Many clients turn to DB Best Technologies for help when developing specific products. When working with this type of request, we recommend either of two models of engagement: project-based and team-based. This article looks at the distinct advantages of team-based development using a dedicated team involved throughout the product’s lifecycle.
The project-based model
With the project-based model, developers built the product from start to launch, but the development process stops after release. When the client needs additional features or wants to release an updated version, the development resumes until the release of version 2.0. Clients in this situation typically face budget constraints and also want to see ROI before proceeding with further development, so a fixed-price payment model works best.
The team-based model
The team-based model, in contrast, works best for clients who understand their project’s complexity and potential pitfalls. They understand that new product creation is an iterative process, with an undefined number of development rounds. These clients are also able to make gradual and ongoing investments that result in high-quality final results and ongoing rewards.
As the name implies, the team is the biggest asset in this model. Its members posses the technological and architectural knowledge and the required skill sets specific to the project. An experienced team—who can envision the product, follow through on implementation, and exchange knowledge—is a critical success factor for creating a high-quality product.
A dedicated team is a popular and effective structure for product development, and that is the focus of this article. Dedicated teams comprise professionals focused on a single project—typically for large projects.
What types of projects require a dedicated team?
Good candidates for dedicated teams include projects that require ongoing development and expert support.
The main characteristics of this type of project are:
- Planned rapid release of a functional, ready-to-use product
- Gradual add-on development and feature upgrades
Continuous releases services to focus the team’s collective mind and acts as strong motivator to meet deadlines. Further, dedicated teams should immediately surface any potential problems. That lets the client provide timely feedback and make immediate decisions about specific features.
In this model, payments should be made at the end of each release, which resembles the time-and-materials model. Keep in mind that the client should have full access to source code and to the project itself.
From the client’s perspective, outsourcing development brings a number of advantages while also lowering some risks:
- No need to create your own R&D or quality assurance departments
- Avoid the time and money hiring a team of full-time employees
- No need to organize and equip a work environment
- No need to educate and train your new employees
- No constantly rising utility expenses that grow in proportion to your in-house team’s growth
Note that there are risks associated with the basic time and materials model when outsourcing product development. In many situations, after the product’s release the client will stop interacting with the development team. That lack of ongoing contact frequently means the following unfortunate situations will arise:
- New bugs are left unfixed
- When it’s time to develop new features, the source code is difficult to support
- The original developers are assigned to other projects, so the acquired knowledge about the project is no longer available
Those situations underscore the value of a strong team’s ongoing and cumulative project knowledge. In contrast, new teams with new members take considerable time getting up to speed on the original project—time that is frankly wasted.
The most effective solution, therefore, is to hire a dedicated team to develop your product, and then keep them engaged throughout the product’s lifecycle. The ready-made structure and procedures, and the well-defined roles and experience, allow for a smooth and immediate restart of your project.
In addition, with the beta release, the team can be reduced to one or two professionals able to maintain and update the original source code. If further massive development is needed, then the team can be easily reassembled, and the developers who’ve been constantly working on your project can readily share their project-specific knowledge with the newly activated team members.
How is product development by a dedicated team different?
What’s the golden rule of product development? Build a dedicated team who work together to develop the product and also guarantee its ongoing maintenance and support. Product development is an ongoing process extended throughout the product’s lifecycle. The keys to success are professionals who intimately know how the original product was built and the best ways to expand its features.
In this type of development, you will enjoy continuous improvements from small upgrade releases and major new product releases. While that’s happening, the team will constantly improve the product’s design, functions, features, architecture, and quality.
When everything is considered—costs, benefits, time-to-market, user response—the dedicated development team makes the most sense. The main goal of your product, after all, should be to solve user’s needs while also increasing your profit in the most cost-effective way.