasant experience in the past. Focus on goals, not an activity. Ask yourself if the team is accomplishing the end goals, rather than whether they are doing a 9 to 5 job. It will help you define clear expectations while giving your remote team the freedom to be creative. Thus, a real chance at winning your trust.

Software Development Outsourcing Case Study: From a Vendor to a Strategic Partner

The Development Phase 

It is in time of rapid shifts in business operations, whether a change in organizational structure, new stakeholders, or going remote, you experience the value of having an external dedicated development team. For this to be possible, you need to get every member involved and informed about what’s new and upcoming.

Align your expectations 

Striving for alignment with your dedicated development team helps them stay on track and see the bigger picture. Establishing an alignment strategy does not happen overnight. It’s a result of the everyday actions you set along the way. By following our recommendations, you can help team members feel the contribution they add to your company and boost your dispersed teams’ productivity.

Communicate on all levels

Your responsibilities do not end with choosing the dedicated development team and signing the contract. Project success has a great deal to do with effective communication practices. Whether it is taking turns meeting or analysis before each sprint, make sure you provide the main point of contact who can reply to the partners’ questions timely. Gradually, you should start to feel confident about letting your software development partner speak directly to business stakeholders or end-users, onboard them, or discuss the implementation of custom features.

Embrace change

It is in times of changes and turbulences, whether a change in organizational structure, new stakeholders, or going remote, you experience the value of having a partner. For this to be possible, you need to get every dedicated team member involved and informed about what’s new and upcoming.

The knowledge transfer or scaling phase

A knowledge transfer is an option for clients who may feel uncertain about investing in a dedicated team. If the client wants to ensure that they learn from their IT services partner, they can have the remote dedicated team transfer best practices and knowledge through consulting and training sessions.  Scaling a team up and down is also possible at Accedia. Based on changing business demands and project requirements, we remain flexible in reducing or increasing team size and adding new required roles.

Stay connected

Even with advanced communication technology, such as instant messaging services and video conferencing platforms, you must put time into communicating with your dedicated team. Maintaining channels for continued, transparent communication is the most effective way to keep a team collaborating effectively. This will also ensure knowledge transfer throughout the development process, and it will be easier for you to know how to handle your project onwards.

Reevaluate your dedicated development team

In the course of realizing your business objectives with the help of a dedicated development team, the scope may largely vary, as you uncover new knowledge about the market, stakeholders, or in-house factors. Therefore, make sure to regularly revalue if your dedicated team structure, in terms of roles and size, responds to your changing business requirements.

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Wrap up

The dedicated team model offers numerous benefits for businesses, including cost and time savings in the recruitment process and the ability to hire top specialists for unlimited team size and project scope. Learn more about our dedicated team services. 

Violeta is a Digital Marketing Manager in Accedia, promoting the value of working with a technology partner. Social Media savvy, passionate about writing and traveling.


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