How to Partner with a Dedicated Development Team: Tips & Tricks


December 29, 2023 - 8 min read

Featured Image

Deloitte says almost 80% of firms engage in outsourcing activities, entrusting their software and iOS/Android apps to external development teams. In this post, we’ll tell you how to pick a dedicated team services provider based on our 10+ years of experience.

Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey

Tips for Selecting a Dedicated Development Team

Cultural Alignment

Start with clearly defining your company’s values, mission, and work culture as a foundational guide for the selection process. Understanding the work culture of the country or region where the outsourcing team is located is crucial; this includes recognizing differences in work hours, communication styles, and expectations. If possible, plan occasional visits to your dedicated development team’s location to facilitate face-to-face interactions and strengthen relationships.

Next, you need to ensure fair compensation for the outsourcing team, adhering to competitive rates and agreed-upon payment terms. Respect local labor laws and regulations, which include working hours, employee rights, and fair employment practices. Don’t forget to protect your company’s assets, either—clearly define and agree on intellectual property rights.

Moreover, you should promote a culture of transparency and open communication within the teams—one way to do that is to provide cultural sensitivity training to prevent misunderstandings. Encourage team members to express concerns without fear of retribution and address any issues promptly and ethically. Additionally, consider the environmental impact of your business activities, and if you follow the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) standards, choose partners who also contribute to sustainable and ethical business operations.

Project Management Approach

The project management approach is central to ensuring effective collaboration and successful outcomes. One commonly employed methodology is the Agile approach, which emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Dedicated Agile teams are particularly suitable when project requirements are expected to evolve, demanding frequent communication and quick adaptability. This approach excels in scenarios where priorities may change, and your consistent involvement is needed for project success.

A specific framework within the Agile methodology is Scrum, characterized by organizing work into time-boxed iterations called sprints. Scrum is beneficial if your project can be segmented into distinct features or modules, providing a structured framework for collaboration and regular assessments. Another Agile method is the Kanban approach, which focuses on continuous delivery and flow. Kanban would be effective if your project workflows are constant, tasks vary in size and complexity, and optimization of efficiency and lead time is a priority.

For projects with well-defined and unchanging requirements, the Waterfall model offers a structured, linear, and sequential approach. This traditional methodology is suitable for smaller to medium-sized projects with a clear understanding of deliverables. In turn, DevOps practices, combining software development and IT operations, are beneficial when rapid and frequent releases are essential. DevOps promotes collaboration and efficiency, making it suitable for projects requiring continuous integration, delivery, and deployment.

Extreme Programming (XP), another Agile methodology, places a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, flexibility, and high-quality deliverables. XP is well-suited for projects with rapidly changing requirements, emphasizing close collaboration between a dedicated development team and the customer. Ultimately, the choice of project management approach should align with your project’s specific requirements, size, complexity, and adaptability needs.

Team Dynamics

Diverse and complementary skills should be a cornerstone of your team composition. This diversity introduces numerous perspectives and problem-solving approaches, fostering creativity and innovation. It’s essential to ensure that team members complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. As conflict is a natural part of any team, you need to also have effective resolution strategies in place to maintain a positive and productive work environment.

Clear leadership and well-defined roles help you maintain a cohesive team. Establishing influential leaders and mapping out responsibilities results in reduced confusion and provides the necessary guidance for team members. Additionally, investing in team-building activities, whether virtual or in-person, would strengthen interpersonal bonds and contribute to a positive team culture, fostering trust and a sense of shared purpose.

Establishing a system for regular feedback, both formal and informal, contributes to ongoing improvement and helps you address any issues promptly. Remember: recognition and appreciation are powerful motivators; by acknowledging the contributions of team members regularly, you boost morale and reinforce a positive team dynamic.

Cost Considerations

First and foremost, look for a dedicated software development company with transparent pricing models. This transparency is crucial to avoid hidden charges or unexpected fees. While cost is a significant factor, prioritize value for money over the lowest cost. Assess the team’s expertise, quality of work, and ability to meet project deadlines by reviewing their track record, client testimonials, and case studies.

Explore flexible engagement models, such as hourly rates, fixed-price contracts, or dedicated team models based on your project’s requirements. Opt for a team structure that is inherently flexible, allowing for easy adjustments in the number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs), based on project demands, to ensure that the team can efficiently scale up or down.

Additionally, be open to negotiating terms that align with both parties’ interests, discussing pricing, payment schedules, and any potential discounts or incentives for long-term commitments. Last but not least, conduct a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis, factoring in all direct and indirect costs associated with the dedicated development team over the project’s lifecycle. Consider not just initial development costs but also ongoing expenses, support, and any potential future enhancements or upgrades.

Communication Channels

Effective communication is paramount when interacting with a dedicated development team, so you’ll need to find common ground (intersection of tools used by your company and the partner) in advance. Messaging platforms such as Slack or Google Chat can facilitate quick and informal communication within the team, offering features like instant messaging, file sharing, and dedicated channels for specific topics or projects, enhancing connectivity and real-time information exchange.

For comprehensive project management, consider JIRA or Asana. These tools enable the tracking and management of tasks, issues, and project progress, fostering transparency, organizing workflows, and providing a centralized platform for project-related activities to keep the team on the same page outcomes-wise.

Virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams are instrumental for conducting regular team meetings, discussions, and collaborative sessions. These tools offer features like face-to-face interaction, screen sharing, and document collaboration, fostering a sense of connection among team members, especially in remote or distributed work environments.

Email platforms like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail remain vital for formal communication, project updates, and documentation. They provide a channel for detailed information, announcements, and maintaining a record of important exchanges. When selecting communication tools, prioritize those with robust security and privacy measures, especially when dealing with sensitive project information (more on that below).

Apart from agreeing on specific tools for specific purposes, what you also need is clear communication protocols establishing guidelines for tool usage, response times, and escalation processes for urgent matters. That way, you ensure dedicated team members are aligned with communication expectations, minimizing misunderstandings and promoting effective collaboration.

Finally, provide training and onboarding sessions for team members to familiarize them with the selected toolkit. Proper training ensures that dedicated development team members use the tools effectively, maximizing the benefits of each communication channel and contributing to a well-connected and collaborative environment.

Security Measures

To enhance data security, employ encryption methods for both transmission and storage of sensitive data. That way, you ensure that communication channels, databases, and file storage are safeguarded against unauthorized interception or access. Secure development practices play a key role as well. Emphasize secure coding practices and conduct regular code reviews to identify and mitigate potential security vulnerabilities early in the development process.

Access management policies are another aspect that controls who can access, modify, or delete specific resources. Define and enforce these policies, regularly reviewing access permissions and promptly revoking access for team members who no longer require it. Choose an environment and infrastructure with robust security measures, selecting cloud service providers or hosting solutions that adhere to industry-standard security practices.

Implementing strong authentication protocols that require multi-factor authentication for accessing critical systems and sensitive information adds an extra layer of security beyond passwords. You should also develop and regularly update incident response (IR) plans, which have to outline procedures for detecting, responding to, and recovering from security incidents, minimizing potential damage and downtime.

Quality Assurance Practices

Begin by verifying that the dedicated team has skilled QA professionals with expertise in various testing methodologies (think of the ISTQB certifications), including manual and automated testing, performance testing, and security testing.

Emphasize the importance of comprehensive test coverage across various scenarios and use cases. A thorough testing strategy can help you identify and rectify potential issues in different aspects of the software, promoting overall system reliability.

Time Management

When dedicated offshore team members are situated across different time zones, effective time management becomes a must. When forming the team, consider aligning members from different regions to minimize communication delays and create a smoother workflow across geographical boundaries.

Align critical tasks with times when the majority of the team is available to ensure timely progress. Clearly define expectations for responsiveness during overlapping hours and set guidelines for asynchronous communication outside of these times. Adopting Agile methodologies can enhance time management by facilitating iterative development, regular stand-up meetings, and sprint planning, fostering effective communication and collaboration.

To aid your time management efforts, consider leveraging time zone management tools to visualize and compare multiple time zones, facilitating task coordination and meeting scheduling. Rotating meeting times is another strategy to accommodate team members in different time zones, ensuring that the burden of inconvenient meeting times is shared across the team.

Encourage flexibility in work hours where possible, allowing team members to have flexible start and end times. This flexibility improves time management and accommodates individual preferences and productivity patterns. Emphasize the importance of clear and detailed documentation to enable team members to work independently, reducing the need for constant synchronous communication.

Also, don’t forget to stay culturally sensitive to different working norms and holidays across time zones, acknowledging and respecting these differences to foster a harmonious working environment.

Risk Mitigation

Legal and contractual clarity is paramount to mitigate risks. Define terms related to project scope, deliverables, timelines, and potential penalties for non-compliance. Seeking legal advice during the contract drafting process would help protect your interests and set clear expectations for both parties involved.

You also need to anticipate potential risks related to project complexity, technology stack, team dynamics, or external factors. Prioritize risks based on how likely they are to happen and how much of an impact they could have, developing mitigation strategies for high-priority items to minimize potential adverse effects on the project.

We also suggest that you take a proactive approach to risk mitigation by developing contingency plans for critical project components. Identify key milestones, dependencies, and potential bottlenecks, and have contingency plans in place to address disruptions. This ensures that the project can proceed even if unexpected issues arise.

Including a budget contingency for unforeseen expenses is another element of proactivity. Allocate a percentage of the budget for unexpected costs, ensuring the project can absorb financial impacts caused by unforeseen challenges without compromising its overall success.

To conclude, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to track project progress. Regularly review and report on those metrics to identify any deviations from the planned trajectory, allowing for timely adjustments.

Support and Maintenance

Adequate support and maintenance are the backbone of sustained success. A foundational aspect is the establishment of clear and measurable Service Level Agreements (SLAs). These SLAs should outline response times, resolution times, and the severity levels of issues, providing a framework for understanding the support team’s commitments and performance expectations.

Regular SLA review contributes to ongoing process improvement and alignment with evolving business needs. These reviews ensure that the support and maintenance framework remains effective and adaptable to changing project requirements. In the meantime, continuous training for the support team keeps them updated on new features, changes, and best practices, enhancing their expertise and readiness to handle user inquiries.

Knowledge transfer sessions between the development and support teams are vital to facilitate a smooth transition of knowledge about the system. Comprehensive documentation and a knowledge base contribute to efficient spotting and elimination by documenting common issues, their resolution, and troubleshooting steps.

Consider 24/7 support availability (something we at Vodworks provide), particularly for mission-critical applications, ensuring that issues can be promptly addressed regardless of the time zone or working hours. Providing omni-channel support via email, phone, and a special portal enhances accessibility and accommodates diverse user preferences.

Vodworks: Your Dedicated Development Team

As the driving force behind Vodworks’s development team, we pride ourselves on decades of crafting high-performance, feature-rich tech solutions and seamless integrations. Our commitment to excellence is embodied in our agile development methodology, honed industry expertise, and a robust team that runs deep with talent.

Building your dedicated software development team with us means aligning with a squad of specialists who bring a wealth of experience to the table. Our track record speaks for itself, having consistently delivered value for leading companies across the globe, irrespective of size. Whatever your product roadmap entails, our seasoned experts are ready to navigate it with finesse, ensuring not just the completion but the success of your project.

Reach out →

Subscribe to our blog

Get in Touch with us

Thank You!

Thank you for contacting us, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Next Steps

  • Our team reaches out to you within one business day
  • We begin with an initial conversation to understand your needs
  • Our analysts and developers evaluate the scope and propose a path forward
  • We initiate the project, working towards successful software delivery