What Is Staff Augmentation, and When Is It Most Successful?
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Salary increases, extra weekends, team building activities, and other activities can help motivate your team to be more productive. However, there are times when even these instruments fail. For example, if you have a mature and functioning business and want to start a side project, your in-house team will be overwhelmed. In such cases, IT staff augmentation may be the best option.
As a Business Development Manager, I advise many of my clients on the best outsourcing model to use. In my experience, many co-founders do not understand which model is best for their business situation and thus fail to make the right decision. In this article, I’d like to discuss the option of staff augmentation and when it works best.
So let’s get started!
What Exactly Is Staff Augmentation?
So, what exactly is staff augmentation? I believe everyone understands this concept in some way. But first, let’s get into the specifics. Staff augmentation is a flexible outsourcing strategy that involves hiring skilled professionals from an external provider to boost the productivity of a team. Augmentation services are typically provided on a contract basis and for a limited time.
The augmented team is typically assembled based on the project’s requirements and the team’s skill set. The outsourcing team can also handle management and coordination, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
The main goal of staff augmentation is to find a team that can quickly compensate for a lack of skills and knowledge. Technically, staff augmentation is similar to assisting your team without hiring new members. By supplementing your team, you avoid having to deal with HR and administrative employment issues. Instead, all of these issues are handled by the outsourcing partner who provides the augmented team.
Staff augmentation can be full-time or part-time. To compensate for a lack of skills, for example, you can hire only a small group of professionals. In other cases, an augmented team can completely replace existing personnel.
Advantages of Staff Augmentation
When it comes to staff augmentation, there are several ways it can help your company succeed.
Productivity at a high level
The staff augmentation model boosts team productivity by allowing the developers you hire to focus solely on your project. They work as a dedicated team, getting involved in the details of your project and treating it as if it were their own.
IP Rights Protection
You have complete control over the development of your project once the augmented team begins working on it. Similarly, your augmented team members follow your company’s policy within the parameters of the contract.
There are no additional costs.
There are no additional costs for office rent, social benefits, equipment purchases, and so on. As a result, you can hire more specialists who meet your needs for much less money.
Staff Augmentation Pitfalls
Team augmentation is an efficient way to offload your team or start a side project in addition to your established business. Staff augmentation, like any other existing model, has nuances. So let us examine them more closely.
Onboarding Is Difficult
If you need a quick and high-quality result, you need professionals who are invested in the company’s processes, mission, and vision. Unfortunately, when the goal is to create an MVP, lengthy onboarding will be impossible, resulting in emotional burnout among your augmented team.
Working on an augmented team can make it difficult for members to find motivation. Employed members can expect specific bonuses from their employer, such as salary increases, social benefits, or bonus payments. In this regard, the augmented team may feel left out.
These risks, however, are manageable if you establish processes with your remote team.
When Should You Consider Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is an excellent tool for increasing productivity. It is not, however, a one-size-fits-all approach. Team augmentation is only useful in certain situations. Here are a few examples:
Starting a Side Project
Assume you already have a team working on your project in your local office. You have a mature company with a large team dedicated to your project. Suddenly, an idea strikes you, and you decide to start a side project. However, you recognise a scarcity of resources in your talent market.
In such a case, staff augmentation can be an effective tool for attracting new talents, with specific knowledge not available in your country, to your team by searching the external market for them.
The Outsourcing Model Is Inapplicable
According to the outsourcing model, you have a remote team that performs specific tasks autonomously. This remote team is completely self-sufficient, operating as a separate company. The team augmentation model, on the other hand, requires that your remote team feel like an extension of your in-house team, with whom you can communicate directly and on a daily basis. If you want such close collaboration, staff augmentation is the way to go.
Proposals for Short-Term Projects
Staff augmentation is better suited for short-term projects where you need to complete a certain amount of work within tight deadlines, begin several additional projects, and your local team is unavailable for this part of the work.
Need to Launch Immediately
Certain businesses choose team augmentation for effective business strategy when they want to reduce time-to-market, develop a viable product in a short period of time (Minimum viable product), launch a startup, and find a user-oriented solution.
What Is the Process of Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is a fast and flexible process. Outsourcing an augmented team consists of five steps:
Obtaining Project Specifications
Before forming a team, the outsource partner gathers project requirements and determines which skills the client requires. During presale calls and the development process, eCodeSoft maintains close contact with the client. Close collaboration with clients ensures a satisfactory outcome.
Choosing a Team
We can then find professionals for your augmented team once we know what we need. The outsourcing company will select professionals with the necessary experience, skills, and technical knowledge based on the project requirements. This procedure can take between one and three weeks.
Improved Team Onboarding
When you onboard your team to begin work on the project, this is a critical stage. During the onboarding period, project managers are appointed and communication channels and management tools are established.
If you want to offload your in-house team or build a side project, staff augmentation is an excellent solution. Flexibility, cost savings, and close communication with the team are just a few of the benefits that team augmentation can provide.