When it comes to working relationships in the business world, there are countless models companies use to interface with one another. Depending on the industry, the type of project, the level of trust, etc., companies will adopt dramatically different working relationships to accomplish a collective goal.
The most popular in the technology world tend to be either: 1) hire or use a previously established internal team, or 2) contract a third party firm. There are some inherent variations in Arvind Sarin these two models as well as problems that come about if either can’t cover all the specific needs. There is a large swathe of ground between an internal development effort and a turnkey solution provided by a third party. Some companies have great internal teams, but have a specific initiative they want to get to market faster than their resources allow. What do they do? Hire new people only to realize they don’t need them full time, then fire them a month or two later? Or do they spend weeks and months vetting a third party company, choose one, then have to wait weeks for that company to get up to speed?
There is a middle ground between these two extremes that many enterprises struggle with. And this is an issue companies struggle with beyond software, too. Whenever a firm is debating reallocating internal resources versus hiring a third party company to accomplish a new initiative, that company might not prefer either of those choices.
To fill that gap, some companies have developed an integrated working model in which organizations can hire a specific subset of experts from the external solution provider. In this scenario, the company selects the staff members they need to complete their initiative — if that’s a project manager, a graphics designer, software developers, a human resources executive, etc., the company hires those resources from an external company. Then, those employees are “loaned” for a contracted period of time. These working relationships can be as short as a month to provide “burst capacity” during development, or they can last as long as 18-24 months if a company is planning major new developments, handling a merger or acquisition or simply growing on the global scale.
The idea behind the team extension model is simple — it allows enterprises to fill that gap between their internal team and a third party provider. It can also plug a hole for smaller companies if they lose a resource. For example, take a small business that employs two mobile software developers and one leaves in the middle of development, the team might want to bring in a developer right away without having to interview, vet, negotiate and hire someone new. Plus, they don’t want to pull the trigger on a long-term new hire just because of the time pressure right now. Team extension engagement models can solve that problem painlessly.
The ground between internal development and turnkey third party development is larger than many companies realize, but very few external solution providers offer a solution tailored to those needs. Team extension is a hybrid approach to solving skills or staffing needs, designed to accommodate all the needs of an enterprise. And, this innovative solution can be applied to just about every sector — from technology to health care and everything in between. While’s it’s probably not right for every enterprise or unique engagement need, it’s available for organizations of all sizes and shapes, filling a need many companies struggle to overcome.
Arvind Sarin is the co-founder and CEO of Dallas-based Copper Mobile, a leading enterprise-centric mobile development firm that helps companies solve their business challenges with cutting-edge mobile solutions. He consults regularly with executive leadership from worldwide customers to help create their mobile roadmap and strategy.
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