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How to Build a Dedicated Development Team

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The dedicated development team (DDT) model is an innovative solution tailored to meet the diverse needs of software development and it offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional in-house development.

The concept of a DDT is simple yet powerful: it enables you to expand your team by adding dedicated software developers located in regions with competitive development rates, such as Eastern Europe, Asia, or Latin America. They work exclusively on your project, providing their full-time commitment, while you have direct access to each member, enabling seamless collaboration. Meanwhile, the dedicated team's vendor takes care of recruitment, retention, office space, IT infrastructure, HR support, and enticing employee perks.

With the dedicated development team model, you can tap into a diverse talent pool, optimize resources, and enhance productivity.

To build a truly effective dedicated development team model, consider some tips from our team. In this post, we’ll share valuable tips for building successful DDT cooperation and working seamlessly within this model. Let's dive into the key strategies that will help you navigate this journey and achieve remarkable results.

Your journey to building a dedicated development team - a step-by-step guide

When it comes to hiring dedicated software developers, the key to project success lies in sourcing skilled professionals who can bring valuable expertise to the table. This joint endeavor involves two primary entities: the Customer and the Provider. Each party carries distinct responsibilities to ensure a smooth and effective collaboration:

The Provider takes on crucial tasks such as:

  • Talent acquisition
  • IT infrastructure management
  • Providing office space
  • Retention of a software engineering team
  • Handling of administration and payroll
  • Facilitation of team building
  • Employee benefits

On the flip side, the Customer assumes a range of responsibilities, including:

  • Defining a clear project scope
  • Evaluation of the team's effectiveness
  • Facilitation of open and efficient communication
  • Cultivation of positive company culture

The next stage is to delve into the actionable steps and essential factors that will help you effectively engage a dedicated development team in the project.

When do we recommend hiring a dedicated team

The dedicated team model fits well in various project scenarios as it offers flexibility and scalability. However, there are cases when it will not be the best option. Here are some instances where we recommend considering the hiring of a dedicated team:

  • Complex and extensive projects: When your project has a wide scope or is expected to be long-term, a dedicated team can provide the necessary expertise and resources to handle the complexity.
  • Flexibility in requirements and changes: If your project requires frequent changes in requirements, objectives, scope, or the need for diverse skill sets, one of the key benefits of hiring a dedicated development team is their ability to readily adapt to these changes and ensure steady progress.
  • Tight deadlines and resource constraints: When you have strict deadlines and limited resources to quickly assemble a qualified team, a DDT can accelerate development and help you meet project requirements.
  • Lack of in-house expertise: If your in-house team lacks specific project expertise or experience, particularly in specialized tech projects, a dedicated team engagement model can bring in the required skills and knowledge to ensure successful execution.
  • Minimum viable product (MVP) development: In the case of developing an MVP to attract early adopters, secure investor interest, or enter new markets, a dedicated team can help you build and launch your product faster thanks to an additional workforce.
  • Cost considerations: A dedicated team can be a cost-effective alternative compared to recruiting and maintaining an entire in-house team, especially when you consider factors like salaries, benefits of a dedicated development team, and infrastructure costs.
  • Existing team capacity: When your in-house team is already occupied with other development projects and can’t take on an additional workload, the benefits of having a part-time dedicated project team are the resource gap and ensuring timely project completion.
  • Talent scarcity in the local market: If you're facing challenges in finding skilled tech professionals locally, a dedicated team from regions with a larger pool of available talents, such as remote locations or emerging tech hubs, can provide access to a wider talent pool.

In order to determine whether the dedicated team model works best or not, consider the specific requirements, scope, budget, and duration of your project.

The roadmap to building a successful dedicated development team

Building a successful dedicated development team requires careful planning and execution. Here's a roadmap to guide you along the way:

Step 1: Defining project goals and business requirements

To ensure a seamless partnership with a dedicated development team, it’s crucial to outline your project goals and business requirements. This initial step lays the foundation for a clear vision and sets the course for achieving success.

By clearly defining your project goals, you establish the desired outcomes and milestones you aim to accomplish. This provides a compass to guide the development process and ensures that all efforts are aligned toward the same objectives. Whether it's enhancing your existing software, developing a new product, or expanding your digital presence, articulating your goals brings clarity and focus to the journey ahead.

In parallel, understanding your business requirements is equally essential. These requirements encompass the specific functionalities, features, and technical specifications that your software solution must meet to satisfy your business objectives. By delving into the intricacies of your business processes, target audience, and industry dynamics, you gain insights that shape the development approach and enable the dedicated team to deliver tailored solutions that align with your unique requirements.

Taking the time to outline your project goals and business requirements serves as a roadmap for success. It enables effective communication, sets expectations, and fosters a collaborative environment between you and the dedicated development team. With a clear vision in place, you pave the way for a productive partnership that brings your ideas to life and propels your business toward remarkable achievements.

Step 2: How to select a trustworthy vendor

Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, it's time to carefully select an outsourcing partner and present your business idea and strategy to them. To find a trustworthy company you need to provide research and create a list of potential vendors.

Referrals

Don't forget about recommendations from trusted sources: explore online directories, check industry associations, and attend trade shows. It is advisable to place trust in vendors who have established a positive reputation and have consistently delivered high-quality products or services. It is also essential to consider feedback from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers to form a well-rounded assessment.

Evaluation of financial stability

Review their financial statements or conduct a credit check to ensure they are financially secure. A stable vendor is more likely to fulfill their commitments and provide ongoing support.

Carefully review any contracts or agreements provided by the vendor. Pay attention to terms and conditions, warranties, delivery schedules, payment terms, and any other relevant details. Seek legal advice if necessary.

References

Request references from the vendor. Contact their current or past clients to inquire about their experiences. Ask about product quality, reliability, communication, and customer service to gauge the vendor's performance.

Communication

Assess the vendor's communication and responsiveness. Good communication is crucial for a successful vendor-client relationship. Evaluate how promptly and effectively the vendor responds to your inquiries and addresses any concerns or issues that arise.

Vendor’s capacity

If you anticipate future growth or have long-term requirements, evaluate their ability to scale operations and meet your evolving needs. Ensure they have the necessary resources and capacity.

Bottom line

The final piece of advice would be: to trust your instincts. If you have doubts about a vendor's reliability or if something feels off, it may be best to explore other options.

Selecting a trustworthy vendor requires time and effort. Gathering information, evaluating options, and making informed decisions is essential for the success of your project or business.

If an outsourcing partner has a good understanding of your needs and requirements for your dedicated team, they can promptly adjust their services. Subsequently, they will provide you with a comprehensive proposal for your project. If you agree to the proposal and successfully negotiate the contract, you can proceed to the next step confidently.

Step 3: Transferring your in-house team knowledge to the DDT

To ensure that a DDT has access to valuable information about your company's processes, workflows, best practices, and specific requirements, build a process with a comprehensive knowledge transfer:

  • Process documentation: Step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and examples provide a thorough understanding of how tasks are executed. Documentation helps the DDT members align their work with your established processes.
  • Best practices: Knowledge transfer could be greatly enhanced if your in-house team shares its best practices, such as guidelines, methodologies, and approaches that have proven successful in achieving desired results.
  • Specific requirements: Outline any specific requirements that are unique to your business or projects: technical specifications, design guidelines, coding standards, data security protocols, and compliance requirements.
  • Culture and values: One of the common issues of DDTs is culture clash. To prevent this situation, communicate your company's culture, mission, and values. Share information about the work environment, teamwork dynamics, and communication norms.

By focusing on comprehensive documentation and well-planned training and onboarding processes, you can effectively transfer your in-house team knowledge to the DDT and ensure a smooth integration into your company's workflows and culture. This sets the foundation for successful collaboration and shared understanding between the teams.

Step 4: Setting clear milestones, the scope of work, and requirements

Onboarding the DDT involves a structured process to ensure a smooth transition and integration into your company's operations. Here's an outline of the steps involved in onboarding the team:

Preparing for onboarding

Before the collaboration starts, establish a clear understanding of the scope of work, project requirements, and desired outcomes. This includes defining specific milestones, project timelines, and deliverables. Collaborate with the DDT provider to establish a shared understanding of expectations. Provide relevant background information about the project's objectives, target audience, and expected outcomes.

Access and infrastructure setup

Grant the DDT members access to the necessary tools, software, and infrastructure required for the project like project management tools, version control systems, and communication platforms.

Tools and technologies

Provide training on the tools, technologies, and software platforms used by your in-house team. Hands-on sessions to familiarize the DDT members with the specific tools and their functionalities might be helpful. Also, offer resources such as user manuals, tutorials, and access to training materials to support their learning process.

Methodologies and workflows

Share insights into the methodologies and workflows employed by your in-house team. Explain the rationale behind these approaches and demonstrate how they contribute to successful project execution. Provide training on project management methodologies, agile practices, and any other frameworks relevant to your projects.

Mentorship and guidance

Assign a mentor or point of contact from your in-house team to support and guide the DDT members during the onboarding process. The mentor can provide assistance, answer questions, and offer guidance on project-specific aspects. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions can help build rapport and establish effective collaboration.

Step 5: Building a communication plan to always stay in touch with a team

Developing a robust communication plan is essential for staying connected with a team. To ensure consistent communication and productive collaboration with your Dedicated Development Team (DDT), it is vital to create a robust communication plan. Begin by organizing a kick-off meeting with the DDT members, which serves as a crucial opportunity to delve into the project specifics, including its scope, requirements, and milestones. This meeting should encourage thorough discussion to address any inquiries or uncertainties and guarantee that everyone is on the same page regarding the project's objectives. Moreover, the kick-off meeting serves as a platform to establish transparent communication channels and cultivate a collaborative partnership between the DDT and your in-house team.

The next focus area is communication and collaboration. It is important to establish effective communication channels and protocols that facilitate regular updates, progress tracking, and issue resolution. Open and transparent communication between the DDT members and your in-house team fosters collaboration and ensures that everyone's expectations are met. By maintaining clear and consistent communication, you can address any challenges or changes promptly, leading to a smoother workflow and successful project outcomes.

Another key aspect of the communication plan is ongoing evaluation and feedback. It is essential to regularly evaluate the DDT's performance and provide constructive feedback. This practice helps identify areas of improvement and ensures that the DDT remains aligned with your project goals. By maintaining a feedback loop, you can address any concerns or issues promptly, fostering continuous improvement and maintaining a high level of collaboration.

By following these steps and implementing a robust communication plan, you can effectively onboard the DDT, establish clear milestones, define the scope of work, and lay the foundation for successful collaboration throughout the project.

Final thoughts​​

IT outsourcing is obviously an advantageous and cost-effective business approach. So, what drives organizations to take consideration into outsourcing as part of their business strategy? Increased capacity, accomplishing larger business goals, accessing skills not available in-house, and cost savings.

By hiring a dedicated team at DigitalSuits, you’ll benefit from cutting down development expenses as well as maintaining full control over your project. Our software engineers will focus solely on your project, ensuring maximum productivity and top-notch quality. This advantage sets it apart from other models like Time & Materials or Fixed Price. Trust DigitalSuits to deliver outstanding results for your business.

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