How To Build an Extended Team That Exceeds Your Expectations

how to build a highly effective extended team abroad

As we get ready to thrive in the decade of hyper digitisation, many companies are still faced with the daunting task of hiring tech talent. 

Why is it daunting to hire qualified software developers locally? 

The answer to that question is (what seems to be) the never-ending tech talent shortage.

According to Harvey Nash and KPMG’s annual CIO Survey, a staggering 65% of respondents stated that hiring challenges hurt the industry. So while startups and established enterprises may have great ideas, if you can’t hire IT talent, you’re just not getting anywhere.

Whether it’s data engineers or backend developers, the tech talent shortage is much more significant than any specific role. As nearly every company is digitally transformed into a tech company, the competition will be more than fierce (to say the least).

So what can startups and SMBs do to ensure scalability and success of their software development? 

We intentionally left out corporate giants because they have a competitive advantage in the industry – deep pockets and highly attractive benefits packages.

For the rest of us, innovation, and time to market heavily depend on creative approaches to tech recruitment. A proven method is to build an extended development team by taking advantage of a pool of top tech talent that’s available nearshore. 

What Is an Extended Team?

An extended development team can be described as an extension to your in-house team, working off-premise. This augmented staffing approach is different from traditional outsourcing models as you can add highly skilled and talented software engineers from overseas to your team and retain maximum project management and milestone delivery control.

In this scenario, even if a few developers are working from abroad, you’ll remain in control of the entire project. The primary benefit of this approach is the fact that you can increase capacity and adaptability to deliver products on time, cost-effectively.  

How extended software team works
Evolve Ukraine Team

It’s also a little different from remote hiring because your cooperation with off-site software engineers doesn’t end upon the completion of a project. Instead, it’ll continue for the duration of the contract.

It’s rapidly gaining popularity as Extended Teams help elevate the overall productivity, quality, and output of on-premise development teams. 

Key benefits of extended development teams include:

  • Adaptability
  • Affordability
  • Enhanced transparency (so, less worry)
  • Low to no overheads
  • Rapid scalability (because of short time to hire)
  • Participation in the hiring process
  • Short time to hire

So what’s the best way to go about building an extended team that exceeds your expectations? Let’s take a look. 

Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More!

Every successful project starts with extensive planning. So when you’re planning for your next build, start by considering the project’s scope. 

Do you have the necessary skills and knowledge in-house? If there’s a skills gap, do you have the resources to fill it locally? If not, which skills do you need to complete the project successfully? 

Once you analyse and figure out your software development needs, internal processes, and available resources, you’ll be ready to build a robust product team.

Engage an Established Software Development Partner

If you don’t have the necessary skills and resources to build the digital product in-house, it’s best to partner with a third-party software consultancy (and extended team staffing specialist). 


Having someone by your side, that knows the country and has a prominent presence on the ground can help reduce your time to hire (while attracting some of the best minds in the business).

Evolve UK: Extended Team client workshop

Ukraine, for example, has consistently produced high performing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (or STEM) graduates. An established partner can get you immediate access to these individuals. Given Ukraine’s tech pool is assessed at over 190,000 IT specialists now and grows 25,000-30,000 people each year, it makes a lot of sense to try to tap into that pool and attract seasoned software engineers that are hard to hire and retain in your home country.

Get Involved in Candidate Screening

Once you have committed, your development partner will get the ball rolling by presenting candidate profiles that match your requirements.

These potential team members will come thoroughly vetted, so you can bet that they have the right skills to perform the task. However, by getting involved in the recruitment process, you can get a sense of their soft skills.

If you identify some technology professionals that fit the culture of your in-house team and company, then it’s time to start onboarding your extended team members.

Seamless Team Onboarding

While your extended team might not be in the same building, they do become an integral part of the development process. So it’s crucial to follow your established internal protocols with them. The product owner or project manager can take the lead during this phase of the recruitment cycle.

Assign responsibilities (based on their strengths), establish a framework (like Scrum), and encourage everyone to engage right from the beginning. This process will help everyone get on the same page during the infancy of the development cycle.

If you want this development team to be highly successful, it’s critical to ensure that the team is well integrated and in-synch. This will only happen if the company expends considerable effort during the onboarding phase of the project.

Even if you decide to add more software engineers after a few sprints, it’s critical to go through these steps to ensure that everyone is well integrated. If you choose to skip this step, you risk creating conflicts and delays during the development cycle.

At Evolve, we know all about working with bespoke software development and extended teams. We have been doing it successfully in the UK and Ukraine for over a decade. Stay tuned to learn more about how to get maximum value from your software team extension endeavor.

If you think your next project requires highly skilled extended team members, click HERE to schedule a commitment-free consultation or request our callback!

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