In IT world everybody knows what Dedicated Development Team approach implies. Right now take half a minute and try to describe your associations with DDT:
Hmmm…5 developers… more?.. big project…half a year or longer… long negotiations…administrative formalities…we will start in a month?…Hmmm…maybe we are too small for this… That’s what most probably has come to your mind first.
Indeed, not so long ago DDT model was considered a long-term, continuous, stiff cooperation approach. That’s how it classically looks like. Still now we are not longer in the era of big-big system projects prevalence and large companies domination. Large basic systems have already been developed, the majority of companies in the market are SMBs and start-ups. It’s evident that today’s reality dictates new standards for cooperation approaches. And outsourcing is adapting to newly arising demand specifics as well.
Since average project looks differently now, DDT model is undergoing changes too. Today the dialogue between customer and vendor runs like this, at least at Altabel:
- We’ll need 3 Java developers for the server part. There will also be iOS mobile client part, so 1 iOS developer? And Android client will follow…Also our target audience has demand for Windows Phone….Yeah…
- Ok, let’s agree on an approximate schedule for these assignments. We will pick candidates for you.
-Maybe testers for active testing before releases…
-From time to time? On a short notice, that’s Ok.
- What if we start with one developer only?
- No problem. Decide when.
Have work in 1-2 weeks already…
- Review CVs please and we’ll arrange interviews. Simultaneously, let’s discuss contractual terms.
-Oops, we need to integrate with a highly specialized service. We need to add specific skills to already established core team. Great to have it all together…
– Which skills? Will try to find them too, in our or partner’s pool.
-Our product needs new technology. In-house team is taking on this strategic task, but they can’t keep up with supporting the current system… Still our users need decent level of support service!
-We may assist with maintaining your system working stably.
- Have a project vision, but details are still emerging. Looks like elaborating an accurate spec will take ages, but need to start soon since the market won’t wait…
-We may assign a dedicated specialist to elaborate all the details along with you and perhaps prototype for you. Then approach may be changed if you still wish so.
-But the developer’s engagement will be for this project timeframe only?
-Why not 🙂
I guess flexibility becomes an inalienable characteristic of Dedicated Development Team approach. Now it’s just “folk” and is adaptable to a particular company, project or condition.
Let it be a womanly sounding comparison, still this is like with clothes: casual is popular nowadays 🙂 so dress your company in a new comfortable “casual” DDT style!
Thanks for attention. Your comments are appreciated, as usually 🙂
If you need a team that can address multiple platforms and toolkits, wouldn’t training in the various skills and agile methods be an efficient way to develop flexibility? I want the developers to know what they are doing, not be open to change and willing to work with contractors that have no particular domain knowledge. Who exactly is going to fix the problems at 2 AM if you contracted that piece out to a specialist who was only onsite for 3 weeks.
My goal is what I call Yogic development. It takes work and long term commitment to become truly flexible, but you have to do it yourself because it doesn’t matter if you can hire some else to balance in Warrior III or stand in for the class this week. So build a team that can handle your entire system. Hire instructors. Hire teams to handle overflow work and welcome them to your group, but be sure you understand all of the systems yourself when they leave. The alternative is strain and pain when you try to stretch beyond current capabilities; kinda like what happens if you skill a few weeks of Yoga class.