Dedicated team model in QA: all you should know about it

Check on everything you should know about when to apply, how to run and pay for a dedicated team in QA.
10 March 2020
QA consulting
Quality assurance
The article by a1qa

The dedicated team (DTM for short) is an engagement model that is widely used in the world of outsourcing, software testing industry being no exception. By providing decent technology-oriented experts delving into business processes, many clients are getting interested in QA outsourcing.

Today, we decided to raise your awareness about this model peculiarities and summarize some specific issues one should know before deciding on the DTM.

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. Its essence lies in providing the customer 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 competencies by cutting expenses spent on micromanagement as well as searching, hiring, and training new QA specialists.

The team fully commits to the needs of the customer and the vision of business and product, while the QA vendor provides its administrative support, monitors the testing environment and infrastructure, measures KPIs, and proposes improvements.

When choose the dedicated team? 

Before making a step toward DTM, you might ask yourself whether it is reasonable in this particular case. Here are five signs that you need a QA dedicated team:

  1. You aim to keep QA costs to the minimum.
  2. The project requirements are changeable.
  3. You have no intention to train or manage your in-house QA team.
  4. Your project has significant scalability potential.
  5. You are interested in building long-lasting relationships with the QA vendor.

Dedicated team model at a1qa 

Vitaly Prus, a1qa Head of testing department with extensive experience in managing Agile/SAFe teams, 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, customers choose the dedicated team when they want to extend their in-house crew but have no time to hire or no resources to train new QA talents.

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, flexibly adapt to changing business demands, 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 teams that have been providing software testing services for 5, 7, and 10 years already. You see? The dedicated team is literally about dedication.

Could you list the top 3 main advantages that are valuable for the client?

Besides the commitment (that is the result of the model nature), I would name transparency of the process and opportunity to control all the workflows. At a1qa, we also provide smart team scalability by rapidly adjusting to the clients’ demands of expanding or decreasing the team size.

Through possible modalities for cooperation, our teams can perform their duties on-site by staying at clients’ place. Many of our customers get their dedicated teams operating remotely.

Furthermore, during the global outbreak, we continue helping our customers get confident in the top-level quality of their IT applications. We offer them to apply a work-from-home scenario for the whole team or particular members in order to mitigate health risks that can hinder effective work processes.

We can also combine both models to achieve greater success.

As for the latter, we offer a vast pool of specialists with diversified tech skills and industry-centric expertise (manual and automated testers, security testers, UX testers across telecom, BFSI, eCommerce, and more). Our clients also get an independent software quality evaluation along with a variety of testing means and access to the latest technological achievements.

Drop us a line to discuss whether DTM is the right decision for your business.

What are the key factors for DTM success?

The success of any dedicated team depends on how well a service provider takes care of its 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 clients’ requirements. Our сustomers highly rate the work of our crews.

Clutch: customer's review on a1qa

In addition, we continuously strengthen QA expertise and leverage innovations in proprietary R&Ds and Centers of Excellence. Our passionate a1qa talents are willing and ready to get and expand QA knowledge in our QA Academy providing a unique approach to the educational process. All of this complies with the standards of a1qa culture of excellence taking our processes up to the next level of work quality.

Does it take long to set up the right team? 

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. On 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 software testers from the very beginning.

Besides, we offer to assign a QA manager who will take control over QA tasks and activities to get the maximum value from the DTM.

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, clients have some time to form their opinion and decide whether to continue cooperation with the team players or not.

How can clients be sure that the team delivers the expected results?

At the start of the work, define relevant metrics to track the team’s success. Use KPIs to assure your decent professionals deliver the required results on time.

As I said before, you can take full control over your team in the way it is more preferable. Ask the participants to conduct daily stand-ups and provide regular status reports to tailor the communication process to your demands.

What is the billing process?

The dedicated team is paid for on a monthly basis and the pricing process is quite simple. The billing sum depends on the team composition, its size, and the skillset.

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 tasks useful for the project, like preparing test data files, etc.

Summing up

Let’s summarize. In short, the dedicated team model can help achieve the needed goals and contribute to business success in the market. When working with your team (yes, it is fully yours), you can get a range of benefits:

  • 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.
Dedicated team model advantages

Regardless of the industry, business need, or software product, you can have a decent crew working most suitably: be it a remote, on-site, or mixed collaboration. Within global outbreaks, we offer the clients to have their team players operating from home in order not to disrupt the work process because of health issues.

Contact the a1qa experts to get a dedicated team bringing the best possible QA solutions implemented into your business.

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