When outsourcing, customers typically take the...
Back in 2013, the global offshore software development market was worth $ 288 billion. It has been growing ever since. You’d be surprised to learn that such popular services as Skype, Basecamp and Staff.com were initially built by outsourcing companies. Why your enterprise needs a dedicated development team? How can you benefit from hiring one? What are the pros and cons of such cooperation? Read on to find out!
Understanding the dedicated dev team model
Ok, what is a dedicated team? The term can refer to a:
- Full-service team. A group of developers, designers and testers guided by a project manager who oversees the dev process, assigns tasks and communicates with the customer;
- Client’s team extension. You address a software outsourcing company and choose several skilled specialists to complete your own in-house team.
In both cases, you employ developers who devote 100% of their time to your project.
Here’s how to do it:
- You contact an outsourcing company and list the skills you want to see in your potential employees;
- The company (aka service provider) looks for suitable candidates among its staff or in the local market;
- Only best developers are offered the job. They receive instructions directly from your in-house manager or work with a tech coordinator appointed by the outsourcing company.
Every month you pay a certain sum which covers the salaries of your new staff and the provider fees.
Dedicated software developers are usually hired by startups, small businesses and large companies that don’t have IT departments or want to cut dev expenses.
The pros and cons of working with offshore dedicated teams
The advantages come first, and they are:
- Cost reduction. In fact, 44% of American companies who turn to IT outsourcing want to reduce dev costs. What are the ways to save money? First, the average hourly rates of iOS and Android developers in the USA are $ 150 and $ 168, respectively. Offshore companies from Eastern Europe charge lower prices for software development ($ 35 per hour for both Android and iOS). Second, you don’t need to hire in-house dev specialists. And no, you don’t have to splurge on expensive software, hardware and office space. You only pay for the time developers spend on your project;
- Full control over the development process. By hiring a dedicated software development team, you get your own personal IT department. Temporary employees embrace your corporate culture and use the management tools you prefer. You receive performance reposts on a regular basis, assign tasks to the project manager and determine their priority. In other words, you are the boss;
- Scalability. The model is perfect for long-term projects with unclear scope. You’ve got an idea for an application, but aren’t sure what the end product will look like? You can always hire several developers to craft a minimum viable product and get more staff on board if there’s too much work to do;
- Increased productivity. Professor David Upton (Oxford University) monitored over 1 thousand dev projects to evaluate employees’ overall performance, deadline sensitivity and the number of coding defects they produced. The study proved that an average dedicated dev project team improve productivity by 10%, make fewer coding mistakes and are more likely to stick to the budget. There’s no magic to it. While working on a project, team members learn to trust each other and develop deep domain knowledge.
Working with offshore teams (arguably) has several drawbacks:
- You need extra time for project management and communication with your employees (they’re not sitting in the next room after all);
- The model can be expensive for short-term projects (under 12 months);
- You have to constantly “load” developers with tasks to make the model cost-effective (it is time you pay for).
However, the dedicated approach to software development always means high quality. Don’t make rushed decisions. Before you employ an offshore dedicated team, consult the vendor and outline the nature of your project.
5 steps to successful software outsourcing
- Make sure the team has worked on similar tasks before;
- Find an experienced project manager who can handle possible leadership issues (which are not infrequent among high-profile developers!);
- Choose the Agile development methodology (by breaking your project into several stages and having them delivered in cycles, you achieve better results and learn to cooperate with your employees);
- Communication is King (do not limit communication to emails and occasional Skype calls; hold daily video meetings and visit your team from time to time);
- Track performance (define the responsibilities of each member of your dev team; use effective project management tools like Pivotal Tracker, Basecamp and Jira; think positive and be open to cooperation).
Software development (especially when it comes to outsourcing!) is a tricky business. If you hire a dedicated team, you can easily overcome several pitfalls common for offshore development, including cultural differences, management issues and unexpected costs.