At Fluentsoft, we start the process of collaboration early on. During the project's discovery and strategy phase, the entire project team has the chance to meet and work with the client, continuing through design. If the development team enters the project months down the line, they will not have the overall project context, irrespective of how many on-board meetings you organize. This does not imply that the team has to be with the client in every single working and planning session, but I find bringing the team together when it counts can help save time and money later in the project.
Here at Fluentsoft we are doing our utmost to bring together team members who are comfortable with this level of integration. Ultimately, we discover that an empowered team with a direct customer access line works best to get in on time, on budget and in scope!