How To Build a Development Team: Mixing Outsourcing and Insourcing

For many companies, outsourcing or insourcing the entirety of your software development can leave gaps. For example, a completely in-house team might burn out if they need to build a new product in addition to their current workload, whereas an outsourced team may have problems getting the direction they need from a non-technical executive.

A hybrid approach, with some development talent in-house, and some outsourced, can be a more even-handed solution. At SmartLogic, we have found that the exchange of knowledge and ideas between in-house and outsourced developers can be extremely beneficial for any product or company.

SmartLogic How to build an app development team, mixing outsourcing and insourcing

This article is part 4 in a 4-part series explaining (1) different approaches to building an app development team; and (2) what you should insource and outsource. In the previous article we discussed when it makes sense to outsource your development to a development firm like SmartLogic.

In other articles, we discuss when completely insourcing or completely outsourcing software development is likely the smart choice. Here, I'll cover the best situations for a hybrid team.

When Should You Use a Hybrid Approach?

You should use a hybrid approach if:

  1. Your development team has moderate to extensive experience managing the software development process.
    • Working with an outside team gives you access to people who have been doing software development for a while. The team should have sound processes, and can provide guidance and expertise. Their distance allows them to provide objective feedback on the way you do things.
    • Your internal people can continue to grow and learn, becoming even more valuable.
  2. Your internal team of developers isn't large enough to build your product or deploy your features as quickly as you'd like.
    • Rather than scrambling to hire more developers, you can easily and quickly ramp up your development capacity with an outside firm. Then, take your time to find the right developers in-house and scale back with the outside firm, or scale back development as a whole by using less time from the outside firm, instead of firing people.
    • You might also want to use an outsourced firm to supplement your internal team if your product involves skills your people lack, such as developing APIs or mobile applications. Your people can learn these skills for the future while working with the right outsourced firm.
  3. You have a consistent need for software development for the next few years, but every now and then, your need will spike.
    • Bring enough developers in-house to handle your consistent workload. Then manage the spikes by leveraging an outsourced firm.
    • This way, you won't need to hire and fire developers on a regular basis. Your developers will do better work if they know their jobs are secure.

If you're still unsure, read the first three parts of this series:

And follow @SmartLogic for new posts on building a team and ios app development.

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