If you’re looking for a solution to replenish the development staff, you must have come across the concept of a team extension. This is not a fashionable word for the classic hiring of new employees but a fundamentally new approach. And today, we will talk about it in detail.
What does prevent companies from becoming more technologically advanced? You may be surprised, but it is not a development budget. According to a Gartner survey, 64% of IT leaders consider a lack of talented developers the most significant barrier to innovation. It seems more severe than implementation costs (29%) or security risks (7%).
Along with this, one can observe a lack of IT talent, especially for implementing cloud computing, automation, and continuous delivery. Both accelerated hiring plans and the remote work trend drive this. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to search for qualified personnel with a progressive development stack independently. This is where an extended team comes to the rescue.
For more than 20 years, Integrio has been helping companies develop technological solutions by providing them with talented developers. The rich experience allowed us to collect and structure industry information into a small team extension guide. Stay tuned to find out the differences and advantages of this model, what the team integration looks like, and what you should pay attention to get great results.
What Team Extension Service Is and How It Works
Software team extension is a search for software developers with the necessary skills and experience to complete a specific task. You can hire one or more specialists who must fit in with your company culture to become a part of your tech squad.
This model implies the creation of long-term partnerships. That is why it requires more advanced management methods that guarantee quality work and maintain motivation.
It is a smart solution for small businesses that do not have enough time or resources to hire full-time employees. It helps solve short-term tasks, such as data entry, and long-lasting projects, such as product development.
Large IT companies often offer team extension services. It happens because they have already gathered a pool of developers with different skills for various projects, allowing them to form effective groups quickly.
In Integrio, the team extension process consists of several successive steps:
We analyze your infrastructure and operations to identify areas for improvement. Then we draw up a plan to implement solutions where a team extension model is necessary.
List of Requirements
Together with you, we define the role descriptions and note what skills you still lack. It is important to find specialists who can achieve the essential goals, whether speeding up processes or adding new features.
We prepare a list of potential candidates based on their qualifications, experience, and crucial hard and soft skills. Working on a project may require technical expertise and knowledge of a particular language or cultural characteristics of a country or region.
You get acquainted with the best specialists and determine whether they suit you.
By approving our candidates, we take care of all the administrative work. And from now on, we will follow their work to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Extended Team vs. Dedicated Team
The terms “extended team” and “dedicated team” are very similar, but they have significant differences.
The extended team handles specific tasks while your in-house programmers cover the core product development, upgrade, or maintenance processes.
A dedicated team takes care of project development from beginning to finish, acting as an independent unit.
Also, the team extension model allows you to work with narrow processes and technologies, providing quick support. And it makes sense to hire a dedicated team only for complex long-term projects as it is a full-fledged department of specialists in various fields.
The influence degree of such teams on the work also differs. The extended team is deeply integrated into the company’s life and works closely with other departments. A dedicated team operates independently and communicates through the project manager. At the same time, you cannot actively intervene in the process as you see only the result.
The dedicated team model is suitable for large and expensive projects that prioritize creating unique and specific solutions. An extended team is more about speed, efficiency, and loyalty, allowing you to meet the dynamic company's needs in the long term.
We have prepared a table to summarize the difference between extended and dedicated teams:
How Companies Benefit from Team Extension Model
Delloite's 2022 report highlights the top drivers behind using innovation-oriented outsourcing services. They include access to new capabilities (49%), business strategy and operating model shifts (46%), changing regulatory requirements (45%), overall need to cut costs (40%), and others.
Along with this, we have identified ten reasons for extending your team:
Access to International Staff
With an extended team, you can work with the best developers worldwide without exceeding your budget. The main thing is to understand the complexity of the project and the level of the desired specialists’ qualifications.
Easy Hiring Process
You do not need to look for tech talents with the necessary background and test their skills. Instead, your IT partner does all this, and all you have to do is conduct a few interviews and determine who is the best fit for your team.
Such specialists come to work in the long term. They are maximally involved in your workflow, operating closely with the entire team. They are also happy to share the best practices in their field, enriching your project.
With IT team extension, you pre-negotiate an hourly rate and monthly payments that cover materials. It helps to control costs and plan further steps for improving the project.
Effective Project Management
You can run the project yourself or entrust it to a manager. In any case, the process will be smooth and transparent. The manager brings external and in-house team members together and helps control work processes.
Fast Time to Market
An extended team allows you to strengthen your technical potential. Thanks to this, you accelerate the project's development and reduce the time to market. It will give you an additional competitive edge.
Flexible Terms of Cooperation
You can work with an external team full-time or part-time. Finding a model that suits your company with its specific processes and new talented specialists is essential.
As for location, the developers can work:
In your company’s space
Close to the company with the possibility of attending meetings
Completely remote, including another continent as part of an offshore scenario
To gain a competitive advantage, you should use newer technologies. These include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented reality (AR), the internet of things (IoT), and others. And it is pretty tricky to find such niche specialists on your own, but IT companies often have suitable developers.
Often, in the work process, you may need to scale the team more than once when your strategy or business requirements change. Companies that provide extended team services have a fantastic developer community. Therefore, it is easy for them to find those who will be suitable in terms of price and quality.
Working with an extended development team saves money in the long run. You do not need to allocate money for search and training, benefits, bonuses, and other overhead costs. Instead, you only pay for the qualified services you demand.
When You Need Team Extension Services
Extended team is an excellent solution for anyone with a solid development staff who needs additional skills, ideas, or hands. But when is it most appropriate for your business?
You Lack Certain Technical Skills
Your project may require experience and qualifications that your company's employees do not have. An expanded team will help you quickly replenish the project with talents helpful for your specific needs. It is much easier than looking for the right people on your own or upgrading the skills of existing technical staff. And often cheaper.
You Cannot Handle the Load
Your workload has grown significantly, and the existing team can no longer deal with it. Perhaps you underestimated the scale of the upcoming project and now want to play it safe with the help of extra hands. Or you have started to create new functionality and want in-house employees to continue solving their tasks. In this case, you should extend your team with remote specialists.
You Cannot Scale an Existing Team
Scaling an internal team requires additional time and money. New developers are always accompanied by extras in equipment, training and onboarding expenses, vacation overhead, sick leave, and bonuses. With an extended team, specialists can work remotely, and all financial issues are regulated.
You Have Little Recruiting Experience
Recruiting technical specialists is always challenging. Firstly, without being a developer, it is difficult to understand the qualifications of a future employee. Secondly, such experts rarely look for jobs using classic platforms. An experienced IT company will help you efficiently find a developer based on your needs and capabilities.
You Need Fast Integration
You want to get your product to market faster and beat your competitors. Or you need to optimize or automate your processes as soon as possible. Then team extension model is the best solution as you will get qualified employees ready to start tasks soon.
How to Simplify Extended Team Integration
Along with choosing the right supplier, it is also important to properly integrate the extended team model into your processes. And here are the steps you need to take:
Decide Who You Need
To begin with, think about the scope of the projects and the main roles of those who will work on them. What specialists do you need in your development staff? What part of the project do you want to delegate to them? If you can't answer these questions alone, you may need help with planning.
IT companies like Integrio often have specialists who can analyze your company's needs and create a qualified extended team.
Set Precise Requirements and Goals
To make the cooperation as beneficial and understandable as possible, define goals and SMART KPIs. Indicators should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. With them, the external team can focus on your wishes, and you can evaluate its work.
At this stage, you may also consult with our business analyst. We will help you research the market and draft technical documentation for your project.
Establish Work Control Methods
Consider how you plan to control the workflow. For example, how regularly do you want to communicate with the extended development team? How will you check the intermediate results? Do you want to get too deep into the process?
If your project is complex and large, you can delegate its supervision to the project manager. This person will keep in touch with the entire team, delve into the development process and ensure that progress meets pre-established agreements.
Check the Candidates
Having formed project requirements and specifications, proceed to the developers' selection. Of course, they must have all the hard skills and experience essential for your project. But it is equally vital for them to naturally fit into the team and share your values and work approach.
Therefore, communicate personally with each finalist in the recruiting process. Remember that these people will become a part of your team for a long time, so you should be comfortable with them.
Integrate New Specialists into the Team
Use cloud storage and available communication channels to make extended team integration easier. All developers should be able to keep abreast of the workflow, used methodologies, and corporate culture. Also, distribute the workload to make all team members equally involved and motivated.
Integrio is a reliable IT partner with over 20 years of experience in software development and IT recruitment.
We are always happy to provide you with an extended team for small and urgent tasks. But you may need comprehensive project assistance, which means its implementation from an idea to a product launch. In this case, we will be happy to form a dedicated software development team.
At the heart of our work lies an orientation towards ultimate goals and financial efficiency. Here is why you should partner with us:
We have a base of 100+ middle and senior tech specialists, each with the necessary qualifications and practical experience. Among them:
Back-end developers using PHP, Node.js, Python, C/C++, Ruby
Integrio is more than just experienced and qualified employees. We provide them with a workspace and all the necessary resources, help with business trips, and take on tax obligations. Therefore, you will be able to focus on the crucial project processes.
The specialists we provide rely on the entire Integrio experience, which means they can always seek advice or support for technologies that are not included in their stack.
And what is very important for the team extension model, we are ready to find the developers you need in record time — 2-3 weeks. So it means that they can get started on your project faster.
Integrio has already helped many companies with their complex technical projects.
Among them is a long-term cooperation with Jonas Software, a leading Canadian IT company with 80 subsidiaries. We provide extended and dedicated teams for SaaS solution providers for the gym, fitness club and sports community management, event management, member management, etc.
For example, we partner with 123Signup, a vendor who is reforming events and affiliate management. Our extended team upgraded outdated components and added new features. Now the platform allows clients to collect donations, create membership plans, get high-quality reports, and quickly create landing pages for their events.
Sometimes, platform modernization can be tricky for your IT department. In-house developers may specialize in other fields or be overloaded with current tasks. With an extended team, you get high-quality results without unnecessary costs and administrative fuss. You do not even have to look for talent personally.¬
So, if you want to optimize internal processes, add new features for your customers, or try new technology, contact Integrio to discuss new opportunities the extended team model provides.
The cost of extended team services depends on many factors:
The number of specialists you want to hire: the larger the team, the more budget
Developers’ location — salaries in the US, Western and Eastern Europe vary greatly, but in any case, you can find the best value for money
Education, experience, hard skills, and tech stack of extended team members
Team expansion will suit your company if you:
Work on a new type of project that your team lacks the right skills for
Need niche skills and do not know where to look for such specialists
Work on a temporary project for which you do not need to hire new employees
Are limited in time and funds to fully replenish your development staff
Team extension is helpful to companies that need new technologies to improve customer experience or optimize internal processes. They are:
Businesses operating in the healthcare, travel, and hospitality industries
Usually, the process of forming an extended team takes a few weeks, while traditional recruiting with the hiring of specialists can last several months. Integrio needs 2-3 weeks to find suitable specialists for your project.
To extend your team, you need to:
Decide on the project goals and scope
Make a list of required qualifications for developers
Conduct interviews with selected candidates, testing their hard and soft skills
Sign a contract with approved developers
To select a reliable team expansion partner, pay attention to the following criteria:
Convenience for you of the region in which the company operates