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Software Development UX Design

Deciding between in-house and dedicated product teams

Choosing the right team structure for your software development projects can be the difference between success and failure. With the myriad of options available, from in-house teams to project-based product teams, understanding the nuances of each can help you make informed decisions that align with your business goals. 

This article explores the differences between dedicated teams versus in-house teams for product design and development. We’ll also look into a hybrid approach and how it can offer the best of both worlds.

Additionally, we highlight how Aubergine’s expertise and proven track record can guide you in selecting the optimal team structure, ensuring that your projects are executed efficiently and effectively to meet the highest standards of quality and innovation.

Comparing dedicated teams and in-house teams

When it comes to selecting a team structure, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits of project-based product teams against in-house teams. The table below provides a detailed comparison:

CriteriaDedicated Product TeamsIn-House Teams
Hiring ProcessNo need to hire; experts are pre-selected by the providerFull responsibility on the company to recruit and hire
ManagementManaged by the service providerCompany must manage day-to-day operations
TrainingNo training required; teams are already skilledRequires ongoing training and development
MentoringService provider handles mentoringIn-house management required for employee development
Transition PlanningHandled by the provider; easy to ramp up/downMust plan for transitions if team members leave
Cost SavingsElimination of overhead, flexible engagement models, lower labor costsHigher overhead costs, fixed salaries, and benefits
FlexibilityRapid ramp-up/down, adaptive project managementLimited by internal resources and processes
ScalabilityEfficient resource allocation, swift response to market demandsLimited scalability, depends on hiring capacity
Staff ChurnNo staff churn, consistent collaborationPotential knowledge loss due to employee turnover
Time to MarketFaster due to focused attention and specialized expertiseSlower due to internal constraints and multitasking
Skill AccessWide range of skills readily availableLimited by existing team’s skill set

All in all, when evaluating team structures for software development, dedicated product teams often emerge as a superior choice for many businesses, particularly those looking to leverage specialized expertise and achieve rapid time-to-market. 

Dedicated teams come equipped with the precise skills needed for specific projects, eliminating the extensive hiring and training processes associated with in-house teams. This allows companies to focus on strategic objectives rather than the intricacies of recruitment and employee development.

The hybrid approach to team structure: maximizing efficiency and flexibility

If you own a tech company that’s steadily growing and continuously evolving, at the heart of your company, are your in-house teams. Deeply embedded within the organization’s fabric, your team members are not just employees; they are the representatives of the company’s culture, mission, and values. They understand the nuances of the company’s processes and the overarching goals it strives to achieve. This deep-rooted cultural alignment ensures that every project, every task, aligns seamlessly with the company’s ethos, creating a cohesive and unified work environment.

In contrast, the company occasionally encounters challenges that demand highly specialized skills, far beyond the in-house team’s expertise. This is where dedicated, project-based teams come into play. These teams are composed of experts with niche skills and knowledge that are not readily available internally. Their specialization can tackle complex projects that require precise and expert intervention, ensuring that no challenge is too daunting.

Flexibility is another hallmark of these dedicated product teams. They can be scaled up or down according to the project’s requirements, providing the company with the agility needed to manage fluctuating workloads and swiftly adapt to changing market conditions. This scalability is particularly beneficial during peak times or when embarking on new initiatives that demand rapid development and deployment.

Moreover, bringing in an external team introduces fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. These teams, unencumbered by the company’s existing processes and practices, can offer new ideas and creative approaches that might not be evident to the in-house team. This infusion of fresh thinking can drive creativity, helping the company overcome challenges and seize opportunities that might have otherwise been overlooked.

There is also the option of going hybrid, which seamlessly integrates the strengths of both in-house and dedicated teams. By combining the deep-rooted cultural alignment and intrinsic company knowledge of in-house teams with the specialized skills and flexibility of dedicated teams, companies can create a dynamic and resilient team structure. 

This synergy allows for a cohesive work environment where internal teams maintain the core mission and values, while external experts inject innovation and handle complex, specialized tasks. The result is a balanced, efficient, and flexible team capable of tackling any project, driving continuous growth, and adapting swiftly to market changes. This hybrid model not only maximizes efficiency and flexibility but also ensures that every project benefits from the best of both worlds.

When to adopt a hybrid or dedicated team approach

Launching new products

When launching a new product, a company can use a dedicated team for the initial development due to their specialized expertise and ability to focus intensely on the project. After the launch, an in-house team can take over for maintenance, updates, and long-term support.

Handling peak workloads

During peak periods, such as holiday seasons or major sales events, businesses can supplement their in-house teams with dedicated teams. This approach ensures that the company can handle increased demand without overburdening their permanent staff.

Developing specialized projects

Projects that require highly specialized skills, such as those involving cutting-edge technology or niche markets, can benefit from the expertise of dedicated teams. Once the project reaches maturity, in-house teams can manage ongoing tasks, leveraging their deep understanding of the company’s operations.

Our approach: build the right thing, build the thing right

In product development, “building the right thing” means ensuring that the product or solution aligns with the strategic goals and meets the needs and expectations of users or customers. This involves understanding the problem, conducting thorough research, consulting with stakeholders, and validating ideas before development begins.

On the other hand, “building the thing right” focuses on the execution and quality of the development process, adhering to best practices in engineering, design, and project management to ensure the product is built efficiently and to a high standard. 

Together, these principles emphasize the importance of both aligning with user needs and maintaining high-quality execution to deliver successful products. 

Building the right thing

Before any development begins, it is essential to understand precisely what needs to be built, how it should be built, and for whom. This foundational step ensures that every product we develop is aligned with market needs and user expectations.

In-depth user research combined with market analysis

Understanding both the market and the users is the first step in building the right product. Aubergine’s comprehensive research includes in-depth user research to understand their needs, behaviors, and pain points. We combine this with market analysis to identify trends, opportunities, and competitive landscapes.

Spotting opportunities with competitive analysis

Our approach involves spotting opportunities that your product can seize. Through thorough competitive analysis, we identify gaps in the market and opportunities for innovation. This ensures your development efforts are focused on meeting actual needs, enhancing your product’s chances of success.

Prioritizing product roadmap

Using an impact and requirements matrix, we streamline and prioritize your product roadmap. This ensures that the most critical features are developed first, maximizing impact and efficiency.

This strategic prioritization is crucial for maintaining focus and delivering value early in the product lifecycle.

Product consultation and strategy

By focusing on key performance indicators and tangible outcomes, we ensure that every step of the development process contributes to the overall success and growth of your product. Our integrated, consulting-driven execution combines strategic insights with hands-on implementation. 

We adopt a design approach that fully accounts for the technical side, with developers who understand and prioritize exceptional design. This results in user experiences that are not only functional but also delightful and intuitive, ensuring user satisfaction and engagement. 

Building the thing right

Once we have a clear understanding of what needs to be built, we focus on building it right. This involves a meticulous design and development process to ensure the final product is of the highest quality.

Design

Our design process ensures that the product is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. We start with wireframing to establish structure and functionality early in the UI/UX design process. 

Next, interactive prototypes are developed to visualize and test design concepts, allowing for early detection and resolution of potential issues. 

Finally, user testing gathers feedback from real users to refine and improve the product before development begins, ensuring it meets user needs and expectations.

Development

Our robust development process brings your product vision to life by utilizing best practices and the latest technologies to ensure high-quality, efficient development. We help you launch products with deep foundations in agile methodologies that allow for iterative progress and continuous improvement.

Quality assurance (QA) is integral, with rigorous testing at each stage to ensure the product meets all requirements and functions flawlessly. 

Finally, thorough documentation and training are provided during the handover to ensure a smooth transition to your in-house team for ongoing maintenance and support, ensuring the sustainability and longevity of the product.

Round-the-Clock Progress

Our global teams work around the clock to ensure continuous progress by leveraging the time zone differences across our distributed workforce. This approach minimizes downtime, as there is always a team working on your project regardless of the time of day. 

By maintaining a constant workflow, we can accelerate development timelines, quickly addressing issues and advancing through project milestones. This efficient, uninterrupted progress helps you get your product to market faster, providing a significant competitive advantage.

Optimising resources 

Optimizing resources by partnering with Aubergine can lead to significant cost savings. Our expert teams offer the right combination of senior and junior professionals at competitive rates, reducing the need for full-time senior members to lead projects. This flexibility allows for effective ramp-up and ramp-down of resources as needed, helping you allocate more budget to other critical aspects of your product.

Additionally, we provide flexible engagement models, adapting to your needs by offering full-time, part-time, or project-based resources to fit your specific project requirements. This flexibility ensures you get the exact support you need without unnecessary expenses, maximizing efficiency and value throughout the development process.

Access to latest technologies

We constantly innovate and incorporate the latest tools and technologies to ensure your product is future-ready. This not only provides you with a competitive edge but also ensures that your product remains relevant and capable of adapting to future technological advancements.

How we delivered: success stories of our dedicated product teams

Digital Transformation for Efficient Patient Transport Management

Client: DECCAN, a prominent player in patient transport and logistics in the USA, approached us to develop ASENT (Adaptive Scheduling for Efficient Non-emergency Transport), a platform for the centralized scheduling of transport vehicles for patients with special needs.

Challenge: Patient transport management was a manual process that needed optimization to enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs. They required a solution that could streamline scheduling, reduce manual effort, and ensure medical compliance while being cost-effective. Additionally, the design had to be intuitive to facilitate easy adoption by users.

Solution: Our dedicated team of UX designers, software engineers, and QA engineers worked closely with DECCAN to deeply understand their requirements and pain points. We crafted ASENT, an efficient platform that optimizes scheduling through advanced algorithms and ensures compliance with medical standards. The platform includes features such as centralized scheduling, real-time updates, and automated notifications to minimize manual intervention and errors.

Our design team focused on creating a user-friendly interface that could be easily navigated by users with varying technical proficiencies. We emphasized a clean, impactful design that not only enhanced usability but also won the prestigious Red Dot Award, a testament to its excellence and innovation. In addition to design, we also handled the front-end development, ensuring a seamless and intuitive user experience.

Result: The implementation of ASENT significantly improved scheduling efficiency, drastically reducing manual efforts and errors. DECCAN reported a noticeable decrease in operational costs and an increase in overall productivity. 

The platform’s design and functionality were highly praised, further validated by the recognition from the Red Dot Award, the iF Design Award, and the UX Design Award. The success of ASENT has positioned DECCAN as a leader in patient transport logistics, setting a new benchmark for efficiency and design in the industry.

Automating banking operations and enhancing efficiency

Client: Snowbank, a leading fintech innovator, sought our expertise to streamline and automate its banking operations as a prominent neo bank in South East Asia.

Challenge: Banks in South East Asia were grappling with outdated, manual processes that consumed significant time and resources, particularly for cross-channel transactions such as ledger management. These inefficiencies not only hindered operational performance but also impacted customer satisfaction. Snowbank needed a robust, automated solution that could seamlessly integrate with existing systems and enhance overall banking efficiency.

Solution: Our dedicated development team collaborated with in-house teams at Snowbank to develop an advanced fintech application designed to automate internal banking processes. This application was tailored to address the specific needs of cross-channel transactions, ensuring that complex manual tasks were automated and streamlined. The solution included features such as automated ledger management, real-time transaction updates, and enhanced data accuracy.

We focused on the development of an intuitive and user-friendly interface to facilitate a smooth transition for Snowbank’s employees and customers. This digital solution was engineered to be scalable and adaptable, ensuring Snowbank could easily onboard the new system and accommodate future growth

Result: The implementation of Snowbank’s fintech application transformed banking operations across verticles. Bank reported significant time savings, particularly in managing cross-channel transactions, and a marked reduction in manual errors. 

The automation of complex tasks not only improved operational efficiency but also allowed bank employees to focus on more strategic activities. Customers adapted quickly to the new system, appreciating the streamlined and improved banking experience. The successful deployment of this solution has positioned Snowbank as a key player in driving digital transformation within the banking industry in South East Asia.

Designing a scalable and robust design system for a social platform

Client: A professional networking platform based in the USA enlisted our expertise to develop a scalable and robust design system that would ensure consistency and cohesion across all digital touchpoints.

Challenge: The platform faced the challenge of maintaining a consistent user experience across multiple devices and platforms. Their existing design processes were fragmented, leading to inefficiencies and inconsistencies in user interfaces. The client needed a comprehensive design system that could establish and enforce uniform design patterns, guidelines, and components, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.

Solution: Our dedicated design team collaborated with client’s in-house teams to create a comprehensive and scalable design system. We meticulously developed design patterns, guidelines, and a library of reusable components that could be uniformly applied across all digital touchpoints. This system was designed to be flexible, allowing for easy updates and scalability as the platform continued to grow.

The design system we implemented facilitated a cohesive and intuitive user experience, ensuring that users had a seamless interaction with the platform regardless of the device or platform they used. Our approach emphasized efficiency, enabling our client’s teams to work faster and more effectively.

Result: The introduction of the new design system had a transformative impact. The platform achieved a significant funding milestone, raising over $150K, which underscored investor confidence in the enhanced user experience and operational efficiency. 

The consistent application of design patterns across the platform established a unified brand presence and improved user satisfaction. Additionally, the increased efficiency in design and development processes allowed the platform to accelerate their product iterations and launch new features more quickly. 

Conclusion: the path to success

Our commitment to building the right thing, the right way, ensures that your product’s path to success is clear and achievable.

Our hybrid approach leverages the strengths of both in-house and dedicated teams, ensuring that your product is designed, developed, and delivered to meet the highest standards of quality and efficiency.

By combining thorough market research, strategic planning, and robust development practices, we help you create products that not only fulfill market needs but also delight users.

author
Avantika Mishra
Content scavenger. Love tech, innovative solutions for a better world, and I think AI could save the world.