Building an in-house IT department is expensive. It takes time and money to hire, test and employ specialists on a regular basis. Companies focused on cost optimization prefer to build their digital product with vendors offering outsourcing services. IT isn’t the same as software development, though. And it’s certainly not only about software. What are managed teams services and what benefits can you expect from leveraging them?

Best software development companies offer managed teams services and perks that go along with it. Programming expertise and proficiency in development. Expert tools. Cloud integration and API development. Plus, tech consulting that goes with it. However, everything starts with team augmentation services.

Differences between IT outsourcing and managed teams services

The difference is pretty simple. With outsourcing, you get skills that are lended from the vendor to build a digital product, enhance it through additional functionalities. You can also enable business processes, build infrastructure solutions. Delegate it to third-party and get it done within time limit.

With managed teams services, you get a reliable business partner. Outsourcing delivers you results and reports. It’s mechanical and limited. With managed teams services, you get a team that is a part of your company. Our specialist blend with your team. They are the extra arm that you need, plus they understand your organization. They fit into your company’s culture, have deep understanding of your business, revenue generation model and core business values.

It’s not just semantics. Outsourcing delivers you a product, complete services give you ways to develop it through optimal solutions.

Managed teams services vs. extended teams vs. software outsourcing

Managed teams services is still a form of outsourcing, but the word itself should not be used to express one-fit-all process. There are differences between three main phrases, and we’re here to make you aware of them. Each serve different needs, so you should be looking for the option that best suit your current needs.

Software outsourcing. This is a basic, very traditional option. Almost a legacy option, to be honest. You send app’s specifications and a deadline. The team returns with a portion of the app or the entire product completed within time bounds. It’s not a hands-on approach. You don’t have a lot of maneuvering options; you just get JIRA reports. In this case, your project manager will be in touch with third-party team occasionally, participating in Agile meetings once or twice the sprint (which usually lasts from one week to a month).

Extended teams. This model lets you integrate a highly skilled set of engineers into your in-house team. Even if the vendor is from another continent. The difference here is that your manager is sharing the project, assigning tasks between your in-house team and third-party specialists. He’s also in charge of the project. This model helps you increase flexibility of your team and increase capacity to complete the project on time and within budget.

Managed teams services. This is an intermediate option between these two. This team works autonomously from your in-house team, but the outsourced Project Manager reports to the in-house Product Owner as often as needed to ensure the product meets your requirements. Key decision-making roles are designated first to establish the rules of engagement and communication as well as make critical design decisions. Teams are quickly set up around functional areas, from Software Architect to Scrum Master.

How does a managed team work?

There are few steps to explain the model of cooperation and a journey here.

First, you have to show us your business and technical requirements. You are expected to give us a number of software engineers needed for the project, as well as seniority of each of the team’s members and skillset (programming languages, portfolio, etc.)

Then, a service provider hires or find externally dedicated developers that meet previously defined requirements. Next, both parties agree on the scope of the project, as well as the budget, and the workload for a specific timeframe. It can be the entire project, or broken down into sprints.

Next, the team is formed and starts working on a project during business hours (sometimes developers can stay late and coordinate with a client from a different time zone).

Finally, the client is in charge of the team, while the managed part of the team is focused on delivering functional, technical and business results through product development.

Top advantages of managed teams services

There are multiple benefits of using managed teams services. Here are those most important ones.

  • Cost efficiency. It’s one of the most important reasons behind the solution. You are not only assuring delivery of the product development but also ensure less expensive services associated with the project. Also, cheaper maintenance and future enhancement through the development of new functionalities.
  • Time-to-market, innovation and digital transformation. Normally we would keep these reasons separate but in the context of other benefits, we decided to throw them into one basket. They simply complement each other. You can’t afford to be second. Time-to-market is invaluable, even if it means MVP, or should we say, MLP development. Innovation comes through tech and business consulting, that developers do throughout the process. They can advise while adding new code. And finally – digital transformation. You can develop an app for your internal use or expedite the process by offering your clients more advanced tools. Either way, your processes are bumped to a whole new level.
  • Scalability. You may need only three developers now but over ten within next six months. And then, after a year of heavy development, scale back to three. Who’s to say what do you really need? A good vendor can help you with that as well, advising on the number of firepower you need within the team. Either way, managed team services is a perfect solution for talent shortage, inability to hire them on time and to numerous other reasons.
  • Knowledge retention. Your current project may be less technologically advanced but the one that comes in a year or two, and you know it’s happening, may be an entire different story. Proven team with knowledge is skill is therefore invaluable. Especially if they have expertise your in-house team is lacking. Gathering knowledge and planning for future development is valuable in this situation. By planning ahead and hiring members of the managed team in advance, you also reserve their time for the future. You also make sure there is no skill gap for the project. Plus, your team members are learning by simply working and observing. That’s also a very important point to make. Watching others at work and gaining experience will advance your specialists as well.
  • Continuous Integration. We have an article on best CI practices. There, we have a bullet point on optimization of developer’s time. It’s important but what about your time? With managed teams, you assure that your project will continue to evolve and the development time want go to waste. New features will be constantly added to the app and existing ones will be refined to keep up with the changes (and changing scope, which happens in this industry all the time). Managed team services are also perfect for projects (especially live service applications) that grow and evolve over time.
  • Full control.  This model is great for companies that want full control over the entire project. From specialists’ selection, to managing daily tasks and operations, through scope pivoting, ending with post-launch management and enhancements.

What to choose and when?

You have three options. It’s mainly about the nature of the project, flexibility you require for it, time your manager can dedicate to overseeing the works. It’s up to you. Either it’s dedicated teams or end-to-end development, you can be sure that outsourcing works. Many companies have long lists of finished projects to prove it. You can also, for example, visit our case study section. It’s a reason we have a lot of projects to talk about. Contact us and let’s have a chat.