Introduction to Team Extension


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Toluwani Folayan

September 05, 2023

Introduction to Team Extension

Ever wondered how businesses can grow without all the usual hiring hassle? Team extension is the answer!

Team extension, also known as staff augmentation, is a strategic approach where companies enhance their internal teams by temporarily integrating external professionals, typically through outsourcing or freelancing.

This approach lets businesses scale up their workforce efficiently, tap into specialized skills, and smoothly handle changing workloads – all without getting tied down to the long-term commitments that come with traditional hiring. If you're eager to grasp the essence of team extension, keep reading. This article dives into the fundamentals of team extension, offering valuable insights into what it entails, various team extension models, and key tips for selecting the perfect partner. Get ready to unlock a whole new dimension of business flexibility and growth!

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What is Team Extension?

Team extension models

Team Extension Vs. Dedicated/Managed/Outsourced Teams

Benefits of Team Extension

How to Hire the Best Team Extension Partner


What is Team Extension?  

Team extension, often known as staff augmentation, is a strategic approach where businesses enhance their internal teams by incorporating external professionals on a temporary basis, commonly through outsourcing or freelancing.

This business method empowers companies to efficiently expand their workforce, access specialized skills, and adeptly manage fluctuating workloads, all while avoiding the long-term commitments associated with traditional hiring.

Team extension in the digital world takes on a distinctive role, especially in the realm of software development. This model, often referred to as a software outsourcing service, involves established IT companies stepping in to bridge the gaps in your team by providing the ideal software developers, whereby these experts become virtual extensions of your workforce, ensuring that your digital projects, particularly in software development, advance seamlessly and effectively. This aligns perfectly with the evolving business landscape, where the team extension model offers an invaluable solution to the dynamic demands of the digital age.

Supporting this trend, a notable statistic from Deloitte predicts a surge in global outsourcing spending, potentially reaching $731 billion in 2023. This statistic underscores the growing recognition among businesses that assembling dedicated, remote teams through team extension can yield substantial benefits.

Therefore, as the modern business landscape evolves, embracing team extension models is becoming an essential strategy for companies aiming to stay competitive, agile, and innovative in a rapidly changing digital environment.


Team Extension Models


Team extension models are versatile strategies businesses employ to seamlessly integrate external professionals, often specialized experts, into their existing teams to enhance productivity and tackle specific tasks or projects. These models provide a flexible approach to workforce expansion, allowing companies to address changing demands without committing to long-term hiring or bearing the overhead of additional full-time employees. The main types of team extension models include:

1. Dedicated Team Model:

Here, a dedicated team of professionals, often provided by an outsourcing partner, becomes an integral part of the company's operations. This team operates as an extension of the in-house workforce, offering ongoing support and expertise.

The dedicated team model is appropriate for large and demanding software development projects because it allows you to cut costs while keeping your workforce expandable and flexible.

2. Managed Team Model:

The Managed Team model is particularly advantageous for long-term projects. Under this structure, your selected vendor assembles a dedicated development team while assuming project management responsibilities.

As the product owner here, you guide critical decisions, uphold consistent communication with the team, and provide regular feedback. Simultaneously, the managed team you've chosen takes on most responsibilities encompassing development and management aspects. This setup positions the managed team as the primary driving force behind the project's development and management endeavors.

3. Outsourced Team Model:

Undoubtedly, the outsourced team model is among the most prevalent collaboration models. This is because it allows businesses to tap into specialized expertise, scale their workforce efficiently, and effectively manage projects, all while reducing overhead costs and operational complexities associated with traditional in-house hiring.

For instance, if you were to hire an outsourced team model, the software development firm you enlist takes the reins in forming your team, overseeing project management, adhering to timelines, and delivering the ultimate solution.

Every step, from the initial exploration phase to the seamless integration of the project, falls within the jurisdiction of your chosen vendor. This aspect contributes to the widespread appeal of the outsourced team model.

It offers a maximal outcome with minimal exertion on your part. Here, your primary responsibility lies in furnishing vendors with your ideas and prerequisites and conveying your project's vision.

Team Extension Vs. Dedicated/Managed/Outsourced Teams

It can sometimes be easy to confuse the team extension model for outsourcing and the dedicated team model. So here is how to differentiate between them:

1. Team Extension:

Team Extension involves augmenting your existing team with external professionals with specialized skills or expertise. These professionals seamlessly integrate into your internal team, working on specific tasks or projects under your direct supervision and guidance. They function as an extension of your in-house team, and you retain control over project management and decision-making. For instance, if you have an in-house development team but lack UI/UX expertise, you might bring in a UI/UX designer through Team Extension.


2. Dedicated/Managed Teams:

Dedicated or Managed Teams go beyond just individual expertise. In this model, you partner with an external vendor to establish a team of professionals tailored to your project's requirements. The vendor handles team assembly, project management, and administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on core activities. Dedicated/Managed Teams are suited for long-term projects or requiring a comprehensive team approach. For instance, you might work with a software development company to set up a dedicated team of developers, QA testers, and a project manager for a complex software project.


3. Outsourced Teams:

Outsourcing involves contracting an external company or team to handle specific tasks or projects on your behalf. Unlike Team Extension, where external professionals become part of your internal team, Outsourced Teams are distinct entities that manage the entire project independently. You provide project requirements and receive the finished product. This approach is advantageous when you need to offload specific responsibilities entirely. For example, if you need to develop a mobile app but lack in-house expertise, you could outsource the entire app development to a specialized agency.


In essence, Team Extension enhances your existing team with specialized skills, Dedicated/Managed Teams offer a comprehensive team solution with project management support, and Outsourced Teams independently handle entire projects. The key is understanding your project's needs and your level of involvement in management to select the most suitable collaboration model.

When to Use Team Extension Services  

If you've been contemplating using team extension services but find yourself uncertain, here are a few case scenarios to consider. These instances will guide you on whether your company could benefit from embracing the team extension model, helping you determine if it aligns perfectly with your business needs.

1. Specialized Expertise Augmentation: When your in-house team lacks specific skills or expertise required for a project, team extension can bridge the gap. For instance, a data scientist could be brought in through team extension if you're developing a complex software application and need an AI specialist.


2. Temporary Workload Spikes: If your team is facing a sudden surge in workload due to a time-sensitive project or seasonal demands, team extension allows you to quickly bolster your workforce without committing to long-term hires.


3. Short-Term Project Requirements: Team extension provides a cost-effective solution when you have a short-term project or specific tasks that don't warrant permanent staffing. For example, if you're running a marketing campaign that requires graphic design, you could hire a freelance designer through team extension.


4. Avoiding Long-Term Commitments: If you're uncertain about a project's long-term viability or lack the resources for permanent staffing, team extension offers flexibility without the obligations of traditional hiring.


5. Testing New Roles or Functions: Before making a permanent staffing decision, team extension lets you test the waters by temporarily adding professionals in new roles or functions to assess their impact on your team and projects.


6. Scaling Quickly: During periods of rapid growth, team extension enables you to quickly onboard skilled professionals to manage increased workload without disrupting your core team's operations.


7. Knowledge Transfer and Training: You can bring in experts through team extension to train your existing team in new technologies or methodologies, enhancing their skills and capabilities.


If these scenarios resonate with your situation and you're seeking a provider of team extension services, look no further than Wazobia Technologies. As a leading team extension and software development company, Wazobia Technologies excels in team extension services. Our track record is backed by our commitment to excellence, seamless integration with your teams, and a proven record of delivering results on time and within budget. When you choose Wazobia Technologies for your team extension needs, you're choosing a partner dedicated to amplifying your capabilities and achieving your project goals.

10 Benefits of Team Extension

1. Scalability:

Team extension guarantees a business’s scalability. It serves as a solution to the challenge of securing the appropriate tech talent for a company's expansion. This is because businesses partner with IT outsourcing firms instead of following the traditional recruitment route to fulfill their staff augmentation requirements.

This approach also empowers companies to allocate their resources to marketing, management, and growth, freeing them from the intricacies of recruiting software professionals.


2. Excellent project management:

Team extension ensures excellent project management through a combination of tailored expertise, streamlined communication, and dedicated oversight. When businesses opt for team extension, they bring in external professionals with specialized skills, who seamlessly integrate into the existing team structure. This infusion of expertise enhances the project's quality and efficiency.


3. Controlled hiring:

Team extension ensures controlled hiring by offering a strategic and flexible approach to workforce augmentation. With team extension, businesses can bring in external professionals on a temporary basis, aligning perfectly with specific project needs and workload fluctuations. This controlled hiring approach enables companies to avoid the long-term commitments associated with traditional full-time hiring.


4. Specialised Expertise:

Team extension guarantees specialized expertise by seamlessly integrating external professionals with specific skills into existing teams. This strategic approach fills knowledge gaps and enhances project quality.

For instance, with the flexibility to choose professionals precisely suited to project needs, tasks requiring specialized skills can be expertly handled, fostering efficient problem-solving and innovation. This infusion of diverse expertise ensures optimal project outcomes and a competitive edge for businesses.


5. Transparent pricing model:

Salaries might seem comprehensive, but they don't account for all an employee's costs. For instance, from office supplies to benefits, hidden expenses can accumulate. This is especially pronounced for small business owners who often use personal funds. However, with an extended development team or staff augmentation, fixed hourly rates and monthly fees cover all development expenses, ensuring clear expense tracking and effective project planning.


6. Dedicated developers:

Dedicated developers play a vital role in crafting top-notch products and services. Their unwavering dedication to learning and skill enhancement equips them to decipher intricate issues and create effective remedies. Therefore, integrating these experts into your team through extension enables timely project completion, innovative problem-solving, and the handling of intricate projects demanding specialized technical prowess or custom coding. Furthermore, their seasoned experience offers organizations access to cutting-edge technologies and trends without incurring hefty costs.


7. Reduced costs and risks:

Team extension effectively reduces costs and mitigates risks through strategic staff augmentation. For instance, in regions with high local software developer salaries, businesses can opt for external professionals in more cost-efficient markets, minimizing remuneration and operational expenses.

This streamlined cost structure is complemented by the extended team's unwavering dedication to the company's vision, mitigating the instability often seen with outsourced developers handling multiple projects simultaneously.

This commitment also ensures consistent project focus, enhances quality, and minimizes the risks of juggling priorities.


8. Diverse perspectives:

Leveraging the expertise of external professionals introduces a wealth of diverse perspectives, injecting fresh viewpoints and innovative ideas into your projects. These outside viewpoints encourage more creative problem-solving, stimulating new approaches that may not have been considered within the confines of your internal team. Also, by embracing these diverse perspectives, your projects stand to benefit from a broader range of insights, ultimately leading to enhanced innovation and more effective problem-solving strategies..


9. Reduced management burden:

Staff augmentation or team extension efficiently reduces the management burden by providing a dedicated layer of expertise. With this approach, businesses enlist external professionals who are seamlessly integrated into the existing team structure.

These skilled individuals come with their own project management skills, often managed by an external agency or vendor. This shift in responsibility allows your internal team to focus on core tasks and strategic decision-making while the augmented team, under external management, takes care of day-to-day coordination, progress tracking, and task allocation.


How to Hire the Best Team Extension Partner

1. Identify Your Needs: Understand your project's technical requirements. For instance, if you're building a web application, determine the necessary technologies, such as front-end frameworks (e.g., React) and back-end languages (e.g., Node.js).


2. Search for Companies Based on Your Needs: Look for software development companies specializing in the technologies required for your project. For example, if you aim to develop a mobile app using Flutter, seek out firms with expertise in mobile app development using this framework.


3. Set Requirements and Goals: Clearly define project expectations, milestones, and coding standards. For example, if you want to create a responsive website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, outline these specifics for potential partners.


4. Screen or Shortlist Candidates: Review the portfolios and profiles of developers presented by the team extension partner. Shortlist those with experience with technologies aligned with your project, like a developer skilled in building e-commerce platforms using Magento.


5. Integrate the Team: Collaborate with the team extension partner to seamlessly integrate the chosen developers into your existing team. Share project documentation, coding guidelines, and communication channels to ensure a smooth start.


6. Ask for a Test Task: Request a practical coding task related to your project's technology stack. For example, if you're working on a fintech app with secure user authentication, ask the candidate to implement a secure login functionality.


7. Ensure Communication and Collaboration: Set up regular video conferences and establish channels for instant messaging, code collaboration, and project tracking. Tools like Slack, GitHub, and Trello can facilitate efficient communication.


8. Evaluate Performance: Continuously assess the candidate's performance during the test task. Review their code quality, problem-solving skills, and ability to adhere to coding standards.


9. Adjust as Needed: If the test task reveals any gaps, communicate your observations with the team extension partner. Address any concerns and collaboratively decide on additional training or support measures.


10. Discuss Project Flexibility: Ensure the extended team is adaptable to project changes, such as adjusting scope or technology shifts. A partner that can pivot as needed demonstrates resilience and problem-solving capabilities.


11. Legal and Contractual Considerations: Establish clear terms in the contract, including project scope, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, and dispute resolution mechanisms.


12. Cultural Fit: Assess the cultural compatibility of the extended team with your organization. A cohesive team dynamic contributes to smoother collaboration.


Team extension is a strategic approach that empowers companies to tap into specialized expertise, swiftly scale their teams, and easily manage fluctuating workloads. Businesses can access fresh perspectives, innovative problem-solving, and a diverse skill set by seamlessly integrating external professionals into their projects.


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