Today, many businesses take advantage of outsourcing software development services to drive innovation and growth. Outsourcing gives you access to a broader talent pool, helps to reduce costs, and speeds up the development process.
When you decide to tap into software development outsourcing, there’s one more important question: which collaboration model to choose? You can hire a dedicated development team, go for staff augmentation, or use a project-based model.
Each of these models has its unique benefits and downsides, and there’s no one-size-fits-all option. The first and foremost thing you need to consider when choosing the outsourcing collaboration model is your business needs and requirements.
Dedicated Team Model
The dedicated team model suggests partnering with an outsourced team of developers on a long-term basis. According to Intelvision, a software development company from Ukraine, one of the most significant advantages of this model is getting a team of highly-skilled professionals hand-picked to match your unique business needs.
Organizations hire dedicated teams to carry out a specific scope of work, and the two sides share the responsibility for the deliverables. Although working independently of your in-house employees, a dedicated team is very similar to them. You don’t need to deal with any HR-related issues with a dedicated team.
In addition, an outsourced project manager takes on supervising workflows and reports to your in-house project manager.
Why choose the dedicated team model?
• Effective control. You have the same level of control over the processes as with your in-house team.
• Higher chances for success. The dedicated team members are carefully selected to best respond to the client’s business needs. Moreover, they have relevant experience and are likely to have worked together before, which translates into more efficient workflows.
• Cost-efficiency. An outsourced team will generally cost you less than hiring additional in-house personnel. What is more, you pay only the team members, significantly saving on overhead costs.
Best suitable for:
• long-term projects
• early-stage startups
• projects with vague requirements
Staff Augmentation Model
Staff augmentation means temporarily hiring a few external software development specialists to work along with an in-house team. Staff augmentation involves a close partnership between the in-house and augmented staff, and the company hiring external staff members has complete control over the development process and workflow management.
Most typically, the outsourced devs perform non-core tasks. This model is an excellent solution for organizations that seek to speed up their development processes or fill the skill gap. It allows hiring a small number of experts instead of a whole team.
Why choose the staff augmentation model?
• Maximum flexibility. The staff augmentation model allows hiring any number of developers, from as few as 0.5 full-time equivalents. You can expand your internal team when you need it and for as long as you need, without having to deal with any HR-related matters.
• Full control. You retain absolute control over the outsourced specialists with staff augmentation since they are de facto part of your in-house team.
• Hiring top talent for short periods. Some projects may require very specific skills which your internal team lacks. Staff augmentation is the best choice when you need to broaden your current team’s skills for a particular project.
Best suitable for:
• short-term cooperation
• filling skill gaps for one project
• adding developers to complete projects with tight deadlines
The project-based model involves hiring a software development company to work on a specific project from planning to release. The client and the outsourced team agree on the project requirements and decide how often they will meet to discuss it.
The project-based model suggests less responsibility but less control over the team too. The external team’s project manager manages all the workflows, and they are fully responsible for the project deliverables.
Why choose the project-based model?
• Minimum commitment. The project-based model allows businesses to focus on other essential tasks by delegating the entire project from start to finish to an external team.
• Clear outcomes. When signing a contract with an external team, the client specifies all the details in the most precise way, meaning you know what results to expect.
• Cost-efficiency. You pay only for hours worked (fixed price or time and material). In addition, outsourcing allows you to hire development teams for lower rates.
Best suitable for:
• short-term project
• full-cycle project development
• organizations focused on the deliverables and not willing to be engaged in the development process
Choosing the best collaboration model to meet your business needs is crucial. Different problems call for different solutions, making different collaboration models less or more efficient for your business. The choice of software development outsourcing model can be affected by a range of factors, including your project’s scope and budget, the project management methodology you prefer, and your in-house team’s technology stack.
A word of advice: if you’re an outsourcing novice, you might find the staff augmentation model the easiest one to start. Eventually, when your needs grow, you might reconsider your relationship with the outsourced experts and switch to another model.