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Software Team Extension:
All About The Way to Boost Your IT Projects

Monika Stando
Monika Stando
Marketing & Growth Lead
May 29
20 min

Focus on IT outsourcing

Deloitte and Gartner, as leading research and consulting firms, have published several reports and predictions on IT outsourcing trends. While their specific predictions may vary over time, some of the key trends and insights they have highlighted in recent years. These predictions and trends provide valuable insights into the evolving landscape of IT outsourcing & software team extension models. Businesses looking to engage in IT outsourcing should consider these trends when selecting service providers and defining their outsourcing strategies.

Increased focus on digital transformation
Both Deloitte and Gartner emphasize the growing importance of digital transformation initiatives for businesses. Companies are increasingly leveraging IT outsourcing to access specialized skills, technologies, and expertise required to drive these digital transformation efforts.

Shift toward outcome-based models
Deloitte and Gartner predict a shift from traditional time-and-materials or fixed-price contracts towards more outcome-based models. This trend reflects the growing demand for greater flexibility, innovation, and value-driven partnerships in IT outsourcing engagements.

Adoption of agile methodologies
The adoption of agile methodologies in software development is on the rise, and this trend extends to IT outsourcing as well. Deloitte and Gartner predict that clients will increasingly seek service providers who can support their agile development processes and deliver continuous improvements and innovation.

Cloud computing and automation
Cloud computing and automation technologies continue to gain traction, and both Deloitte and Gartner predict that these trends will significantly impact the IT outsourcing landscape. Service providers are expected to invest in cloud-based solutions, automation tools, and related expertise to stay competitive and meet client demands.

The growing importance of data analytics and AI
As businesses increasingly rely on data-driven insights and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize their operations and make strategic decisions, Deloitte and Gartner anticipate a growing demand for IT outsourcing services in these areas. Service providers will need to develop expertise in data analytics, machine learning, and AI to address this demand.

Emphasis on Cybersecurity
With the increasing number of cyber threats and the growing complexity of IT environments, Deloitte and Gartner predict that cybersecurity will become a critical aspect of IT outsourcing. Companies are expected to seek service providers that can offer robust security measures and help them maintain compliance with data protection regulations.

Nearshoring and onshoring
Deloitte and Gartner both highlight the rising trend of nearshoring (outsourcing to nearby countries) and onshoring (bringing outsourced services back to the home country). This shift is driven by factors such as time zone compatibility, cultural affinity, and the desire for greater control over the outsourcing process.

What is a Software Team Extension?

Software team extension is a strategy used by businesses to augment their existing in-house software development team with additional skilled professionals from external sources. This approach helps companies scale their development capabilities, access specialized expertise, and accelerate project delivery without the need to hire full-time employees.

What is the structure of a software team in a software team extension model?

In a software team extension model, the structure of the extended team typically mirrors that of a traditional in-house software development team, with roles and responsibilities tailored to the specific needs of the project. The composition of the team may vary depending on factors such as project size, complexity, and technology stack. Here is a general outline of the structure of a software team in a team extension model:

Project Manager or Agile Delivery Lead
The Project Manager, or Agile Deliver Lead,  oversees the entire project, ensuring it stays on schedule, within budget, and meets the defined goals. They are responsible for coordinating tasks, managing resources, and addressing any issues that may arise during the project.

Technical Lead/Architect
The Technical Lead or Architect is responsible for defining the overall technical architecture and design of the software. They provide guidance on best practices, technology choices, and ensure that the development team follows the defined standards and methodologies.

Software Developers
Software Developers are responsible for writing the code and implementing the features and functionality of the software. They work closely with the Technical Lead & Agile Delivery Lead to ensure that their work aligns with the project’s technical requirements and standards.

Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers
QA Engineers are responsible for testing the software to ensure it meets the desired quality standards. They develop test plans, execute tests, identify defects, and work with developers to resolve any issues.

UI/UX Designers
UI/UX Designers focus on creating user-friendly and visually appealing interfaces for the software. They work closely with the development team to ensure that the design aligns with the project requirements and provides an optimal user experience.

DevOps Engineers
DevOps Engineers are responsible for streamlining the development and deployment process by automating tasks, managing infrastructure, and monitoring the performance of the software. They help ensure that the software is scalable, secure, and reliable.

Business Analysts
Business Analysts work closely with stakeholders to gather and analyze requirements, translate them into functional specifications, and ensure that the development team understands and implements the requirements correctly.

Support Engineers
Support Engineers provide technical assistance and troubleshooting for the software after it has been deployed. They work closely with the development team to address any issues and ensure that the software continues to meet the needs of its users.

In a software team extension model, these roles are filled by external team members who work alongside your in-house team, collaborating and integrating seamlessly to achieve the project’s goals. The exact structure and size of the extended team will depend on your specific project needs and the expertise of the team extension provider.

What companies choose Software Team Extension model?

Companies across various industries and sizes choose the software team extension model for a variety of reasons. Some of the types of companies that opt for this model include:

Startups
Startups, or scaleups, often have limited resources and tight budgets, making it challenging to hire a full in-house development team. Software team extension allows them to access skilled developers quickly and cost-effectively to build their products or scale their development efforts.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
SMEs may not have the capacity to maintain a large in-house development team or might require specialized expertise for specific projects. By opting for a software team extension, they can access the required skills on-demand without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees.

Large Enterprises
Large organizations often have multiple ongoing projects and may need additional resources to meet tight deadlines or address skill gaps within their existing teams. Software team extension provides them with the flexibility to scale their development capabilities as needed.

Software Development Agencies
These agencies may need to expand their team temporarily to accommodate new projects or clients. The software team extension model allows them to remain agile and responsive to client demands without overburdening their in-house teams.

Companies undergoing digital transformation
Organizations looking to modernize their existing systems or embrace new technologies may require specialized expertise that is not available in-house. Software team extension offers a practical solution to access the necessary skills and knowledge to drive their digital transformation initiatives.

Companies operating in niche industries
Businesses in specialized industries may require unique technical skills that are difficult to find in their local talent pool. The software team extension model enables them to tap into a global network of professionals with the expertise they need.

The software team extension model is chosen by companies of various sizes and industries, seeking flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and access to specialized skills to augment their software development capabilities.

Why a software team extension is a good option for companies seeking to enrich their software development process?

Software team extension is a good option for companies seeking to enrich their software development process for the following reasons:

Agility and adaptability
Team extension allows companies to quickly adapt to changing market demands, project requirements, or technology trends by bringing in the necessary expertise when needed. This flexibility enables businesses to stay competitive and respond effectively to new opportunities or challenges.

Cost efficiency
By utilizing external professionals, companies can save on recruitment, training, and overhead costs associated with full-time employees. This allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively and focus on strategic initiatives without sacrificing quality or productivity.

Access to specialized skills
Companies can tap into a diverse pool of talent and bring on experts with specific skills or knowledge that may not be available in-house. This ensures that projects are handled by competent professionals who can deliver high-quality results.

Faster time-to-market
With an extended team, companies can accelerate their software development process and bring products to market more quickly. This helps businesses gain a competitive edge and capitalize on new opportunities faster.

Improved collaboration and knowledge sharing
External team members can contribute fresh perspectives, ideas, and best practices that can lead to innovative solutions and process improvements. This cross-pollination of knowledge can enhance the overall performance and capabilities of the entire team.

Risk management
Diversifying the team with external members can help mitigate risks associated with employee turnover, skill gaps, or unforeseen project challenges. External professionals can often provide valuable, unbiased feedback that can help identify potential issues early in the development process.

Focus on core competencies
By delegating specialized tasks or additional workloads to external team members, in-house teams can concentrate on their core responsibilities and strategic goals, leading to better overall performance.

By leveraging external talent, businesses can achieve greater flexibility, cost efficiency, access to specialized expertise, and faster time-to-market, all while enhancing collaboration, risk management, and focus on core competencies.

How to make software team extension partnerships be effective and efficient?

To make a partnership effective & efficient, consider the following best practices:

#1. Define clear goals and expectations
Establishing clear objectives and expectations for the extended team from the outset will help ensure everyone is working towards the same goals. This includes defining project scope, deliverables, timelines, and performance metrics.

#2. Choose the right partner
Carefully select a reputable and experienced team extension provider with a proven track record in your industry or technology stack. Assess their skills, expertise, and cultural fit to ensure they align with your organization’s values and work style.

#3. Establish effective communication
Set up regular communication channels and meetings to keep everyone informed and engaged. This can include daily stand-ups, weekly progress updates, and monthly reviews. Encourage open and transparent communication to foster collaboration and address any issues or concerns promptly.

#4. Integrate the extended team
Treat external team members as part of your in-house team by involving them in planning sessions, decision-making processes, and company events. This will help build trust, camaraderie, and a shared sense of ownership over the project.

#5. Provide proper onboarding and training
Ensure that external team members receive thorough onboarding and training to familiarize them with your organization’s processes, tools, and standards. This will help them integrate more quickly and contribute effectively from the start.

#6. Monitor progress and performance
Regularly review the performance of the extended team against predefined metrics and milestones. Provide constructive feedback and support to help them improve and grow. Celebrate successes and acknowledge individual contributions to foster motivation and commitment.

#7. Adopt a flexible approach 
Be open to adjusting your processes or team structure as needed to accommodate the unique skills and expertise of your extended team members. Embrace change and be willing to learn from each other to continuously improve and evolve.

#8. Maintain strong project management
Assign a dedicated project manager to oversee the extended team’s work and ensure they stay on track. This person should be responsible for coordinating tasks, managing timelines, and resolving any issues that may arise.

By following these best practices, you can establish a successful software team extension partnership that enhances your software development process and delivers exceptional results.

The Cost Of Software Team Extension Services

The cost of team extension services can vary significantly based on several factors. Some of the key factors that influence the pricing include:

Geographical location
The cost of hiring software professionals can differ greatly depending on the region or country where the extended team is based. For example, developers from Eastern Europe or Asia may have lower hourly rates compared to those in North America or Western Europe.

Expertise and experience
The level of expertise and experience of the team members will also impact the cost. Highly skilled professionals with specialized knowledge or extensive experience typically command higher rates than those with more general skills or less experience.

Project complexity
The complexity and scope of the project can affect the cost of team extension services. Projects that require advanced technical skills, specialized domain knowledge, or a larger team to manage multiple tasks simultaneously may come with a higher price tag.

Duration and Commitment
The length of the engagement and the commitment required from the extended team can influence the cost. Longer-term contracts or dedicated team arrangements may offer discounted rates compared to short-term or ad-hoc engagements.

Service provider’s reputation
The reputation and track record of the team extension service provider can also impact pricing. Providers with a proven history of delivering high-quality results and client satisfaction may charge a premium for their services.

Additional services
Some team extension providers offer additional services such as project management, quality assurance, or consulting, which can add to the overall cost.

Given these factors, it’s difficult to provide a specific cost estimate for team extension services without more information about your project requirements and preferences. It’s essential to thoroughly research and compare different providers to find the one that best suits your needs and budget. Be sure to consider not only the hourly rates but also the quality of work, communication, and collaboration when making your decision.

The challenges associated with a software team extension model

While software team extension offers numerous benefits, it also comes with certain challenges that companies need to address and manage effectively. Some of these challenges include:

Communication barriers
Working with an extended team, especially one located in a different time zone or with language barriers, can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings. Effective communication is crucial for successful collaboration and project execution.

Cultural differences
Differences in work culture, business practices, and social norms can sometimes cause friction or confusion between in-house and external team members. It’s essential to establish a common understanding and respect for each other’s cultures to foster a harmonious working relationship.

Integration and onboarding
Integrating external team members into your existing workflows, processes, and company culture can be challenging. Providing proper onboarding, training, and support is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and enable the extended team to contribute effectively from the start.

Maintaining control and oversight
Managing a distributed team can make it difficult to monitor progress, maintain quality standards, and ensure timely delivery of projects. Implementing robust project management and reporting systems is necessary to keep everyone aligned and accountable.

Confidentiality and security
Sharing sensitive information and granting access to critical systems with external team members can pose risks to data privacy and security. Establishing clear guidelines, protocols, and agreements regarding data protection is essential to safeguard your company’s intellectual property and confidential information.

Building trust and team cohesion
Developing trust and rapport between in-house and external team members can take time and effort. It’s important to encourage open communication, collaboration, and team-building activities to foster a strong sense of unity and shared ownership over the project.

Performance management
Assessing and managing the performance of external team members can be challenging, particularly when they are not physically present in the office. Regular feedback, performance reviews, and clearly defined expectations are crucial to ensure high-quality output and continuous improvement.

To overcome these challenges, companies need to invest in clear communication, effective project management, and strong relationships with their extended team members. By addressing these issues proactively, businesses can maximize the benefits of software team extension and minimize potential pitfalls.

What are the top countries providing software team extension models of cooperation?

Several countries have gained a reputation for providing high-quality software team extension services due to their skilled workforce, cost-effectiveness, and strong technology infrastructure. Some of the best countries for software team extension include:

Poland
Poland boasts a highly skilled workforce with strong technical knowledge and experience in various programming languages and frameworks. The country’s proximity to Western Europe and a similar time zone makes it an attractive option for software team extension.

Romania
Romania has become a popular destination for software team extension due to its growing IT industry, and skilled developers. The country has a strong focus on STEM education and a high level of English proficiency.

Ukraine
Ukrainian developers are known for their technical skills, proficiency in English, and ability to adapt to Western work culture. The country offers a cost-effective solution with a strong emphasis on software development and engineering education.

Argentina
Argentina offers a talented pool of software developers with strong technical skills and a good command of English. The country’s time zone is compatible with North American business hours, making it an appealing choice for companies based in the United States and Canada.

Philippines
The Philippines is known for its English-speaking workforce, strong customer service orientation, and competitive pricing. The country has a fast-growing IT sector, with many professionals specializing in web development, mobile app development, and other software services.

Belarus
Belarus has a strong IT industry and a skilled workforce with expertise in various programming languages and technologies. The country offers cost-effective software team extension services and has a growing reputation for quality and innovation.

India
India is one of the top destinations for software team extension, thanks to its large talent pool, and competitive rates. The country has a strong focus on a thriving outsourcing industry.

These countries are among the best options for software team extension, but it’s essential to carefully assess the specific needs of your project and organization to find the most suitable partner. Factors such as time zone compatibility, language proficiency, cultural fit, and technical expertise should be considered when selecting a team extension provider.

Be aware of the political landscape

It’s important to note that political situations can evolve, and it’s crucial to stay informed about current events and assess any potential risks before engaging in a software team extension partnership.

To mitigate potential risks, consider diversifying your extended team across multiple countries or working with a well-established outsourcing provider with a strong track record in navigating such challenges.

Additionally, closely monitor the situation and have contingency plans in place to ensure the continuity of your projects in case of any disruptions.

How to establish a good software team extension in Europe?

To establish a good software team extension in Europe, follow these steps:

Define your requirements
Clearly outline your project objectives, scope, technology stack, and the skill set required for your extended team. Determine the size of the team you need and the duration of the engagement.

Research potential countries
Based on factors such as time zone compatibility, language proficiency, technical expertise, and cost-effectiveness, research suitable European countries for software team extension. Some popular options include Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

Identify potential partners
Look for reputable software development companies or outsourcing agencies in your chosen country. Research their track record, client testimonials, and case studies to evaluate their experience and capabilities.

Evaluate technical expertise
Assess the technical skills and expertise of potential partners by reviewing their portfolios, conducting interviews, and assigning test tasks or small pilot projects. This will help you gauge their competence and suitability for your project requirements.

Consider cultural fit
Evaluate the cultural fit between your organization and the potential partner. Consider aspects such as work ethics, communication styles, and business practices. A strong cultural fit is crucial for successful collaboration and seamless integration.

Negotiate terms and conditions
Discuss and negotiate the terms of the partnership, including pricing, contract duration, intellectual property rights, confidentiality agreements, and service level agreements (SLAs). Ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Onboard and integrate the extended team
Provide comprehensive onboarding and training to familiarize the extended team with your company culture, processes, tools, and standards. Encourage open communication and collaboration between your in-house team and the extended team members.

Establish clear communication channels
Set up regular meetings, status updates, and reporting mechanisms to ensure smooth communication and collaboration. Use project management tools and communication platforms to keep everyone in sync and on track.

Monitor progress and performance
Regularly review the performance of the extended team and provide constructive feedback for improvement. Track progress against predefined milestones and adjust plans as needed to ensure successful project delivery.

Foster team cohesion
Encourage team-building activities, knowledge sharing, and a strong sense of unity between your in-house team and the extended team members. This will help create a shared sense of ownership and commitment to the project’s success.

By following these steps, you can establish a successful software team extension partnership in Europe, capitalizing on the region’s skilled workforce, cost-effectiveness, and strong technology infrastructure.

What are the other models of collaboration, other than software team extension?

Apart from the software team extension model, there are several other models of cooperation available for businesses looking to outsource their software development tasks. Some of these models include:

Project-based outsourcing
In this model, a company outsources an entire project or specific components of a project to an external agency. The agency is responsible for managing the project from start to finish and delivers the completed product based on the agreed-upon scope, timeline, and budget.

Dedicated development team
A dedicated development team is similar to a team extension but differs in that the entire team works exclusively on your project. This model provides you with a higher level of control and engagement with the team, as they become an extension of your in-house team, focusing only on your project requirements.

Fixed-price contract
In this model, the client and service provider agree on a fixed price for a specific project scope. The service provider assumes the responsibility for delivering the project within the agreed-upon budget and timeline. This model is suitable for projects with well-defined requirements and a predictable scope of work.

Time and materials (T&M) contract
Under the T&M model, clients pay for the actual time and resources spent by the service provider on their project. This model offers more flexibility than the fixed-price model and is suitable for projects with evolving requirements or those that require ongoing support and maintenance.

Managed services
In this model, a company outsources specific IT functions or processes to a managed services provider (MSP). The MSP assumes the responsibility for the ongoing management, maintenance, and support of the outsourced services, allowing the client to focus on their core business activities.

Offshore Development Center (ODC)
An ODC is a dedicated facility set up by an outsourcing service provider in another country to accommodate a client’s software development needs. This model allows companies to benefit from cost savings and access to skilled talent while retaining control over the project.

Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT)
In the BOT model, an outsourcing provider establishes a dedicated development center for the client, manages it for a specified period, and then transfers the entire operation to the client. This model enables companies to gradually establish their presence in a new location while minimizing risks and operational challenges.

Each of these cooperation models offers its advantages and is suited to different types of projects, requirements, and organizational needs. When selecting a model, consider factors such as project scope, timeline, budget, and the level of control you wish to maintain over the development process.

To learn more about our experience, & cooperation models visit the ‘About us‘ section or get in touch!

Monika Stando
Monika Stando
Marketing & Growth Lead
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After carefully evaluating suppliers, we decided to try a new approach and start working with a near-shore software house. Cooperation with Hicron Software House was something different, and it turned out to be a great success that brought added value to our company.

With HICRON’s creative ideas and fresh perspective, we reached a new level of our core platform and achieved our business goals.

Many thanks for what you did so far; we are looking forward to more in future!

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