How to manage a dedicated development team

If you start hiring people from all over the world, it can change your company beyond recognition - if only you manage them well and efficiently.

Great remote employees are the secret weapon of many successful startups these days. Instead of relying on people who live close to the office (and often in the most expensive market), they hire top talent from all over the world to help them move forward with their mission.

Per a survey (IWG) of 15,000 respondents from 80 countries, three-quarters believe that remote work is the new normal. Over the past decade, 85% of companies have introduced flexible workplace policies. One of the main reasons for this change is that companies are losing top talent by not offering them remote work opportunities.

However, in our opinion, the highest results with minimal expenses you will get with such a business model as a dedicated team. Therefore, here you will find answers to the most pressing questions related to managing a dedicated team, as well as useful tips that will surely be valuable for you.

How dedicated software development works

A dedicated development team is a collaboration model in which the outsourced development team works closely with the client's team. This is one of the most common partnership models, along with Fixed-price or T&M development models. A dedicated team works similarly to an in-house team. Collaboration typically involves four phases: the discovery phase, the team-building phase, the development phase, and the buyout phase.

A dedicated team structure includes the following main positions:

  • Front-end engineers who are responsible for selecting, installing and testing the user interface and its elements.
  • Back-end engineers handle the server-side components of the application.
  • QA engineers make sure that the user doesn't run into any bug in their flow.
  • UX/UI designers collect user information, map user journeys, and create prototypes and visual representations of the information the product provides.
  • DevOps engineers ensure the smooth coordination of the above roles.
  • Business analysts connect the customer with the IT team.
  • Project managers have overall responsibility for project success.

Thus, you can get specialists you have never had and may not be among the existing staff. At the same time, they are not your full-time employees, although they perform tasks with full dedication, as in the staff, but remotely. Hiring a dedicated software development team, you're handling all the administrative hassle and building technical capacity on-site. Thanks to such specialists, who have extensive experience with numerous technologies and business areas, you can get results faster and achieve all the company's growth prospects.

Key aspects for successful team management

With a dedicated team, you have a lot of flexibility in how you work, but you also face management challenges. Of course, a dedicated team requires a similar approach to itself as all remote employees, but we've put together the best conscience so that you can unleash the full potential of your team.

Outline your standards and expectations

This will inevitably affect productivity. Even during the onboarding process, you need to let the new team know what you expect from them. Set out the features you want from their work and the output they should ideally give you. Clearly outlining mutual expectations at the beginning of the collaboration and then reminding them periodically saves time in the long run. Your team will have an instruction manual to follow. There will be less guesswork about what is expected of you, misunderstandings will be minimized, and workers will be able to act more independently as a result. It is much easier to write detailed instructions and set a guideline than to end up repeating to employees what you want them to do over and over again.

Choosing tools for team management

Using the right team collaboration tool improves not only the process but also the result. Choosing the proper tool can make the team more productive. It increases team strength by allowing remote teams to communicate more effectively. Teams can achieve and maintain a work history with collaboration tools that help team members learn from past experiences. In addition, the collaboration platform allows them to express their thoughts and communicate with each other on a personal level as well. This automatically promotes team cohesion and ensures greater productivity. We have created a list of the best available tools to help you build your communication quality:

  • Monday is a team collaboration tool that is simple, friendly, and intuitive. You will be able to communicate processes using several metrics.
  • Google Meet - a convenient tool for quick meetings with planning, especially if you use Gmail accounts.
  • JIRA is a batch tool that helps users identify, assign and prioritize work.
  • ClickUp is a functional product with many tools useful in agile development: chats, wiki documents, and integrations with Google Workspace, Dropbox, and Zapier.
  • Microsoft Teams is a corporate platform for creating a workspace with all the necessary tools for teamwork.
  • Trello is a powerful, simple, flexible, free visual productivity platform. It gives users the ability to organize and manage projects visually.
  • Zoom is a tool ideal for meetings with a large number of participants, as it supports up to 10,000 participants. Thus, Zoom is preferred for large companies and video conferencing.
  • Slack allows users to create separate channels and dedicated spaces to discuss specific tasks or directly contact team members.

Create a convenient schedule

Finding the perfect time of day to communicate is key here. This is especially true for tech leads who manage their dedicated overseas teams, as there is less overlap time available for communication. You may want your dedicated software development team to have more shared work time with your home unit, but it's also important to make sure your unit has enough time to relax and maintain a social life. Working all night does not allow for a healthy work-life balance, making developers constantly feel tired and ultimately dissatisfied with their work. On the other hand, if you work during normal business hours and your employees come to the office, your dedicated development team can already report progress. If necessary, developers can start their workday a few hours earlier to allow more time to overlap with you and stay late at the office at critical times as they share in the excitement of your project's success.

Emphasis on communication

Even the most independent and talented employees cannot always solve problems independently. It is important to be aware of their project's current status and issues so they can join the process. Dedicated team members usually need short but frequent communication instead of long but infrequent office meetings. It is better to contact team members five times a week for five minutes than once for twenty minutes and hope they understand and remember everything. You shouldn't interrupt creative processes ten times a day, but if people's messenger notifications are turned off, you can give them new information regularly, and it won't distract them. Frequent communication at a remote job allows you to maintain a sense of unity. Each team member sees that he is important and something depends on him. While communicating online - accuracy and clarity are required. You can never assume that someone knows something in advance. You need specifics and details. What to do and when. So that the person can go to work immediately after reading the message.

Focus on the result

Many people make the big mistake of managing a dedicated team - starting to track every step of the employees. This leads to an unwillingness to work effectively and damages team relationships. It's important to focus on results instead of monitoring every hour employees work. Allow your team members to allocate their own time and prioritize their tasks. After all, you've assembled a team of experts, not interns. You can monitor your employees' work without excessive control in the CRM system or with the help of weekly reports.

Quickly identify issues

The dynamics of relationships in a team are similar to a family. Only in a family do we quarrel about money, where to go on vacation, and how to raise children, and in a team - about resource allocation, a priority of functionality, and design decisions. If there is no effective conflict resolution mechanism in the team and the family, the overall efficiency of work will come to naught. When you feel something is going wrong in your team, address it immediately. If there is a technical problem, discuss it during one of the regular meetings. If the team spirit is lagging behind, sharing your concerns with HR is wiser.

Support your dedicated team in working with in-house

Special teams work much the same way as your internal teams. So, to be effective, you must support them 100%. Since your team comprises experts, you must listen to them to ensure the collaboration is productive. Sometimes your internal team may need to collaborate with your dedicated team. In this case, make sure that the partnership between your internal and external teams is seamless. Give them the tools they need to communicate directly and share resources. They should also see each other as partners, not competitors. Often your own employees feel threatened when you hire outsiders for fear of being replaced. The key point to discuss is that outsourcing should complement the internal team, not replace it. If in doubt, discuss this openly with your dedicated team. Ask them what support they need from you to be as productive as possible. But for the most part, you will find that it doesn't take much on your part to support your dedicated team. What matters is that they feel trusted to do their job.

Document all major decisions

Create a virtual room (document, board, channel) where all important decisions are recorded for each project you are working on. That way, even if someone can't attend a team meeting or center with the rest of their teammates, they can understand the project's current status and not feel like they're missing out or don't belong.


If you are satisfied with your team's work, don't forget to tell them. Positive feedback is inspiring and makes them feel that their work is useful. Here are some things you can try to improve your team's morale:

  • Start the daily meeting with the previous day's achievements. Focus on what your engineers have already done before addressing the problems that need to be solved.
  • Always explain why you disagree with specific ideas and keep the discussion open. This way, people will know that you value their opinion and will be more willing to offer it next time.
  • Be sure to acknowledge everyone's contribution to the project's overall success.
  • Praise in public, reprimand in private. You still need to maintain a positive demeanor when working remotely, even when fixing mistakes. And this should happen very carefully when working from home. People who get reprimanded in public subsequently lose motivation.
  • Motivate not only with words but with deeds. For example, you can provide everyone with corporate gifts once the project reaches a particular milestone or fund gym memberships, swimming pools, educational courses, etc.

Mistakes to avoid when dealing with a dedicated development team

  • Have tight deadlines

In product development, many situations can arise that can add more time to the project and delay deliveries, and that's not necessarily bad. You just have to be a little flexible to be able to face these adjustments in the delivery time.

  • Not trusting a dedicated development team

As a company, you should know how to delegate work and trust the team you just hired. The Project manager gives instructions, and the team executes them independently. Distrust will only lead to your project failing.

  • Hiding information

Your dedicated team needs to be aware of everything that is happening in the company, just like your internal team. They need more than a list of current tasks. They need to understand your long-term strategies, vision, and plans. Be transparent, clear, and honest in your communication. This will create the necessary conditions for a long-term relationship built on trust.

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