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Software development: Choosing the right model is key

Companies are investing in new products and platforms, helping them on their digital transformation journey. It enables them to expand their audience, streamline communication and data processing and improve their customer experience both in B2B and B2C scenarios.

Before investing a huge amount of money in developing your next web or mobile application, it is critical to choose the right software development strategy. This could be challenging, but one first needs to decide on the specific requirement before deciding what type of mobile app development to select.

Selecting and allocating resources for a project could also be challenging, so it is important to know exactly what the final product is that needs to be delivered within a certain budget. Businesses need to find the most cost-effective model that will deliver the best results for capacity planning as well as project management planning. Speed ​​and quality are also important factors.

Selecting the appropriate app development model and employing a team of expert software developers is key to the success of any project. There are generally three models used in the industry to choose from; Managed project delivery, team augmentation or contracting professional resources.

Managed project delivery

With a managed project delivery service, the software development house could manage the entire project through their project management team. This means clients don’t need to employ any in-house developers or manage a remote development team.

With managed services, clients often may not even know who is working on their project or what the developers are doing and what decisions are being made throughout the process.

This means the development house or service provider designs, builds and delivers the entire software project and will be responsible for delivering against the agreed requirements.

Its managed team handles planning, design, development, QA and project or product management. Agile delivery methodologies will often be applied when delivering the project to the client.

On smaller projects, a developer would be hired to develop a specific app with a fixed set of requirements, and would be paid upon completion of the project.

Team Augmentation

There is often a misunderstanding between augmentation and managed project delivery. The key difference is, augmentation is paid for on a time and material basis whilst a managed project approach concerns a fixed set of deliverables. Some clients may apply a blended approach depending on the team make-up and their existing in-house capacity.

Augmented staff could be used for writing lines of code for a specific app and they would be paid per hour against the work they complete, giving the client the opportunity to change the backlog of work as they wish.

With augmentation, the development house provides in-house experts to help the customer in-house teams to deliver the project and the roles can vary depending on their needs. Sometimes the development house will allocate a product owner who will then manage all of the resources on both teams, or it will place certain resources to support delivery.

This model helps extend a team by complementing existing staff with additional skills. It’s a flexible outsourcing strategy that enables companies to hire app developers from anywhere across the globe.

They can choose from an extensive list of developers that fit their requirements and can extend or reduce their augmented team whenever they choose to do so. This enables them to add skilled technical resources to their in-house app development team, either on a short or long-term basis.

The largest benefit is that these resources are provided and employed by the app development company, eliminating the cost and liability of permanent staff.

Professional resources or FTEs

With Full Time Equivalent (FTE), the app development company provides the customer with a dedicated full-time equivalent resource. This is usually a development resource, on a long-term contract and usually 12 months or longer.

They are managed directly by the customer’s team and form part of the in-house team. This can also grow into building full offsite development teams for customers.

FTE is used as a unit of measure and is often used to convert the hours worked by a number of part-time employees into the hours worked by full-time employees. It gives an indication of how many full-time employees a company or a project requires.

It is a useful tool to determine potential labor costs, especially when embarking on a major web development project. It helps companies understand how many full-time workers they would require to accomplish a certain task, and also the estimated salaries.

It can be used to measure the staff requirement and projected hours. By defining the required FTE, one can measure the scope of the project and also identify the number of required people. This helps solve the confusion around hours and headcount.

FTE is a fantastic measure for long-term projects, it provides clearer forecasting plans. It’s a measuring stick to calculate hours to be worked, it focuses purely on the scope of the project and then breaks it down into smaller tasks. It calculates how many hours and what skills are required to get the job done.

FTE enables project managers to engage specialized resources so that they don’t waste a full-time resource for a specific set of skills. It also offers transparency when one needs to hire part-time resources for short-term projects.

This model minimizes risk because resources are contracted for specific tasks. Businesses can now streamline budgets by using resources for specific tasks and only for as long as it takes to get the job done.

Wear cases

Digital solution providers like Bluegrass Digital work with companies of all sizes, these include funded start-ups, medium, and large corporations around the world across various industries from financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and FCMG. It needs to apply these models to the respective projects.

For start-ups, Bluegrass often works in a team augmentation scenario where it may collaborate with existing tech team to provide more capacity or specialist skills such as React Native for mobile application development.

The company has grown as a project delivery company and continues to deliver many software projects for customers. Over time, it has extended this to both Team Augmentation and FTE’s. It also works with clients where it needs to combine each of these to different projects or stakeholder requirements in the business.

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