As a company, embarking on a product development journey and deciding to work with an external vendor is an important decision. On top of choosing the right vendor, it’s also crucial to choose to navigate through the different engagement models for software development and choose the right one. That choice will majorly impact the responsibilities, budget, and timeline distribution. This decision will lay the foundation for a successful collaboration and ensure that you and your vendor are aligned regarding goals, expectations, and responsibilities.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the top three software development engagement models – fixed-scope, dedicated agile teams, and IT staff augmentation. You’ll learn the ins and outs of each and discover which model best suits your specific needs. So prepare to make a smart, informed choice and watch your project soar to new heights!
IT Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation is an engagement model that supports the existing team by bringing in external professionals as needed. It is typically used to provide additional staff for a short-term project or to fill an immediate need for a specific skill set.
When considering IT staff augmentation, companies should carefully asses the type of expertise they need. Hiring a team of professionals with technical and business knowledge is essential to manage the project properly. This includes understanding the complexity of the project, the desired outcomes, and the resources needed to achieve them.
Additionally, companies should consider the level of communication and collaboration between the external team and the existing staff to ensure the project is completed on time and within budget. In most cases, the vendor assigns a project/account manager to oversee the project, ensuring that the agreed framework is always followed.
The staff augmentation model is the perfect solution for companies that want to keep their core development and product management teams in-house while filling crucial role gaps. This approach allows them to maintain control over their teams while adding specialized expertise and talent as needed to stay competitive and capitalize on opportunities.
Dedicated Agile Team
The dedicated agile team (DAT) model is gaining popularity due to its ability to combine various skills and knowledge in a single team, making the development process more efficient. Additionally, the dedicated team engagement model allows teams to focus on their particular areas of expertise, leading to better collaboration and problem-solving.
A dedicated agile team typically comprises software developers, testers, and business analysts. Depending on the project, the team may include UI/UX designers, product managers, and other related roles. The team works closely to ensure that all aspects of the project are adequately addressed and that the final product meets the customer’s requirements.
Organizations can gain a significant advantage when selecting the agile team engagement model by accessing a team of professionals with relevant experience that align with their specific project requirements. This will lead to a seamless and smooth onboarding process, ensuring you get the most out of your time and resources.
On top of that, the DAT model allows for greater flexibility in the software development process. The team can adjust quickly and adapt to customer requirements and technology changes. This flexibility is vital for businesses that must rapidly deliver software products to stay competitive.
Additionally, the transparency of the process allows for real-time feedback, ensuring that any issues or roadblocks can be addressed immediately, leading to a faster resolution. The result is a high-quality project delivered on time and within budget.
Here’s a real-life example of dedicated agile team collaboration. One of our clients, who had an idea for a tech product called Paybetter, was looking for a team to bring their vision to life. By working with us, the client gained access to a dedicated team of experts who acted as a technical backbone for his project. With our support, they could focus on improving business while we handled the tech development. By choosing our dedicated team model, they saved time and resources and reduced overhead costs, allowing them to achieve their goals more efficiently.
Overall, let’s conclude the advantages of hiring a dedicated development team briefly:
- Improved collaboration
- Faster Delivery
- Greater ownership
- Reduced Resource Overhead
- Quality assurance
Another software development engagement model that we will discuss is the fixed price model. This model is as easy as it sounds – developing the predefined specified milestones, set of features, and functions. It gives businesses a clearer understanding of the project’s requirements, allowing them to plan accordingly.
Once the project scope is determined, the development team will estimate the time and cost associated with each feature and function. This allows the client to have a clear idea about the project timeline and budget and to make changes to the scope if necessary.
The development team then works to complete the project within the established scope. This approach allows for greater control and accountability, as the development team is held accountable for delivering the project as agreed.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the Fixed Scope approach may be the ideal choice when the client has a clear understanding of the product requirements and features. That’s important to bear in mind because once the scope is defined and the budget and timeline are agreed upon, any changes to the requirements could prolong the development process and result in further negotiations between the vendor and the client.
Software Development Engagement Models: How To Choose The Right One?
Choosing the suitable engagement models in software development can be perplexing. So it would be best to consider several factors to make the right decision, including the timeline, budget, and scope.
If you are dealing with complex projects that require a lot of coordination, then it may be beneficial to switch to the dedicated agile team engagement model to ensure smoother communication and mitigate risk.
On the other hand, if you’re working on a smaller project that doesn’t require a lot of complexity or quick turnaround and has a set flexible timeline, you are recommended to choose a fixed-scope model, which is more rigid and structured with limited budgeting.
Using the IT Staff Augmentation model becomes hugely beneficial when the company faces a sudden increase in workload, has a shortage of IT personnel, or requires specialized IT skills. In such cases, short-term IT resources can be brought in to help manage the extra work.
To better illustrate the comparison between these IT engagement models, look at the chart below.
|Dedicated Team||IT Staff Augmentation||Fixed Scope|
|Control Over Project||High||High||Low|
|Delivery & Quality Assurance||High||High||Low|
|Costs & Billing||Hourly||Hourly||Fixed|
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of engagement models?
Several types of engagement models are used in the software industry, including fixed scope, dedicated teams, and staff augmentation. Each model has its own unique features and benefits, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a project. The suitable model depends on project size, scope, timeline, and the resources and expertise available within the organization.
Which Engagement Model Has Less Risk Associated With Its Delivery?
Fixed-scope engagement model has less risk associated with its delivery, based on a clearly defined scope of work and a fixed budget. This model offers a structured approach to project management, with clearly defined deliverables and timelines. The scope of work is agreed upon at the outset, and the client must approve any changes to the project scope. This model allows for greater predictability and control and reduces the risk of cost overruns and missed deadlines. However, it may not suit projects with changing or evolving requirements.
Written by: Keti Getiashvili
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Business development manager
Business development manager