Dedicated Team Model & its Impact on Productivity
Outsourcing IT-related tasks (and software development in particular!) is often hit or miss. If you choose the right company & pricing model, you can decrease dev costs by 60%. The dedicated approach proves to be one of the most popular types of offshore cooperation. IT experts cite increased productivity and effective project management as the key benefits of working with a dedicated development team (DDT). And here’s why.
4 reasons to employ a dedicated software development team
Whether you’re a startuper who barely raised $ 50 thousand via Kickstarter or run a well-established enterprise and want to save on software development, outsourcing still makes sense. Why hire a US Android developer for $ 168 per hour when you can find an offshore company from Eastern Europe and get the same work done for $ 35?
DDT is one of IT outsourcing best practices. It works wonders for large projects with unclear scope. You can hire a full-service team of developers to handle dev tasks or find several specialists to fill the gap in your in-house IT department (aka client’s team extension). Either way, the new employees will devote 100% of their working time to your project.
Working with dedicated developers, you can:
- Increase productivity. Developer hourly rates range from $ 100-250 in the USA to $ 20-50 in Eastern Europe. That’s a lot of money. And where does your money go? Mary and Tom Poppendieck, the Lean dev gurus, found out that an average outsourcing company spends only 6% of their time on software development. The rest of the time you pay for is wasted on building extra features that are barely used or get removed before the release, switching between multiple projects and…idling. It’s vice versa with dedicated employees who work on your project only and acquire great knowledge of the subject. If you provide them with the agreed workload and trust the project to a certified manager, you can increase productivity up to 20%. Some studies even suggest that moving away from the matrix management approach allows software development companies to complete projects twice as fast;
- Improve product quality. David Upton from Oxford University studied over 1 thousand IT projects and arrived at a curious conclusion. It turned out that developers who previously worked on a task together (even for a short time) deliver better software once a manager puts them on a development team again. In fact, they make 19% less coding mistakes! DDT members work on a project for several months in a row. You know what it means, right?
- Reduce costs. The findings of the same survey show that dedicated teams are 30% more likely to stick to the agreed budget & deliver a high-quality product on time. And yes, it’s the vendor who bears office space and recruiting expenses;
- Save time on management. With universally implemented tools like JIRA and Redmine, it’s not that difficult to monitor your employees’ performance. We want to draw your attention to the fact that a dedicated development offsite team is largely self-managed. Senior developers oversee juniors’ work. An experienced manager keeps in touch with the customer and delivers his massages to other DDT members. As a result, employees learn how to communicate on a particular project and observe the guidelines. And what if they have already worked together in the past? Well, it brings us back to the productivity point.
As you can see by the “Productivity in Software Development” infographic, team capability and commitment are the key success factors for any dev project (especially a dedicated one).
What makes the dedicated dev team model productive?
Apart from closer cooperation and familiarity, there are other factors behind dedicated teams’ improved performance:
- Agile methodology. We’ve already mentioned that DDT is perfect for outsourcing projects with unclear scope. But it doesn’t mean developers handle your project as it is. They break it down into smaller parts and set multiple deadlines. As a result, important stages of the project are treated as urgent, and the team members keep a steady work pace throughout the entire development cycle. According to QSM Associates study, working with agile dedicated teams is a tried-and-true method to increase the productivity rate in software development by 25% (and more);
- Gamification approach. You have to keep in touch with the new workers – even if they are some 5 thousand miles away from you. In order to keep offsite employees motivated, customers often bring game-like elements to regular video standups. Outsourcing companies go even further and turn to proper gamification. Playing the Roast or Agile Jenga Testing Game, DDT members learn to trust each other, befriend their manager and determine areas for improvement. Even if you partner with a company that doesn’t use gamification techniques, you should understand that the multiple deadline policy is challenging as it is & increases employees’ engagement;
- Long-term commitment. A customer is free to promote his corporate culture among the dedicated team members, choose project management tools and shift task priorities. He also learns developers’ deadline sensitivity, sets goals and accepts work. The team, in their turn, get acquainted with the customer’s requirements and habits. When built on trust and mutual respect, dedicated teams decrease a product time-to-market by 37%.
Approximately 50% of IT offshore projects fail to meet financial objectives or…simply fail. The dedicated approach to outsourcing is by no means a cure-all. It requires constant workload, extra time for communication & management and might be expensive for short-term dev tasks.
That’s why you should consult an experienced vendor who will define the scope of your project, suggest the most effective pricing model and employ IT outsourcing best methodologies and practices to deliver high-quality product.