The integrated team is a new software development industry model under which the vendors’ team works closely with the clients’ IT department, integrating into their processes and procedures rather than working separately. This model is becoming increasingly popular, especially in scenarios where clients need to introduce a new product to the market quickly. Outsourcing and out-staffing might not necessarily be the most effective solutions in these cases, whereas the integrated team model encapsulates the advantages — in terms of pricing, quality, and process — of both fully outsourced and fully in-house models.
The integrated team model ensures the client a cohesive team that’s fully involved in the process, with none of the personnel or contractor management headaches. This is because the vendor, which employs plenty of engineers with diverse experience, is able to add or replace specialists on the team when and if needed, adding in in-demand technologies and expertise for the success of the project. With quality vendors, top management plays a role in each project to guarantee a sound team and smooth processes.
Here are a few other benefits an integrated team brings to the client:
- Frees up internal resources that might be needed for other purposes
- Allows the team change specialists easily to add needed competencies
- Preserves existing, internal processes
- Leverages vendor expertise
When Do You Need an Integrated Team?
All of this isn’t to say, however, that an integrated team is the right solution for every project. For example, this model is not the best for singular, small projects that don’t require large teams or complicated coordination. These can usually be completed more efficiently and effectively with a single contractor or small in-house team.
Integrated teams are most appropriate for projects that involve a large number of tasks in continuous flow, or that require significant manpower to complete. In these larger projects, coordinating the people and the tasks would place an unsustainable burden on the client, in terms of both time and resources. An integrated team, on the other hand, lightens the load without compromising ownership, process, or quality.
Not sure whether an integrated team is the right choice for your organization?
Think through your project and its requirements. If the project is simple and standalone, you may not need one. But it’s likely an integrated team will work to your advantage if you need to achieve any of the following process goals:
- Even out peaks in your IT department’s workload
- Solve high-level tasks while avoiding micro-management
- Effectively onboard new specialists without noticeable drops in productivity
- Employ experts with competencies and knowledge in the most up-to-date technology stacks, which might not be present within the company’s workforce
- Make use of the best practices and experience available through the vendor company’s broad pool of engineers, as opposed to relying only on specific full-time or contract employees
- Hand over the development of the new project while making sure the process will go exactly as planned
How Do I Know If Vendor Team Integration Will Be Successful?
This is an important question. As anybody who’s ever had a less-than-ideal collaboration experience can attest, not all teams play well together. We’ve written extensively on what to look for from a vendor to ensure the highest chances of a good relationship, but here’s what you need to know: some vendors’ only goal is not to fail, while others are truly aiming for success. (And you can guess which ones generally foster stronger integrations with their clients’ teams.) A quality vendor will be willing to act as a strategic partner and not just an implementation team. They’ll be laser focused on keeping all stakeholders apprised of progress through sprints, demos, and effective use of project management tools. And they’ll be open to meshing their own processes and rules with their clients’ in order to ensure that everyone is operating under the same structure and guidelines. When a vendor is willing to approach a project as a true partnership, you’re much more likely to see success.
For many businesses, the idea of hiring full-time software developers or managing a team of contractors is the biggest obstacle to building and implementing the custom software they need to solve critical problems and drive growth. The integrated team model solves the problem, offering businesses close partnerships with vendors whose experts mesh seamlessly with their existing teams and processes in order to bring their software (and business) visions to life. To learn more about the integrated team model and find out whether that kind of partnership is right for you, feel free to give us a call. The team at Syberry would love to talk with you about how we can help.