Guaranteeing IT Project Stability and Quality in a Team Extension Model

Bartosz Malinowski - Business Development Manager
7 minutes read

Organizations are constantly searching for ways to stay ahead of the curve. One critical aspect that can make or break a company's success is the stability & quality of their IT projects.

Stability and quality don’t just rhyme with each other but go hand in hand.

With rapidly evolving technology, the demand for highly skilled professionals, and the pressure to deliver projects on time and within budget, businesses need a reliable model that addresses these challenges head-on.

It's often easier said than done, though.

Without the right set of processes, a project can quickly become complicated and mired in delays or technical issues. That's why organizations are increasingly turning to team extension models that, apart from flexibility and scalability, assure stability and quality work delivery.

How to set up a successful collaboration with a software development partner? Today, we'll guide you through some of the best practices for setting up and executing collaboration with a software development partner when using a team extension model.

Understanding the Team Extension Model

The team extension model is an effective way of engaging with external service providers such as contractors, consultants, and custom software development teams. It is a strategic approach that helps businesses increase their capacity quickly by bringing in specialized talent on a project-by-project basis.

For many companies nowadays, this model allows for greater control and oversight over the entire process by providing access to resources, expertise, tools, and processes that are critical for achieving project success. Benefits are multiple, though, and we’re briefly going through them below.

Benefits of Using a Team Extension Model

A team extension model can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IT projects. By expanding your team with external resources, you can take advantage of numerous benefits that may not be available through traditional staffing methods.

Here are some key advantages of using a team extension model for IT projects:

Quickly Ramp Up or Down Depending on Project Needs

A team extension model allows you to easily scale your team according to the requirements of your project. You can quickly add or remove team members as needed, without the long-term commitment and overheads associated with hiring full-time employees. Having this flexibility not only streamlines resource management but also guarantees that the right team is always on deck for your project.

Get Access to a Larger Talent Pool

With a team extension model, you gain access to a diverse range of skills and expertise that may not be available within your organization – by your conscious decision (you didn’t want to develop such a department) or because these particular resources are booked/overworked. And now, team extension enables you to leverage specialized talent that can help you address specific project challenges – when and if you need it.

Leverage Cost Savings

Hiring full-time employees can be expensive, especially when you factor in the costs of recruitment, training, and benefits. With a team extension model, you only pay for the resources you need when you need them, which can help you control costs and optimize your budget, especially in times of recession.

Increase Flexibility and Scalability

A team extension model provides a high degree of flexibility and scalability for your IT projects. You can easily adapt your team structure to accommodate fluctuations in project scope, workload, or deadlines. All for the sake of maintaining a lean and agile operation, ensuring that your team can respond quickly to changes in project requirements or market conditions.

Strategies for Successful Collaboration

#1 Selecting a Software Development Partner

Team extension is not a walk in the park. While it offers many advantages, its success depends on selecting the right software development partner. The more time you pour into researching and vetting potential partners, the better your chances of success.

Here are four key aspects to consider and evaluate when making your decision, along with three actionable tips and an example for each aspect:

Assess Expertise and Experience

To ensure a partner has the technical skills and background needed for your project, consider the following:

  • Look for a partner with relevant technical skills and experience in your project domain.

  • Verify their proficiency in specific technologies, platforms, and methodologies.

  • Check their certifications and training in relevant areas.

Example: For a mobile app project, choose a partner with a strong background in iOS or Android development.

Review Past Projects and References

To gain insights into a potential partner's performance and capabilities, keep these tips in mind:

  • Examine the partner's portfolio to gauge the quality of their previous work.

  • Reach out to former clients to inquire about their experiences and satisfaction.

  • Double-check case studies or success stories that demonstrate their expertise in action.

Example: Review e-commerce projects to evaluate a partner's ability to handle complexities and requirements of e.g., Magento platforms.

Prioritize Clear and Open Communication

To establish a strong working relationship and ensure smooth collaboration, focus on these aspects:

  • Seek partners that demonstrate strong communication skills.

  • Verify their responsiveness and commitment to keeping you informed throughout the project.

  • Create a clear communication plan, including regular updates and meetings.

Example: Schedule an initial call to discuss project requirements and evaluate their ability to listen and respond.

Check Cultural Compatibility

To minimize misunderstandings or conflicts during the project, take these steps:

  • Find a partner that shares your values and understands your company culture.

  • Assess their approach to project management, quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

  • Evaluate their work environment and team dynamics to ensure a good fit.

Example: Assess their dedication to agile methodologies and how they align with your company's focus on continuous improvement.

Completing all these steps will help you narrow down your options and find the ideal software development partner for a successful team extension model. And with the right partner in place, you’ll be able to fully reap all the benefits of adding external resources to optimize your IT projects.

#2 Setting up Clear Communication Channels

You need a solid communication plan from the outset. Usually, team extensions in IT organizations are established to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions or project requirements.

And here again, communication is the key.

Your communication challenges should be divided into two parts:

Schedule Regular Meetings and Updates

Sorting out a regular schedule for meetings and updates keeps all stakeholders informed and engaged throughout the project. And, even if not always everyone will take part in such meetings, or require such updates, you need to provide access to all info at all times. This might be challenging with many time zones or stakeholders involved, but here’s what you can do to streamline it:

  • Set a schedule. Determine the frequency and duration of meetings that work best for your team, such as weekly or bi-weekly updates.

  • Always provide an agenda and goals. Prepare a clear agenda for every meeting, including objectives, updates, and discussion points, to ensure productive and focused sessions. This is not only for better organization but also for mutual respect for each other’s time.

  • Set status reports. Tell everyone in the team to share progress, challenges, and achievements during meetings to maintain a transparent work environment.

  • Keep an eye on action items. Assign action items and follow-up tasks during meetings to ensure accountability and progress toward project goals.

Use Collaboration Tools to Foster Transparency

To achieve a common goal, teams working in the extension model should prioritize transparency among their members. This will require adjusting your tool stack to support remote collaboration. Our ideas of apps and solutions you might want to use include:

  • Project management tools. Start using – or adjust – your project management applications to track tasks, deadlines, and progress, while also providing a centralized platform for communication.

  • Communication platforms. Test communication apps to facilitate real-time conversations, share updates, and address questions or concerns within the team.

  • Document sharing and storage. Implement cloud-based storage solutions so all team members have access to the latest project files.

  • Video and audio conferencing. Use conferencing tools to hold virtual meetings, and audio calls, strengthening personal connections and enhancing communication among remote or distributed project members.

Communication, especially at the very start, but also throughout the project, is essential for successful team extension in IT organizations.

Therefore, establish a robust communication plan and take advantage of collaboration tools to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.

Also, make sure that everyone uses and – at least – tolerates these tools. Otherwise, you might see people trying to avoid using the apps you chose simply because they are not on board with all their features.

Organizing the communication process will create an environment of trust that encourages collaboration and fast turnaround times.

And that's what can turn your projects into success quicker than you think it could.

#3 Aligning Project Goals and Expectations

Is everyone, really, on the same page?

Ensuring that project goals and expectations are aligned among everyone on the team is a must-have for IT projects, especially when working with external partners.

We prepared a few tips for you so you know how to tackle this task:

Define project scope and deliverables

Start by outlining the project's objectives, required features, and expected outcomes.

Communicate this information to all team members and stakeholders to ensure a common understanding of what the project entails and what it aims to achieve.

Set realistic timelines and milestones

Avoid aiming too high and overestimating your work, especially if you have no benchmarks.

Establish a practical timeline for the project, taking into consideration factors such as available resources, team capacity, and external dependencies. Break the project into smaller, manageable milestones with specific deadlines to help track progress and keep the team focused.

Maintain an open review process

Regularly review project progress and compare it to the milestones and deadlines. The more elements you keep an eye on here, the better positioned you’ll be to identify and address potential problems early on.

#4 Implementing a Robust Quality Assurance Process

How can you tell that your project is on the right track?

The answer lies in a robust quality assurance process. Here's what you should consider when implementing one:

Establish Quality Standards and Metrics

Early on, set the quality standards and benchmarks that your project must adhere to, such as performance, reliability, and usability. Determine the metrics you will use to measure the project's success in meeting these standards, such as defect density, test coverage, or user satisfaction (these are just examples!).

Create a Testing Strategy

Develop a comprehensive testing strategy that includes various types of testing, such as unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing. Due to this approach, your project undergoes a thorough examination at different stages and from multiple perspectives, helping to identify and resolve bottlenecks early in the development process.

Conduct Regular Code Reviews

The second best thing you can do about the code is to review it.

Implement a process for regularly reviewing code to ensure that it adheres to the coding standards, best practices, and project requirements you follow and… believe in. Code reviews allow your entire team to promote knowledge sharing and contribute to overall code quality and maintainability.

Automate Testing Where Possible

Leverage automated testing tools and frameworks to streamline the testing process and increase efficiency. Since it can help you detect issues more quickly, reduce human error, you’ll be able to free up your team to focus on more complex tasks.

Monitor and Improve Continuously

Establish a feedback loop that allows you to continuously monitor the project's quality metrics and identify areas for improvement. Use all kinds of feedback to refine your QA process and make necessary adjustments to ensure that quality standards are consistently met.

Naturally, depending on the project, there may be other aspects to consider in implementing such a robust quality assurance process. However, following the steps outlined above is a great start.

#5 Emphasizing Agile Methodologies

Agile way of working is now a common approach to project management. It emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and customer feedback throughout the development process. To ensure success with an agile project, you need to focus on:

Promoting a Culture of Collaboration and Adaptability

Agile methodologies flourish in environments where collaboration and adaptability are valued. Foster all types of communication, encourage team members to share ideas and feedback, and embrace change as an opportunity for growth and learning. This approach helps create a supportive and flexible atmosphere where everyone in the team feels empowered to contribute and adapt as needed – and this translates to overall progress and performance.

Empower Cross-Functional Teams

Whenever possible, build diverse, cross-functional teams that include members with a range of skills and expertise, enabling them to tackle challenges from various perspectives and collaborate effectively. This promotes a more holistic approach to problem-solving and ensures that all aspects of the project are considered and addressed.

Leverage Agile Tools and Frameworks

Utilize agile tools and frameworks, such as Scrum or Kanban, to help manage and organize your project. These tools can streamline processes and provide visibility into the project's progress, making it easier for everyone to track tasks, identify bottlenecks, and prioritize work.

Chances are that you already have some of these practices in place, but if not, implementing them can make a significant impact on the quality and success of your IT project.

It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint: IT Team Extension Is Your Way To Go

Generating successful IT projects isn't easy, but with the right development partner and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can optimize your project's outcome. Using team extension services is an effective way to access the skills and expertise needed for success without taking on the cost or strain associated with growing your in-house development team.

Not always do you possess the knowledge and skills needed to handle complex projects, but that’s where team extension services come in. Leveraging a development partner’s expertise and experience, you can ensure that your project enjoys optimal success and quality—at a fraction of the cost.

If you're currently exploring the process of choosing and establishing a collaboration with a software development partner using the team extension model, we're here to offer guidance. Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation with our team, where we can provide advice and answer any questions you may have- Let's Talk.

On-demand webinar: How to save money on software development

We unveil tested strategies and methods that will revolutionize the way you approach your projects.. You'll discover how to maximize your budget, streamline your processes, and deliver top-notch software – all of that without sacrificing quality and performance.

How to save money on software development webinar

Latest blog posts

See more

Ready to talk about your project?


Tell us more

Fill out a quick form describing your needs. You can always add details later on and we’ll reply within a day!


Strategic Planning

We go through recommended tools, technologies and frameworks that best fit the challenges you face.


Workshop Kickoff

Once we arrange the formalities, you can meet your Polcode team members and we’ll begin developing your next project.