TEM: what is it?

These days software outsourcing turns out to be a common thing. However, it can be a problem when a project manager is facing the excessive number of options or bound to make a crucial decision. A Team Extension Model or TEM for short can be a smart way out.

The given model suggests hiring one or several developers who already possess the required skills to complete the assigned project. Thus, the project manager has his team tailored to the task.

The greatest advantage of sticking with the model is:
that it enables to keep control over the extended team;
new experts act as a complement to the already existing;
the newly-hired outsourced specialists will get along with the company’s working style, vision, and culture and demonstrate good outcomes;

TEM workflow

Here’s a typical workflow within this model.

01. Pre-planning

First, the PM requires assessing the extent of the task and defining the major roles to be involved. The project manager should ensure that the outsourced specialists have all the necessary expertise to include them to the already existing group of developers.

In fact, the PM can carry out the initial analysis on his own or opt for services provided by a consultancy firm. If the PM turns to their advice, they will thoroughly scrutinize the project’s development needs along with internal processes to build up a group of skilled developers.

02. Choosing experts

Based on the project’s requirements as well as specifications, the recruiting team should conduct thorough candidate research and pick up the best IT developers. So, to become a worthy gift for the extended squad, the nominees should have all the required qualities to fit the task. The HR managers should interview the best nominees in person and pick up the ones they find the worthiest for the IT project.

03. Integration

Once the first stage mentioned above is over, it’s high time to get down to integrating remote specialists into the project. That’s the beginning of the TEM process.

The outsourced experts have joined the existing squad. They follow the project’s internal processes as well as orders. One can let a consultancy firm appoint their own rep to provide extra support. Furthermore, their PM can interfere to resolve issues or ensure effective collaboration in the extended squad.
Well, the given approach provides the project manager with unstoppable control over the key processes. The project manager is capable of tracking the effort and time ration, timely coming up with necessary optimizations.
Direct communication:
It’s crucial to directly reach out to the assigned SCRUM master and the outsourced software engineers to ensure clarity along with transparency within the new group of creators. Furthermore, the project manager requires keeping his communication channels accessible all the time
The project manager requires allocating responsibilities within the team just to ensure that the outsourced experts feel absolutely involved in the assigned project, thus demonstrating greater efficiency. Apart from being responsible for some parts of the undertaking, each outsourced experts should be aware of the entire cycle of the development.
Syncing up:
Certainly, the outsourced specialists need to be aware of the company’s practices, methodologies, corporate culture as well as management style. It’s up to the PM to set up an effective working process and pick up the most effective collaboration as well as communication tools that the core group of experts and the outsourced experts will conveniently use.
Training the extended squad:
Before the IT task is launched at a full scale, a series of meetings and trainings need to be conducted, so that the new group of experts could act as one solid entity. After several training sessions, the core experts and new outsourced members will know each other well.

This solution provides great flexibility to any project. Here the PM is free to fire the outsourced experts he no longer needs. Moreover, it’s possible to hire a dedicated team to handle this particular IT project. Once the company doesn’t need their assistance any longer, a contract with these specialists can be terminated, while the already existing group of specialists can continue with their duties as usual.

Roles and responsibilities in TEM

When talking about an existing or new project, one should note a rich array of tasks the team has to deal with. The list below offers a list of project roles with typical responsibilities. Optional roles can be added based on the project’s specifics.

Product Owner
Responsible for the product success​
Care about user needs and business goals​
Guide the project in the correct direction​
Maintain stakeholders' vision while developing the product​​
Owns and maintains scope and product backlog
Promote continuous improvements​
Business Analyst​
Technical solution, specification documents
Functional and Nonfunctional requirements analysis​
Risk identification
Business understanding​
Business process knowledge
Product consulting
Communications and guidance of clients​
Requirements gathering​
Market research
QA lead & Testers
Development of automated tests
Manage testing
Manual software tests
Preparing a test strategy and a test plan
Team lead & Development team
Responsibility for all activities leading towards sprint objectives
Common work with Product Owner and Scrum Master to prioritize items from scope
Participation in all needed meetings. Timely communications and sharing of information
The team as a whole is accountable for the delivery

SCRUM Master role

The major duty of a SCRUM Master is to eliminate any glitches that prevent the team to meet their objectives. If the newly-hired outsourced specialists don’t actually have a good sense of what they’re doing, then the SM is going to help them to organize a working taskboard and show how to make the most of it. He also executes a variety of duties, in particular:

Sprint planning with the team​;
Communications management​;
Assisting Scrum Teams in following their practices​;
Helping with the product backlog and scope​;
Protects the experts from interruptions​;
Remove impediments​;

He’s expected to make sure the Scrum Process is strictly followed by the extended team and that the outsourced experts don’t prevent the in-house specialists to execute their duties.

An extended team often faces the following challenges:
Misunderstanding duties: Due to the fact the SCRUM master radically changes the way staff members work, their productivity may slow down until they get used to the new scheme
Resisting changes: For many reasons, the employees may resist changes implemented by the SCRUM master. With many roles shaken up, some employees are afraid of losing authority they had before. As a result of their opposition, the whole team may have difficulty in acting as one solid entity

SCRUM process

As the extended team evolves into a self-managing mechanism, the Scrum Master moves to the organizational glitches as well as issues generated by the third party. Additionally, if the company is still divided into several parts, he organizes their productive interaction.

If the team depends on outsourced specialists, he should help the company to make the most of cross-component collaboration.

Team Extension Timing

To hire a quality assurance engineer, developer, the SCRUM master, etc the HR managers will have to spend from two weeks to two months depending on their expertise.

As a rule, the test period takes two months with one-day off-boarding if something goes wrong. In addition to this, for two months, the candidates may be receiving regular off-boarding warnings.

Edsson Team Builder

The Edsson Team Builder can be defined as an internal service used by the project managers when it comes to extending their in-house team for the creation of a new software product. It enables the managers to look through the profiles of all experts of the company, filter them by the technologies used, view their skills and get familiar with the resumes before adding the candidates to the extended team

The service helps to rapidly choose the required outsourced specialists for the assigned project