Dedicated vs. Extended Teams: What to Choose For Your Software Development Needs

dedicated vs. extended team

Most tech startups these days have some sort of offshore software development team given the cost savings and productivity gains it offers. You might be working with developers in Brazil, customer service reps in Utah, and a CEO in San Francisco. When it comes to building and scaling a technology company, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is how to structure your development team.

Chief among these decisions is whether you go with a dedicated team or an extended team. Both options have their pros and cons, so how do you decide which is right for your company? In this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between dedicated vs. extended teams, and help you figure out which option is best for you.

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Admittedly, the difference between dedicated vs. extended teams is not as black and white as the difference between peanut butter (delicious) and Nutella (only for hazelnut lovers).  There is nuance to be considered.

In a dedicated team, all developers are assigned to work autonomously on a single project, product or feature set. This can provide greater continuity and allow team members to become more familiar with –and focused on–the specific needs of that project or product over time.

In an extended team, developers are shared across multiple projects.  Or said another way, the offshore developers “extend” your existing team’s bandwidth by adding more horsepower to your product development efforts. This approach can help reduce costs and increase flexibility.

What Is a Dedicated Team Model in Software Development?

dedicated vs. extended team

The dedicated team model in software development is where a team is responsible for all aspects of developing and maintaining a product or feature set. This includes requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, deployment, and support. The team is typically composed of a project manager, a lead developer, and a group of developers who work on various aspects of the application. The team may also include testers, documentation specialists, and support staff. 

All of these roles can be offshore and teams are usually 100% dedicated to you.  Note that this is different than outsourcing, in which a software development agency “rents” you a dedicated team of developers on a project-basis for a short period of time.

There are three main types of dedicated development teams:

  • Functional: Each team member has a specific skill set and they work together to complete the project.
  • Cross-functional: Team members have a mix of skills and can work on different parts of the project as needed.
  • Agile: Team members work collaboratively in short sprints to complete the project or release new features in the product.

There are also three primary types of dedicated team models designated by the location: The co-located team, the distributed team, and the hybrid team.

The co-located team model is when a team of developers is physically located in the same office space. This type of arrangement can be beneficial because it allows for more collaboration and communication between team members. It can also lead to higher levels of productivity because there are fewer distractions and interruptions. However, this model can also be limiting because it can be difficult to scale up or down as needed, and it can be expensive to maintain if the team is located in a high-cost area.  This is one reason why many software companies look for offshore resources where they can co-locate teams in one country, such as Ukraine, Romania or Mexico.

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The distributed team model is when a team of developers is spread out across different geographical locations. This type of arrangement can be beneficial because it allows for more flexibility and can be less expensive than a co-located team. However, this model can also be limiting because it can be difficult to coordinate between team members, and there may be a higher level of communication issues.

The hybrid team model is when a team of developers is partially co-located and partially distributed. This type of arrangement can be beneficial because it combines the best of both worlds—the collaboration and communication benefits of a co-located team with the flexibility and cost savings of a distributed team. However, this model can also be limiting because it can be difficult to manage both the co-located and distributed team members, and there may be some communication issues.

Overall, the type of dedicated team model that is best for a software development project or initiative will depend on its specific needs and goals. Factors to consider include the budget, the geographical locations of the team members, the level of collaboration and communication needed, and the level of flexibility required.

What Is an Extended Team Model in Software Development?

An extended team is a group of developers who are added to an existing team already in progress and are integrated into their operations and workflow.  Think of extended teams as increasing the firepower of a rocketship already in flight.

The main difference between a dedicated team and an extended team is that a dedicated team is singularly focused on the project or product they are working on, while an extended team is more spread out and may have other commitments outside of the project they are assigned to.

Dedicated teams are usually better at communication and coordination because they see each other every day (at least virtually!) and can easily communicate any problems or concerns. Extended teams, on the other hand, may have difficulty communicating because they may often be assigned to different projects within teams.

extended development teams

There are several types of extended team models in software development. The most common are co-located, nearshore, and offshore.

Co-located teams are those that work in the same location or country.  This type of team is often used for small projects or when time is of the essence, especially if most of the developers are physically close to each other.

Nearshore teams are those that work in locations that are close to each other, such as in a similar time zone or region (example: a development team in Mexico would be nearshore for a software company based in the United States). Nearshore agile software development is often used when companies need more talent –especially at an affordable rate – but struggle to find it locally.

Offshore teams are those that work in locations that are far from each other, such as on different continents(example: a development team in Romania would be offshore for a software company based in the United States).  This type of team is often used for very large projects or when there is a need for niche or highly technical expertise.

What Is a Core Team Model in Software Development?

There is also one more team model in software development to be aware of.

A core team model is a common organizational structure that separates a company’s core development team from its peripheral teams. The core team is responsible for developing and maintaining the company’s flagship product, while the peripheral teams work on other products or services.

This separation of responsibility allows each team to focus on their respective area of expertise, which can lead to more efficient overall operations. This team is typically made up of experts in their field who are able to work together effectively. The size of the core team can vary depending on the project, but is typically between 3-7 people (also known by many development aficionados as a “pizza team” since one pizza can feed a team of 3-7 people).

One example of a core team model is a product development team. In this type of team, there is typically a small group of engineers who are responsible for designing and developing the product. They may be supported by a larger team of testers, designers, and marketing staff, but the core team is responsible for the majority of the work.

Pros and Cons of Dedicated Software Development Teams

pros of dedicated teams

There are many benefits to having a dedicated software development team, especially when the team is hired offshore (such as Latin America or Eastern Europe). They can help you save time and money, and they can improve the quality of your product. However, there are also some drawbacks to using a dedicated team. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Increased Efficiency

Dedicated software development teams are typically more efficient than internal teams that are spread wide. This is because they have a greater focus on the project at hand and can devote all their time and energy to it. In addition, these teams are usually composed of experts that are used to working in these types of teams and can therefore create products more quickly and efficiently.

Improved Quality

The improved efficiency of dedicated software development teams often leads to improved quality as well. This is because they are able to dedicate more time to perfecting the product and ensuring that it meets all the requirements. In addition, these teams usually have access to better tools and resources that can help them create a higher-quality product.

Reduced Costs

Hiring a dedicated software development team – especially if offshore – can often save a company significant dollars. This is because these teams are uber efficient and, if offshore, come at typically lower labor costs.

Faster Speed-to-Market

Dedicated software development teams can also help companies improve their speed-to-market. This is because they are typically more focused on a single project or feature set and can therefore complete them more quickly. In addition, if these teams are offshore, they have a global reach that allows them to tap into different time zones and get work done around the clock.

But dedicated teams may also have some drawbacks to be mindful of as well. 


Once a team is dedicated to a project, it can be difficult to make changes mid-stream. This inflexibility can lead to frustration on the part of both the development team and the client. Communication works wonders here.

Communication Issues

Speaking of communication, there can be issues when working with a dedicated software development team, as there may be a language barrier and/or cultural differences if the team is offshore. These issues can lead to misunderstanding and delays in the project. 

(This is why you hire a firm like TurnKey to help…we smooth these hurdles and help you create a good back-and-forth flow.)

Overall, there are both pros and cons to using a dedicated software development team. You will need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks in order to decide if a dedicated development team is right for your project.

Turnkey is an expert in both dedicated and extended development teams. Let us put our expertise to work for you!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Extended Software Development Teams

pros of extended teams

Just like dedicated teams, extended software development teams offer both benefits and drawbacks that should be considered when determining whether or not to use them. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use an extended team should be based on the specific needs of the project or initiative.

Greater flexibility

With an extended team, businesses can choose exactly which services they need and can scale up or down as their needs change. This flexibility is essential in today’s ever-changing business landscape where customer needs and competitive dynamics are constantly evolving.

With extended teams, there can also be more people available to work on different parts of the project at different times. This can be helpful when a company needs to have someone work on a project or initiative during off-hours or weekends. 

Additionally, having an extended software development team can help create a better work-life balance for employees. This is because there can be more people available to take on extra work when needed so that teams aren’t over-extended for long periods of time.

Enhanced collaboration

When it comes to software development, teamwork is essential. Extended software development teams help businesses enhance collaboration by providing a way for team members to work together on projects from different locations. This type of team allows businesses to get the most out of their employees by making it possible for them to share ideas and work on projects collaboratively.

In addition, extended software development teams usually have strong communication since they are integrated into the existing communication and collaboration tools (such as Zoom and Slack) already in place.  With dedicated teams you sometimes need to create new workflows, but extended teams are seamlessly plugged into whatever framework is already being used successfully.

Increased productivity

Extended development teams offer a unique benefit: they allow you to add additional bandwidth to your existing development team.  Extended teams are like a nitro boost of productivity that allow you to accelerate development timelines.

Moreover, since extended teams are fully integrated within your existing internal teams, you have full transparency and control over the development process as well.  Having complete visibility into every stage of the process is important since it allows you to track progress and make changes as needed. In short, extended development teams combine high productivity with a high degree of control (what’s not to like?).

Robust retention rates

Commitment is important in any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional. And in the workplace, commitment can be the difference between a project being completed on time and within budget, and a project that goes off the rails. 

When it comes to software development, the integrated nature of extended teams creates strong internal relationships, which fosters commitment. By working closely with internal teams, extended development teams get to know their specific needs and workflows and are embedded in the company culture.

This intimate knowledge enables extended teams to provide tailored solutions that meet the client’s needs and exceed their expectations. As a result, clients can have confidence that their projects or initiatives will be delivered on time and on budget. 

In addition, extended teams are able to rapidly respond to changes in the client’s environment, ensuring that the finished product is always up-to-date. By providing high levels of commitment – and thus high levels of talent retention – extended software development teams give clients the peace of mind that their software development efforts are in good hands for the long term.


Extended development teams usually work within the security infrastructure of the in-house team. This ensures that all software meets the company’s security standards before it is released. In addition, it allows the in-house team to maintain control over the software development process, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to the code.

Also, extended teams can provide around-the-clock coverage, which can be important for security. By having someone monitoring your systems 24/7, you can rest assured that any potential threats will be quickly identified and handled. In today’s business environment, extended software development teams can provide a vital extra layer of security.

Possible drawbacks

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider with extended software development teams.

One potential downside is that extended teams can often be less cohesive than smaller ones. With more members – who are often jumping from project to project – iit can be harder to keep everyone on the same page, and messaging can become muddled. Additionally, time zones can make coordinating meetings and deadlines difficult.

All told, extended software development teams have both advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into account before making a decision.

When to Hire a Dedicated Software Development Team?

When your in-house software development team is at full capacity yet you have a range of other standalone projects or initiatives that need to get done, it might be time to look into hiring a dedicated software development team.

But how do you know when you’re ready to take that step? Here are a few key indicators:

  • You're struggling to keep up with demand. If you're constantly playing catch-up, it might be time to bring in some extra help. A dedicated team can take some of the pressure off your in-house team and help you get ahead of the game.
  • Your quality is suffering. If you're noticing more mistakes and glitches in your software, it could be a sign that your team is stretched too thin. Bringing in a dedicated team can help raise the quality of your software overall.
  • You're missing deadlines. If you find yourself constantly having to push back release dates, it's a good sign that you need some extra help. A dedicated team can help you hit those deadlines and get your software out the door on time.
  • You're not taking advantage of new technologies. If you're still using the same old technology year after year, you're falling behind the competition. A dedicated team can help you stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest so you can stay ahead of the curve.

In sum, there’s no single answer to this question. It depends on your specific circumstances. However, if you’re looking to take your product to the next level, hiring a dedicated software development team is definitely something to consider.

When to Hire an Extended Software Development Team?

There are a few different scenarios when it makes sense to hire an extended software development team.

  • You're constantly playing catch-up. If it seems like every time you turn around there's another software update that needs to be made, then think about hiring an extended team to relieve the pressure. There’s no shame in hiring extra help!
  • When you have a big project. An extended software development team can be helpful when you have a large project that needs to be completed quickly. This is because the expanded team can work together to divide and conquer the project, which will ultimately lead to a faster completion time.
  • When you don't have the internal resources. If your company does not have the internal resources to complete or maintain the core product, then it makes sense to hire an extended software development team. This team can provide the extra manpower and expertise needed to get the job done.
  • Your team is overwhelmed. If your in-house team is feeling overwhelmed, it's a good idea to hire an extended software development team. They can take some of the stress off your team and help them stay focused.
  • You need specialized skills. If you need specialized technical skills that your team doesn't have, it's time to bring in some experts. An extended software development team can provide the skills and knowledge you need to get the job done right.

Ultimately, there are many reasons businesses should consider hiring an extended software development team. By doing so, businesses can complete large projects quickly, fill resource gaps, and gain access to specialized skills and knowledge.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, skip to the front of the line and call turnkey. We’ll spin you up an awesome dedicated or extended dev team in weeks.

Best Locations to Hire a Dedicated Development Team

When it comes to finding a dedicated development team, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you’ll want to consider the size of the team and the specific skill sets that they bring to the table.  For example, if you’re looking for a team of developers who are experts in specific coding languages, you’ll want to make sure that the team you choose is proficient in those languages.

Second, you’ll want to take into account the cost of hiring a dedicated development team. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to hire a team from a country with lower labor costs. Finally, you’ll want to consider the cultural fit between your company and the team you’re considering hiring.

With all of these factors in mind, here are two countries that are ideal for hiring a dedicated development team:

Ukraine: Offshoring software development in Ukraine is an excellent choice for companies looking to hire a dedicated development team. The country has a large pool of highly skilled developers, and the cost of labor is relatively low when compared to other countries. Additionally, many Ukrainians speak fluent English, which can be helpful in avoiding communication gaps.

Brazil: This is another country where you’ll be able to find quality developers at affordable rates. Brazil also has a large population of different types of tech experts, meaning you can build a full stack team relatively easily.  In addition, Brazil has a strong culture of customer service, so you can expect a smooth and enjoyable experience working with a development team there.

Best Locations for Hiring an Extended Development Team

You’ve been thinking about it for a while and you’re finally ready to take the plunge: you’re going to hire an extended development team. But where should you look? There are a number of factors to consider, but some countries stand out as being particularly good options.

Poland and Romania: these countries have become popular destinations for extended teams because developers there are often highly skilled and experienced, but they can be hired at rates that are significantly lower than those in Western Europe or the United States.  They also are used to working with existing internal teams and can easily integrate into operations already in place.

Mexico and Colombia: both of these countries have become major players in the global software development market in recent years. Developers in these countries tend to be highly competent and reliable, but can also be hired at relatively affordable rates.  Moreover, Mexican and Colombian developers are known for their strong work ethic and dedication, making them an excellent choice for companies looking to add bandwidth through an offshore software development team.

How TurnKey Can Help You Choose the Best Development Team For Your Specific Needs

yourshoring benefits

When it comes to choosing a development team, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The best team for your needs will depend on a variety of factors, including the scope and complexity of your project, your budget, and your timeline. You need to find the right people for your company. You want a team of hardworking individuals who are devoted and committed, but how do you know if they’ll be culturally compatible? What about their work ethic or skill set? 

Well, worry no more because TurnKey’s unique offering called Yourshoring has you covered. 

Yourshoring is TurnKey’s specialized approach to finding the best tech experts for companies’ varied software development needs. Yourshoring provides a dedicated or extended team of top developers who can execute your vision, follow your standards, and be culturally aligned with you.

And the best part? They’re totally involved in what you do—which means no more feeling like you have a distant, disconnected group working on your project!

We custom recruit the top 3% talent across all the key positions you may need as you scale.

What is the difference between a dedicated team and an extended team as it relates to software development?

Dedicated development teams are best for very focused projects or initiatives that are unique or separate from what an existing internal team is tackling.  Extended models, on the other hand, are better suited for “extending” the bandwidth of the existing team and by definition have a much more variable scope. Ultimately, the right model for your project or software development efforts will depend on your specific needs and goals.

What are the advantages of each type of software development team?

A dedicated software development team has the advantage of being able to focus exclusively on a single project or feature set, which can result in a faster turnaround time. An extended development team has the advantage of being able to add bandwidth or specific technical skills to an existing team in order to keep development milestones on track.

Which type of software development team is best for my project?

The type of software development team that is best for your project will depend on a number of factors, including the size and scope of the project, the timeline, and the skills and experience of the team members. If you are unsure which type of team would be best for your project, just call the pros at TurnKey. We’ll steer you in the right direction, every time.

December 11, 2022

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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