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Product Development
Remote Work
Mar 25, 2024

The Future of Business is Core+


James Wondrasek James Wondrasek
The Future of Business is Core+

The Future of Business is Core+

There’s an interesting interview on VentureBeat with Gilles Langourieux of Virtuos. Most of the interview is about the gaming industry, but Gilles says some interesting things about dynamic team sizing and how businesses are changing the way they structure their software development teams.

SoftwareSeni isn’t part of the gaming industry, but these ideas tend to cross industry lines, and since remote teams are a big part of what we do, we’re always interested in new takes.

Here’s one of Gilles’ quotes. The game industry is notorious for hiring fast and firing faster, but flexibility in team size can benefit any industry:

We’ve been relying too much on fixed teams. We need more flexibility. We all know that there’s a peak in production, and then after that peak you need fewer people. If you’re trying to develop games with fixed teams only, you have that vicious cycle of hiring a lot of people and then letting them go when you’re done

As Gilles points out, having providers who can supply talent on demand is good for everyone:

…one of our main reasons for existing is to provide both quality and flexibility to our clients, so that everyone’s jobs are more stable. You have smaller core teams that are more stable on the customer side, and then we also maintain stability by being able to transition people from one project to another, one client to another.

He’s pointing the way towards a particular vision of the future of software development. This concerns every SME that wants to be more than a lifestyle business, because every business is a software development business now. 

The important phrase is “smaller core teams”. The vision is that your inhouse software development team is small and contains the deep understanding of your product and directs your long term strategy for product growth.

The core team gives you continuity and quality control while overseeing a managed remote team that shifts dynamically in size and skill set.

It’s a thought-provoking idea. Because it’s not really about reducing fixed costs in software development.

It’s really about SMEs adopting a new level of flexibility, making them able to react quickly in the market, and, more importantly, allowing them to push their products forward based on vision instead of based on office headcount or inhouse skillbase.

It’s a fundamental shift in mindset that we’re going to see more and more businesses adopt because it’s going to deliver results.

We’re calling it Core+ – your core team at the heart of an on-demand team that changes in size and structure to meet the latest challenge.

Putting your Core+ team in place

If you want to take the Core+ approach you’re going to need your in-house team to already have experienced oversight roles in place. This is essential to maintain control over your product vision. Let’s go quickly through the roles you’ll want to have in place.

This core team should include a product manager who deeply understands the market, customer needs, and the overall product strategy. They will be responsible for driving the vision and roadmap for the product.

Alongside the product manager, you’ll want an experienced technical lead or software architect. This role will ensure the technical feasibility of the product vision and make the high-level design decisions. They’ll also be responsible for maintaining code quality standards across the extended team.

Having a strong project manager with remote team management experience is also essential. They’ll coordinate the efforts of the core team and extended remote team. Effective communication, deliverables, and risk management will be key (though of course you’ll be running Agile to severely limit the risk).

Depending on the size of your business and your product’s complexity, you may also want to include other roles like a UX designer, data analyst, or operations manager. The goal is to have a well-rounded core team that can provide leadership and direction across all aspects of the product.

If you need to hire to build your core team, look for people with experience managing remote teams and/or working with remote/hybrid teams. Everyone on the team should be a strong communicator – they’re all going to be involved in presenting a coherent vision of your product to your remote team. As that remote team shifts in size across product and business cycles it is communicating and maintaining the product vision that is going to determine your success.

With the right core team in place you can strategically, even tactically, leverage remote teams to drive growth. You’ll be able to adapt to market changes and scale development up or down as needed, all while maintaining a strong product vision and high quality standards. 

This Core+ approach can give you a competitive edge in the marketplace. By making team scaling responsive you get to decide where you want to place your big bets and how fast you want to move. This level of control is what helps you take the lead and stay there.


James Wondrasek James Wondrasek


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