There’s an essential element that’s sometimes forgotten in the tech world: the people behind it all. In this article, we’re focusing on the brilliant humans that make it all possible, and how you can bring them together to work on your project. Stay with us to discover more about the 2 most sought-after types of teams and how you can choose the best one for you.



Expanding operations to a third-party supplier


Tech companies of all sizes – from startups to corporations – need top-notch IT talent to build and maintain software that wins the game on the market. 

For that to happen, your existing internal team might not tick all the boxes. 

Software development outsourcing is a cost-effective strategy that implies hiring experts to optimize your processes and maximize efficiency without the hassle and resources needed for the in-house hiring process.

Here are 2 types of teams that you can consider for your project: team extension vs. managed teams. 




What are team extensions? 


Say you have a software development project on your hands right now. Your team is doing everything it can, but problems come up. You get help from an agency that has the resources to find and select top talent with experience in solving that particular problem. They make sure the developers fit your company’s culture and that they can support your project long term.


Well, that’s the idea of team extension. Team extension is an enhancement of your current team. You delegate parts of the software development process (and not only) to niche experts. 



The extended team model (ETM)


There are many definitions of this model thanks to the flexibility of the situation, but here are some facts about it: 


  • It’s all about adding, not replacing 

Your in-house team doesn’t get impacted by any changes. You’re simply enhancing it by bringing on board more smart minds to fill in a skill gap or to scale up the team. Team extensions are, in general, integrated quite deeply into the company’s internal world. The developers work closely with the rest of the team, and they’re encouraged to participate in the company’s internal activities. 


  • You control the team and the project 

As opposed to managed teams, extended teams are your responsibility. You call the shots, assign tasks, provide feedback, and overall handle the admin and management parts. You’re also responsible for communicating often and effectively, as well as for nurturing a motivating team culture. 



  • The extension can be… anywhere 

The extended team can be remote (the offshore approach) or, like the rest of the team, it can be part of your office. However, because the extended team will most likely be working with you for long periods of time, it’s a common practice to bring them to meet everyone in-person sometimes to strengthen the team culture. 

What are managed teams? 


As opposed to the extended team model, the Dedicated Software Development Team Model (or the managed teams) means completely outsourcing the entirety or parts of your software development project to remote teams of developers. The collaboration is handled through a vendor that takes care of everything for you.



Here are some fun facts: 

  • The vendor is in charge of recruiting and managing the team

Not only does the vendor put together the team, but they’re also in charge of leading and coordinating it all the way. You can just sit back (or get involved however much you want) while the dedicated team of experts takes care of their tasks. 

Managed teams are commonly used for bigger, more complex projects where they can handle large parts of the process. 



  • It’s a cost-effective, flexible, and transparent approach

You’ll be able to work with remote developers from outside the areas that have extremely high prices for this type of work (i.e. US, UK, Australia etc.). Working with developers from Eastern Europe, for example, that are just as skilled, your costs will be significantly lower. 

As for the flexibility part, your business goals will be their business goals. Therefore, whatever your requirements are, an experienced professional vendor should be able to offer you a suitable team that brings good ROI. 



What to keep in mind when choosing this model? 


Because you’ll be partnering up with the vendor, there will have to be strong communication and process standards to ensure a fruitful collaboration. As with any outsourcing initiatives, the goals of the project, the scope of work, and the conditions have to be outlined clearly in order for everyone to manage their expectations and have a good vision of the “why” of the project. 



A quick checklist: which model should you choose for your project? 


The Extended Team Model (ETM):

  • You want the responsibility (and, honestly, the joy) of managing the extended team and calling the shots within the project;
  • Your in-house team is solid, but you want to scale up or fill a skill gap that will significantly enhance your project’s efficiency and effectiveness; 
  • You want top talent, but you don’t have the time and energy to go through the recruiting process. 


The Dedicated Software Development Team Model:

  • You’d rather focus your and your in-house team’s attention on other things while a dedicated team of experts spends their working time and energy on your project; 
  • You want to go with a more cost-efficient option and you’re comfortable working with remote teams; 
  • You’re willing to share the know-how of your project with outside teams (you can have the vendor sign an NDA for that, but take in consideration whether you want to share your knowledge and product with outside people); 
  • You have a bigger project with a bigger budget.