Dedicated software development team. Best practices to hire

17 Jun 202211 min read

A dedicated software development team is a jack-of-all-trades model in terms of outsourcing. It is like hiring your own IT department of like-minded specialists who are ready to kick off your project, share the same values, and are passionate about your product. However, the key is not the model but the right people behind it.

When it comes to hiring such teams, we witness a variety of choices caused by the growth of the outsourcing industry, the value of which is expected to reach $405.6 billion by 2027. Over the years, more and more vendors have entered the market offering software development services under various collaboration models. How to recognize and hire a dedicated team that is suitable for you?

In this article, we'll look at the latest trends in the outsourcing market to provide you with a full picture of what is relevant today. Besides, you'll get a list of characteristics that define an expert dedicated tech team. Finally, we'll share some advice for hiring, so you can select the right experts to contribute to your project.

Trends & overview of the IT outsourcing industry

It is good practice to do some research before selecting a partner. The technologies, as well as software outsourcing companies, are changing rapidly. The things seen as progressive in the previous year may already be outdated. So what’s the picture of today’s outsourcing software development services? Let’s see more closely.

  • Market growth & tendency to reduce costs

The outsourcing market is gaining momentum. According to Statista, 66% of US companies outsource at least some of their operations. The reason for this is obvious: outsourcing helps to accelerate the development of a project and increases the return on investment. It reduces costs by 15% on average and up to 60% in some cases.

  • Tech trends

According to Deloitte, 68% of companies use cloud services as one of the primary enablers in their outsourcing journey, such as SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is ranked second among the major outsourcing enablers, with 64% of organizations using it. 55% stated they use a single instance of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

  • New communication models

Today, we all have to work in increasingly dynamic working environments. All this is because of quick changes in the market and the fact that the majority of development outsourcing companies switched to remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This requires the use of communication tools like Slack and Google Meet, Zoom, and more sophisticated approaches for managing remote teams.

Another important tendency is a significant shift in communication between product owners and the team itself. Previously, project managers served as a bridge between the two sides. But today, we have a new communication model in outsourcing, under which clients are more willing to attend meetings and interact with the developers. Actually, it works pretty well because it provides faster feedback and sets the development on the right track.

Dedicated team: definition, benefits, and when to hire

Now, let’s see in more detail what a dedicated software development team actually is and how it differs from other collaboration models? Generally, there are three main outsourcing models that describe the relationships between the business and the IT service vendor.

Collaboration models in outsourcing

A dedicated development team is a goldmine when you want to scale your team with top talented people. No matter if you need to extend your existing team (use it as team augmentation) or build your product from scratch with an entirely new team, this model will help you reach the desired goals.

What is the structure of a dedicated team?

The structure is totally customizable per your needs. In most cases, it includes front-end, back-end, full-stack developers, DevOps engineers, project managers, UI/UX designers, and any other additional experts like data scientists, solution architects, marketing consultants, or business analysts.

The benefits of a dedicated software development team

Let’s take a closer look at the possible advantages when a dedicated development team model works successfully.

  1. Established work processes

You obtain self-organized teams that may already have previous experience with different projects. You don't have to spend time building a team. It will consist of people who are used to working together and will be operating at their full potential from day one.

  1. Hassle-free recruitment and talent management

You are not required to find, attract, recruit, and onboard new staff. All you have to do is review candidate profiles and select those that have the necessary skills and are a good fit for your company culture. The vendor covers all costs, including paid time off, private healthcare, hardware, and other perks.

  1. Cost-effectiveness

Hiring a dedicated development team cuts your business running costs. Among other things, you can save money on equipment, and other administrative costs. In addition, you won't have to pay for any recruitment or hiring expenses, training, or taxes.

  1. Your project is the main focus

You can be sure your project is always the priority. Dedicated software developers keep the project on track without any interruptions. They are completely focused on your assignments and do not switch to anything else. Furthermore, as time passes, their expertise in your product becomes deeper and more sophisticated, increasing the likelihood of gaining better results throughout development.

  1. Ability to focus on your core activities

Once you delegate the scope of your work to a dedicated team, you can focus on more strategic things. You simply know that the work is in responsible hands. As a result, you have more time to work on other aspects of your company's operations.

Benefits of hiring dedicated development team

What does a decent dedicated team look like?

The best way to hire the right people is to have a clear vision of what a strong team looks like. How to evaluate the effectiveness of such a team, and what is relevant today? Here are some important aspects to consider.

  • Flexible

The specifics of such a model provide quick adaptability to new projects. That’s why a great team should be able to select the right approach for your project and be able to pivot when business requirements change.

  • Involved

A great team has a specific attitude towards the work they do, and when they onboard a project, take full ownership of it. With some level of autonomy and good communication set up, an effective team will initiate changes both to your product and engineering processes.

  • Open to challenges

Motivational and ready-for-challenge people are another important aspect. People may have the skills, but if they aren't motivated enough, their contributions to the project won't have the results. The team should be ready to go through the path of developing the workload to the end, no matter how thorny it may be and no matter what challenges it has ahead.

  • With solid expertise

This is obvious, but nevertheless, this list could not exist without this point. Technical expertise can have a wide range of domains, such as custom E-commerce development, custom web development, and mobile development. Be narrowly focused on what exactly you want to develop and what technologies you need to utilize. For example, if you want to build a web platform, you need to look for a dedicated web development team. In this case, your chances of selecting the right team will be much higher.

  • Building partnership

Every organization has its own practices and vision of how they develop business relationships with its outsourcing teams. We believe effective collaboration is similar to friendship. It is important to feel that you are on the same page and share things that are important to each of you.

  • Agile and easy to follow

Always look at the project management methods used by the dedicated team. Scrum or Kanban-based agile methodologies are currently the most popular (almost 90% of software development projects work in Scrum).

The most significant benefit of agile adoption is the project success rate. Statistics show that 91% of agile-led projects succeed in achieving their objectives. With Scrum or Kanban, a team delivers a product iteratively and provides regular updates such as prototypes or live demo versions depending on the phase of the project. Weekly or bi-weekly reports and burn-down charts help track the progress and obtain a clear understanding of what is happening in the development.

  • Taking risks into account

The development of any product is not a straight line from point A to point B; it is a winding road with many challenges and risks. A dedicated team should react quickly and eliminate the risk before it becomes a problem.

Brainstorming regularly with your team helps you identify where the risk factors lie. As for the WE team, we typically identify risks early in the development cycle, and often the main factors are discovered during the product development kick-offs. If a risk is discovered, we set up a meeting with all the stakeholders and people involved and develop a plan to prevent the identified issue.

  • Providing honest feedback

The greatest product development teams communicate ideas and comments openly. Your project will only succeed if developers are not afraid to offer constructive judgment. As a result, there should be no hidden issues. In many cultures, it's considered rude to question the decisions of top management, but real experts are often free to provide constructive feedback and suggest improvements.

  • Investing in knowledge

It is a good sign if a dedicated team spends a considerable amount of time learning and broadening their expertise. It is always beneficial if a tech team has space for growth in skills, shares knowledge continuously, and experiments with the most innovative technologies.

Best practices to hire a dedicated software development team

Once you know how a dedicated team model works and what a great partnership looks like, you can start hiring. Based on our experience in building dedicated teams and collaborating with multiple customers, we identified useful practices that can improve the hiring process. This advice will increase your chances of making a deal with a reliable and competent partner.

1. Communicate and set clear expectations

Communication is the fuel of any collaboration. It is important to set interactions on the right track and make sure that both sides are ready to care and listen. The golden rule for further effective collaboration is a mutually equal exchange of resources. Ensure a dedicated team can handle all of your expectations, and you, in turn, as a customer, can cover all the expectations of the team as well.

For example, the Wise Engineering team approaches all forms of communication very attentively, with special attention to minor details. This attitude allows us to be on the same page with the customer. As a result, it allows us to quickly take full control over a project and align with all the requirements and overall product vision.

2. Define key goals and requirements

Ensure that all of your goals and requirements are clearly defined so that a vendor can understand them. Make a list of questions ahead, and avoid broad or cliché questions, such as What technology is best for my application? Better prepare the answers for the following narrowly focused questions:

  • What is the core product functionality?
  • Who are the users? Where are they located?
  • What type of data should be processed? What is their structure?
  • Are there marketing campaigns planned? When do we expect user base growth?
  • How soon will we need to expand the engineering team?
  • What are the time restrictions? Are there due dates set?

Read our recent article on MVP tech stack to discover more information on what questions to ask a vendor, how to approach the first step of communication, and building the first MVP. The ideal scenario is to clarify all the functional and non-functional requirements for your project. The vendor obtains a clear picture of what is needed to be done and then presents more precise proposals.

3. Request proposals from several vendors

To receive detailed information from a vendor about your collaboration, you can write so-called RFx documents:

  • Request for Information. In this document, you can describe the general problem that needs to be solved and ask a vendor for a detailed answer about which technologies are best to use to put your idea into action.
  • Request for Proposal. In an RFP, you describe your project in greater detail (perfectly with functional, non-functional, and business requirements). In response, the vendor gives you a detailed implementation plan that shows how you can meet each requirement.
  • Request for Quote. If you want to evaluate what budget you need to allocate to the entire project, you can send an RFQ, and the vendor will reply with a document with full pricing.

These documents announce a project, describe it, and solicit bids and ideas from vendors. It's a good idea to outline all of your needs in writing before signing a contract with a vendor. Besides, you can receive several proposals from different vendors, compare them and evaluate who could be more beneficial for you.

4. Use security measures

As far as you will communicate a lot about processes, one of the most significant concerns is security. This is primarily a source of worry because you’re trusting newly found entities with sensitive information. Pay attention to signing the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) right from the start. Check if the dedicated team provides you with an opportunity to sign an NDA and what additional data privacy and security measures it provides. You can sign a unilateral (one-way or one-sided NDA and use it when only you are sharing materials) or a bilateral NDA (two-way type, when both of you provide access to confidential information).

5. Define the scope of work to be done

It is good practice to describe all the work that will be performed. To do this, another portion of routine yet useful paperwork can serve you well. For example, as a customer, you can write a Software Development Statement of Work (SoW) or ask a vendor to output a Software Requirements Specification (SRS).

Software Development Statement of Work (SoW) covers all the details and expectations of collaboration. The aim is to make the agreement valid and legally protected. A correctly written SoW can serve as a reliable blueprint and confirmation that you and your vendor share the same vision. The document contains:

  • An overview of a project.
  • The scope of work to be done by a vendor (technical details, documentation).
  • Conditions of collaboration, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), deadlines, payment, and other acceptance criteria.

SoW is like a key for security and guarantees that the product will be realized precisely as you wanted it to be. Thus, there are more chances that collaboration will end up successfully.

Software Requirements Specification (SRS) is a roadmap to the entire project and the cornerstone of proper software development. Usually, SRS is written by a tech lead from the vendor’s side, and developers from the dedicated team use it as a reference or a clear plan of all the tasks they need to perform.

6. Follow the right steps

Once you interview potential candidates and choose one, it is time to proceed to the hiring stage. But this process is a set of different procedures, so the right algorithm is a must. Here are the recommended steps for hiring a dedicated team.

Steps hiring a dedicated development team

Wrapping up

To select and hire dedicated development team, it is not enough just to check technical expertise. The success of any collaboration is also defined by relationships. Try to find people who possess the needed soft skills and see if there is a synergy between you.

People who share the same values are more likely to be passionate about your product idea. In this case, you have the best chance to create a powerful collaborative tandem. As a result, you can trust and shift some part of your burden to the team so that you could focus on other important areas of your business. The Wise Engineering team supports sophisticated software development and project management methodologies. We attempt to collaborate in the same way as we would do with our closest friends. We always go the extra mile to help you interweave developers into your internal team and establish a good rapport with the dedicated team.

Contact us to learn more about how we approach custom software development at Wise and let's discuss the specifics of your future project.

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