The Extended Team: The Value Addition Model
Having the right people with the right skillset around is among the key challenges for the success of a startup. Yet, finding and hiring such talents is one of the most challenging tasks an entrepreneur will need to tackle, especially when considering the limitations of available local talent pool or time sensitivity.
You can always find an offshore software development to assist you partially or completely. But what should you do when you have an in-house team and simply need to augment some functions with specific skills or expertise? Here’s when the extended team model also known as augmented team comes to the rescue.
We at Fission Labs has more than 10 years to experience in successfully setting up a number of extended team for our clients. To help companies in navigating through the most common challenges and make your teams collaboration with extended teamwork, we would like to share some of our best practices and advices.
A guide to extended team integration
There is of course a learning curve when it comes to hiring offshore extended team function. We would like to assist you by providing you with some useful advice. Here is a typical workflow for setting up and management of extended team.
To start with, consider the scope of your project and define the main roles it requires. Do you have the expertise to fill them in-house? Which skills should be sourced externally?
You can perform the initial analysis by yourself or request assistance from a technology consultancy, such as Fission Labs. We will analyze your development needs and internal processes in order to put together a suitable team for you.
2. Screening candidates
Based on your requirements and project specifications ask the extended team service provider for candidates profile for shortlisting. You can personally interview the best candidates and choose the ones you deem most appropriate for hire or let the service providers` recruiting team conduct in-depth candidate research, and select and pre-screen the most suitable candidates.
In order for a candidate to be able to become a valuable addition to your team, we at Fission Labs verify that candidate have the technical and the soft skills necessary for the job.
3. Team onboarding and integration
While the previous steps were to get you started, the integration of a remote team into your workflow is very important part of the process.
Accountability and reporting
The extended development team that you hire becomes an integral part of your in-house staff. They should follow your internal processes and take direct orders from you or your project manager on-site.
The offered extended team model should provide you with constant control over your project. You should be able to track the time/effort ratio in real time and should be able to optimize it as you see fit.
The ability to directly communicate with the appointed PM as well as the developers leads to transparency and clarity within your team. You should keep your communication channels open and available at all times.
Tight-knit and invested team
Allocate responsibilities within your team so that your developers feel more involved and, as a result, more invested in the project. In addition to being responsible for certain tasks and parts of the project, every team member should be made familiar with the complete cycle of development.
Your extended development team should be up to date with your methodologies, practices, management style and corporate culture. We at Fission Labs help all our clients in setting up an efficient workflow and choosing the best communication and collaboration tools which core team and extended team will both be comfortable working with.
Having planning sessions with your extended team can be a great head start for the project. Set up several meetings so that your core team and extended team members can get to know each other.
4. On-demand scaling and support
Using this model, the service provider should be able to provide more developers to your extended team on-demand. At Fission Labs, our recruitment team provides constant support and help to tackle any challenges clients may face down the road.
Work with the right provider and get the maximum help to your growing business.
The extended team model consists of remote teams which are like extensions of the in house team across the globe. Opt for extension team models to integrate professionals and diversify workforce. However, keeping the responsibility and management of the project are in the hands of the core team that initiated the project. The extended team model helps businesses grow due to its various benefits:
There are instances when your in-house team would be working on an extremely important project with a tight deadline. In such cases, with the help of the extended team model, you can divide the increasing workload of your business among the remote teams while the in-house team completes the project it had been working on. This makes it easier to handle various tasks at once.
In an extended team model, a mutual contract is signed between the in-house team and the remote team. In other words, the in-house team chooses the remote team and vice versa. In the long run, this helps to increase the productivity of work.
No Conflict of Interest
Since you have complete control over your business operations, there are no conflicts of interest. Making the final decisions becomes easier with a single entity in charge and others present to follow that decision. With everyone in your business on the same page with the same interests, overall productivity is bound to improve.
Integration between Teams
Due to efficient communication, all the members of the team (whether in-house or remote) are integrated into the business’s operations. They have an equal contribution as there is greater transparency between team members. A business with a completely integrated team offers more productive strategies for the growth of the business.
Access to Diversified Knowledge
As your business is not restricted by location, you will get access to a wide knowledge base and the cultures of different markets through your remote teams. With the help of new technology and diversified skills, your business will flourish as it will promote diversity.
When there are different people from different backgrounds working together on a similar project, they bring about their unique set of skills and knowledge to the table because of their distinct experiences. Thus, the accumulation of different ideas and experiences will lead to business growth.
Integration of Different and Diverse Cultures
With a remote team employed in different parts of the world, you can tap into different markets. The remote team will help you with the knowledge of what people in a particular geographical area want based on their cultural preferences. In this way, your business will become more diverse as you include products and services for people of different cultures.
With the help of remote teams spread out all across the globe, your business will have a global impact. The global outreach of the business will attract more customers in the international markets, making the business grow.
The extended team model promotes effective communication among team members, which leads to greater transparency as compared to traditional offshoring and outsourcing. The increased transparency inculcates a culture of trust and accountability among different teams of the business. With trust developed, the business becomes more productive.
The potential for Scalability and Development of the Business
The extended team model offers the option of scalability to businesses. As a business grows, more remote teams can be added to it to ensure the completion of projects. It is easier to include developers from different areas rather than concentrating all the developers in the head office.
Good Fit for a Range of Projects
The biggest benefit of extended teams is that the diverse workforce makes it easier for your team to work on a diverse range of projects. These can be long term and multi-part projects. The requirements of such projects keep increasing over time and if you had only one head office dealing with it, you wouldn’t have access to the required tools and resources to complete the project.
There are also side projects which are not related to the core business, which is why you wouldn’t want your in-house team stressing over it. For such projects, the remote team takes responsibility for completion. This way, the core business does not get distracted and operates at its maximum capacity.
Lastly, there are some projects that go on for a long period of time and require a lot of manpower for completion. For such projects, the in-house and remote teams coordinate and integrate workflow so that the project is completed smoothly.
It is evident that the extended team model can provide many benefits to businesses and has the potential to make a business grow. By using the extended team model, businesses will establish an international presence.
It is the next step after outsourcing and offshoring models and most business owners are shifting towards it to make the management processes easier and their businesses more productive. The extended team will work according to the core values and objectives of businesses and establish a uniform identity for it as well.
Author credit: Mohit Singh