Dedicated Team: Pros and Cons

Dedicated Team: Pros and Cons

Let’s talk about what we call a dedicated team or “team as a service”.
Sometimes, clients ask us which option they should choose: a dedicated team, or rather the Time and Material model.
To begin with, let’s clarify what we mean by a dedicated team.
A dedicated team is a service model offered by many service companies providing software development professionals on a long term basis to their clients.

Clients have their own requirements in terms of skill sets, experience and characteristics of the team they need.
Often, they also have their own vision regarding the management model they would apply to a dedicated team. This type of team can either be managed by the clients’ professional staff members or by a manager of the service provider responsible for the workflows coordination and the synchronization of the processes.
A dedicated team can work in-house from the client’s site or from their own offices at the service provider’s site, which is more frequent.

When should you consider hiring a dedicated team?

  1. The project scope is not fixed, and you expect requirements to evolve and change as it unfolds.
  2. Your team doesn’t have all the skills needed to meet product requirements.
  3. Because of budget restrictions which will prevent you from hiring new experts on a permanent basis.
  4. It’s not a matter of budget restrictions, but the project delivery is time sensitive, and you cannot spend any on recruiting new experts and integrating them to your existing teams.

Which pricing model is usually applied to a dedicated team?
Typically, you will pay monthly fees calculated as a combination of the salaries earned by the dedicated team members plus the service provider’s administrative fees.

What are the pros of calling in a dedicated team?

  • The pricing model is clear, so you can predict your budget.
  • Its flexibility – if need be, you can adapt your requirements according to the project evolution.
  • Dedicated team members work exclusively on any given projects. They are stable and have a deep understanding of your goals.
  • Your in-house experts are synchronized with their peers of the dedicated team via day-to-day communication.
  • Knowledge transfer process is constant, since it is seamlessly integrated in the daily communication between your experts and those of the dedicated team.

If the advantages of a dedicated team are so obvious, why some business people are still reluctant about that development model concept? Let’s take a look at you might call its drawbacks.

What are the cons of a dedicated team?

  • There is no real need to call in a dedicated team for only a short-time and for low scope projects.
  • You may have difficulties with managing and integrating a dedicated team without the assistance of the service provider’s project manager.
  • You may not need a dedicated team if you don’t have continuous software development, quality assurance or IT infrastructure management services.

So, if you’re dealing with a short-term project, and if there is no need for a continuous software development, quality assurance or IT infrastructure management, you might rather choose the Time and Materials model option.

If you launch a long-lasting project without a fixed scope and with changing requirements, you might consider the dedicated team option.

You should also think about the monthly budget you are ready to pay for a dedicated team, because this development model is usually more expensive than a Time and Materials contract.

Whichever of these two models you opt for, we highly recommend (and we always specify it to our clients) you work with the service provider’s project manager. That person will know his team’s strong and weak points, and how to better deliver the results you expect.

Nevertheless, one also has to acknowledge the fact that there are no absolute “pros & cons” in any development model. It’s always a question of aligning your real needs with the appropriate delivery model. All you need to aim for is the perfect fit.