Team as a Service Approach
The concept of digitalizing physical services is popular now. People want to achieve convenience, and technology allows it.
But how it happened, digitalizing a physical service? There are several steps before we tickle development.
First, you find an idea or concept. After the idea comes the validation. But that means minimizing both budget and effort. Sometimes the most effective validation method is to develop an MVP. Finally, you are ready to start development, with a clearer perspective about what you need to digitalize your idea. Now, we need to answer two important questions.
The first obvious question would be: Should I develop in-house or outsource? If your answer is: “Yes, I will outsource.” This article is for you.
The second question you need to answer is: Do I have the detailed requirement list I need for the project launch? The utopian answer is “Yes, I know exactly what I need”. Yet, I can assure you the correct answer is “Not Yet”.
Creating the finished requirement comes through the software development process. Especially during Business Analysis and UX design phases. Those phases usually come before any development. Every phase will give you more insights on how to execute your idea.
It is a kind of continuous process to update and refine your features and requirements. If you are planning to succeed, the optimum cycle will be: Develop a small chunk, go to market, get feedback, then develop a small chunk.
Now, you may think that “Wow, this is an enormous cost”. Actually, that is not accurate. You don’t need the full team with different functions all the time. Needs vary between the development phases.
For example: You need the analyst only at the process start. Later, you need the full UX/UI team while designing a new feature, but not while developing it. Same applies to the developers; you need full development power for some time but not at the analysis. You even don’t require all development aspects for the whole time.
Following that cycle is simply choosing “Team as a service” to be your outsourcing approach.
TAAs means allocating the required qualifications only at the time they are valuable to the project, and de-allocate them while they are not. Therefore, you only pay for a specific resource while his time is really useful. The big pro of this approach is flexibility. Allowing you to minimizing the development activities, and make use of the resources you have optimally.
Fixed Scope Approach
First, what is a project scope that we need to have it fixed?
The three factors representing the triangle corners appearing in the following figure defined project scope.
Fixed scope project means you are planning for success in delivering the project with all the three corners not changed.
This starts with you as an owner. You must define the following three aspects:
1. Full list of specific requirements
2. An accurate estimate of the project duration.
3. A specific budget to whole project
Successful Fixed Scope approach means completing the project within the defined scope. In the specified time and at the allocated budget with the allocated quality. Failure in any of those aspects is a failure to the project. In this type of projects, a change in the requirements is equal to issuing a “Change Request”. Every change request is sized where an extra cost outside the original budget is usually a direct consequence.
This approach usually fits more with corporates, where the stakeholders are subjective and most of the requirements are clear. Also, it is very beneficial in estimating a project budgetary and delegating the cost fluctuations to the service provider. This model is perfect for financial managers to plan their cash flow on.
Drawbacks of this model are that you have to be fully aware of your needs ahead. Further, this type of service usually comes with higher cost of resources as the service provider adds a risk margin to cover in case of issues. Because of dynamic market and frequent change requests, this model is not cost-effective for consumer targeting projects.
How to select the right approach for you?
I think it could be obvious to an extent what type of service a project could need. If all requirements are clear, Fixed scope it is. If you need some flexibility at your road, then choose Team-as-a-Service.