How to manage your project successfully with a dedicated team of developers

Umbrella IT
Published on Jul 12, 2017 in App Development
How to manage your project successfully with a dedicated team of developers

Nowadays IT-development industry is actively applying the collaboration method as working in a dedicated team mode. The approach implies the following: the client is offered the service of choosing a dedicated group of experts that will work exclusively on the specific project.

In this case, selection of specialists, management of the process and control methods are determined according to the requirements of the client.

The dedicated IT team of developers is not your in-house division of the staff, and it can be located any distance from your office, but developers work specially for you.

Umbrella’s company effectively applies this approach in collaboration with the clients. Developers and IT professionals at Umbrella are ready to advise the client on how to successfully manage the project in case you engage a dedicated team of mobile app developers to implement it.

Working with a dedicated development team: Pros and Cons

Working with a dedicated development team: Pros and Cons

You may gain quite a number of advantages if you choose to cooperate with the dedicated development team:

  • Saving money and time

    It eliminates the need for recruitment, hiring the staff and training the employees that are required only to develop and support a certain project or a part of the project.

  • The team is fully immersed into the project

    The IT specialists spend on your project as much time as required. They don’t divert their attention on the projects of any other clients, they know the project in detail so their work is effective as much as practical.

  • Using the team’s previous organizational experience

    You get a united group as a partner, with coordinated processes and communication proven during previous projects.

Though the method looks rather attractive, we cannot but mention the risks related to the remote collaboration mode. In this context the Cons of outsourcing a project development can be divided into three categories:

  • Factors related to contractual relationships

    The client and the team are remote from each other (probably located in different countries), and this increases the risk of fraud and obligations being performed in bad faith.

  • Organization and communication factors

    Under the circumstances, when the client and the team have no opportunity to talk personally any time they need, each failure or inaccuracy in the communication process and monitoring of the work process may lead to a failure to meet the deadlines or misunderstandings between the developer and the client.

  • Psychological factors

    We usually don’t trust people who are out of sight, and we may start to interfere with the already established team processes. As a rule, this would rather aggravate the psychological environment in general rather than improve the collaboration with the team.

On the other hand, you should not go to extremes and completely abstract yourself from the process because even the most highly skilled specialist is not able to read your mind remotely. Without your interest and participation the result of the work will greatly differ from your expectations.

In our article we will offer you several tips that will help to avoid unpleasant surprises and challenges when outsourcing a development project to a dedicated team.

What are the first things to do before hiring a development team?

The first thing you should start with when outsourcing the work of a development project is to search for developers to implement it. Take the choice seriously: the future of your idea depends on the professionalism and experience of the development team.

What are the first things to do before hiring a development team?

As soon as you have found the proper developers, you need to present the project goal to the development company. At this stage, be prepared for a large amount of negotiations, questions from the team and explanations regarding the project area of activity, its purpose, the target audience and the required features of the finished product.

Firstly, it is required to form a clear and comprehensive idea of the project for the team. Secondly, based on this information, the development team will be able to offer you their own solutions for implementation of the project. And you, in your turn, should be open to their suggestions.

How shall the project be secured from fraud?

First of all, you need to determine the way the development outsourcing partnership will be regulated:

  • Be sure to sign a contract, or work with a team within marketplaces (for example, AppFutura, they take all the risks for a certain percentage of the transaction).
  • Fix the intervals and principles of payment (whether the payment will be made on the basis of hourly rates or for a certain amount of work done).
  • Discuss in advance working times and payment on holidays and weekends (don’t forget that your dedicated team may be located in another country or on another continent, and such issues should be discussed from the very beginning, as well as the time difference between time zones).
  • Discuss the confidentiality issue. It is especially challenging for outsourcing collaboration (the Non-Disclosure Agreement, discuss possible mechanisms to protect information).
  • Agree upon obtaining access to the code and monitoring tools at the very beginning of the development process.
  • One of the main issues: be sure to include the transfer of the right to the code into your contract (at what stage and under which conditions).

How shall information exchange be organized with the outsourcing development team?

A properly selected team and a well-executed agreement shall not be taken as the absolute guarantee of success.

How shall information exchange be organized with the outsourcing development team?

First of all any project is an interaction between two parties. Therefore, it is especially important to competently organize the exchange of information. The more so, since we are speaking of managing a remote development team, you will not be able to just visit the neighboring office and find out why they haven’t sent you this or that document.

  • At the initial stage set a timeline to assess your impressions of collaboration with the development team (2-3 weeks). And in case you have serious doubts about the approach and the working methods used by the developers, do not hesitate to part with them before you spend the entire budget.
  • Pay attention whether the team is active in setting questions regarding the project. If you don’t see any special activity, then ask yourself: perhaps, they are not really interested and motivated or even worse ? they have not understood what you are expected them to do. Clear out once again, whether your requirements are taken in the right way.
  • Agree upon more convenient means of communication for you if you do not find the one offered by the team convenient. For example, you don’t like exchanging e-mails, and feel more comfortable when clearing up all issues over the phone. However, do not forget that the most important decisions and tasks should be fixed in writing.
  • Make sure that the communication is regular and ensures absolute transparency of the processes. In this case, one of the most effective tools is, for example, submission of daily or weekly detailed reports by the developers.
  • Answer the questions of the developers within one day ? you are no less interested in timely solution than the developers.
  • Pay attention to the way the team treats problems: the experienced team will not conceal the difficulties that appear and will timely inform you and offer various solutions.
  • Inform the team of any significant milestones in the life of the project (the next investment stage, marketing campaign, exhibition) in order you could prepare and present the product in the most advantageous way.
Which project roles shall be paid special attention to?

Which project roles shall be paid special attention to?

The key to the successful communication between two parties under the project lies also in a clear distribution of responsibilities:

  • The team shall have its own Project Manager who is responsible for the success of the project, is the only point of contact for the client, and coordinates the work of the team.
  • Be sure to assign a responsible person on your part. This is a person who shall be regularly available for the team of developers and will have the authority to make decisions on the project.
  • The great advantage is the team’s own tester (Quality Assurance). Quality issues must be solved by a separate individual, who is not loaded with any other obligations.
  • Besides, you may engage an in-house specialist (if no one is on the staff, hire a third party) who will be tracking the code development process (code review). This will allow clearing initially any emerging questions, and eliminate eventual future problems with the code.

Important: you should do this at the initial stage, when the architectural solution is being worked on, otherwise it will be too late.

What is the best way to organize the project?

Organization of the project activities will largely depend on the experience and professionality of the team. In this sense, you need to trust the professionals you have chosen. However, this does not exclude the need for control from your part.

What is the best way to organize the project?

Of course, the risk is high and it will be too challenging to manage a remote dedicated development company. But if you follow some reasonable recommendations, the task will not be impossible.

  • Agree upon dividing the works on the project into small stages: this will facilitate monitoring of the achieved results and will give the opportunity to timely detect and correct errors.
  • Specify the really important monitoring criteria of the work done: whether you will monitor the number of man-hours spent for the work or the volume of the work performed. In this case the choice will depend on the payment principle.
  • Agree upon usage of corresponding tools: Tasks and bugs management systems (for example Jira, Trello) Time tracking systems (for example, Worksnaps) Systems for project documentation management and providing access and integrity (for example, Jira, Confluence) Version control systems (for example, SVN).

In the case of outsourcing the project to a development company, all these tools are not only important for monitoring, but also for ensuring transparency and clear structure of the development process. If later on you intend to change the team or scale your project, then these tools will be absolutely necessary.

Besides, if the developers do not use such tools, you should ask yourself: perhaps, it is better to change the developers in order to eliminate problems in the future.

Umbrella

Conclusion

As you see, managing dedicated developers is quite a challenging task, but such collaboration for sure will lead to a positive result if you:

  • Can trust the team and find common ground
  • Mutually manage communication process in a competent way
  • Take an active part in the process,
  • Ensure the proper distribution of responsibilities between the participants of the process

Additionally, as a result you will gain invaluable management experience, which you can apply to other projects in future.

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About the author
Umbrella IT
Umbrella IT
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Umbrella IT is one of the top mobile app development companies from AppFutura’s directory. The firm developers apps and web projects providing all the infrastructure. They focus on Symfony and Node.JS for the back-end and HTML5 or Twitter bootstrap, among other platforms.

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