The Dedicated Team Model (DTM for short) is a business model that is widely used in the world of outsourcing, software testing industry being no exception. With so many clients taking interested in it, we decided to raise your awareness about the model peculiarities, and summarize some specific issues one should know before deciding on the model. Sounds curious? Let’s start.
What’s the Dedicated Team?
Just as the Time & Material (T&M) or Fixed Price (FP), the Dedicated Team is the business model. The essence is to provide the client with the extension of their in-house team. The scope of works, team structure, and payment terms are specified in the client-service provider agreement. Deciding on the model, the client can shift the focus on business critical works, without hiring and training new specialists. The team fully commits to the project needs, while the QA vendor provides administrative support of the team, monitors the testing environment and infrastructure, measures team’s KPIs and proposes improvements.
When Buy the Dedicated Team?
The DTM is advised in the following cases:
- You are interested in building long-lasting relationships with the QA vendor.
- The project requirements are changeable.
- Your project has significant scalability potential.
- You have no intention to train or manage your in-house QA team.
- You aim to keep QA costs to the minimum.
Dedicated Team Model at A1QA
Vitaly Prus, A1QA Head of the Agile Testing Department, knows how to set up and maintain successful DTMs for both large corporations and startups.
Vitaly, is the DTM popular among A1QA clients?
It is. In fact, the DTM is the most popular engagement model at A1QA. Suffice it to say, about 60% of the ongoing projects are running this model.
DTM clients: who are they?
Traditionally, the model is more appreciated by the US and Europe-located clients.
From my experience, clients choose the dedicated team when they want to extend their in-house team but have no time or desire to hire and train new specialists.
Comparing to the fixed price or T&M models, the DTM is about persons, I would say. Applying for the dedicated team, most clients seek not additional testing hands, but they rather want to get a pool of motivated specialists who will commit to the project, will stay proactive and do their best to make the final solution just perfect. The client needs a specialist to communicate with. So the personality of the dedicated team members really matters.
And I can’t but stress it that the DTM is used for long-term projects mainly. For example, we currently maintain the team that has been providing software testing services for 10 years already. You see? Dedicated Team is literally about dedication.
Could you list the top 3 main advantages that are valuable for the client?
Besides the team commitment (that is the result of the model nature), I would name transparency of the process, opportunity to control all the workflows, and rapid team scalability. As for the latter, we offer a vast pool of specialists with diversified skills (manual and automated testers, security testers, UX testers, etc.).
What are the key factors for DTM success?
The success of any dedicated team depends on how well the service provider takes care of the resources and on the quality of the infrastructure and environment provided. At A1QA, we’ve built a well-structured approach to set up dedicated teams considering all client’s requirements.
Does it take long to set up the right team?
It depends. Some clients trust our project managers and rely on our choice. Others are more attentive to this matter and take part in all interviews, check CVs of all possible engineers. In average, it takes from a week to a month to set up a team that will be ready to start.
If a team requires 10 engineers, we usually recommend assigning only 2-3 specialists at the very start, and gradually expand the team as the project grows. This appears to be much more effective than to set up a team of 10 specialists from the beginning.
In addition to the team, we offer to assign a QA manager who will take control over QA tasks and activities to get the maximum value from the dedicated team.
We can also offer a try-before-you-buy option if a client is not sure that a proposed candidate fully meets requirements. It’s like a test drive for QA specialists: if there are any doubts, the client has time (from a week to a month) to form their opinion and decide whether to continue cooperation with the team or not.
What is the billing process?
The dedicated team is paid for on a monthly basis and the pricing is quite simple. The billing sum depends on the team composition, its size and the skills set.
When discussing the model with a client, we warn them about the downtime expenditures: if there happens to be downtime and the team will have no tasks to perform, the client will keep paying for this time as well.
But as a matter of practice, QA and software teams hardly ever have idle time. Even if the team has technical issues blocking the testing work (e.g. test servers or defect tracking system on the client’s side is temporarily unavailable), they can proactively suggest and do some task useful for the project, like preparing test data files, etc.
Dedicated Team: What’s in it for you?
- Full commitment to your project needs and methodology.
- Adjustment to your time zone.
- Opportunity to interview all specialists.
- Complete control over all project flaws.
- Comprehensive reporting and smooth cooperation.
- Rapid resources onboarding.
- Long-term value through accumulated expertise and knowledge retention.
Check on the success story of the A1QA dedicated team of 8 engineers who assured high quality of the virtualization company solutions.
If you have any questions left, feel free to ask them in the comments or via the contact form.
About other A1QA cooperation models read here.