What is staff augmentation? In what cases is it needed? What are the benefits?
Staff augmentation: when extra help is needed
Staff augmentation is a flexible increase in the number of employees according to the project’s needs. If you ever find that you lack a certain competence, experience, or just processing capacity, this service can be the perfect solution. For several years, there has been an increasing interest in team augmentation in the IT industry. No wonder because the expansion of the development team working on the project by an external team has many advantages. Body Leasing can also be chosen for solving specific tasks.
Staff augmentation is a great solution for your company
It is an attractive solution for IT companies whose projects are constantly being further developed or need to be modernized. Knowledge and experience in diverse technologies and programming languages are usually required in such cases. Every day when the project is not developed entails losses; having chosen this option, you do not waste additional time and financial resources on training the specialists you already have in the corporate structures. Using the services and knowledge of a well-coordinated team that already has these skills will be cheaper.
You can use the services of a single specialist but also of an entire team of qualified persons. Staff augmentation offers you more opportunities:
- Ability to separate parts of the project in which your team does not have sufficient skills for the outside world. Access to new knowledge is almost immediate. You don’t waste time or money training full-time employees.
- Reduction of employment costs. There is no need to hire new employees when using this service, so labor or accounting costs are not increased.
- Access to knowledge and training opportunities for permanent employees through external programmers who have knowledge and experience from other projects. Thanks to staff augmentation, full-time employees can look at the implemented project or challenge from a different perspective (re-looking at the problem).
- Shorter implementation time of the entire project. The optimal number of specialists in their field can significantly shorten the time of software development.
The most popular staff augmentation models
Staff augmentation is becoming increasingly popular in the IT industry. This outsourcing strategy lets you close the skills gap quickly without permanently hiring programmers. Staff augmentation can take place for both a short and a longer period.
- Short-term services are offered to customers who need ad hoc support for a short time. Such a need usually arises when the project requires the rapid development of new, unplanned functionalities or the execution of additional tests. Such a need also arises when one of the most important team members is on sick leave, and it is not possible to divide his tasks among other employees for this time.
- Long-term support is most often chosen by customers who have a large project to complete, the implementation time of which is longer than one year. It is worth choosing long-term support if the team’s skills gaps have to be closed and it would take too long to train the current staff and reach the expected level. This form is often chosen even if the company has tried to recruit permanent employees with selected competencies. Still, the process takes too long, and project work is therefore discontinued or progresses too slowly.
Staff augmentation as a service can be offered on-site or off-site.
- Off-site – this option is chosen by customers who need to expand the team but do not have the opportunity to place more people in the office. In this case, programmers carry out the project remotely. Depending on the agreement, they may assume responsibility for infrastructure, hardware, and the necessary software – according to the customer’s specifications.
- On-site – specialists carry out the project from the customer’s office. This model is often used by companies that do not have office restrictions and also want internal programmers to work closely with ours. The advantage of this type of service is the free exchange of knowledge between specialists. This allows internal employees to acquire knowledge more quickly and find out about the solutions used by our programmers.
How do you prepare for staff augmentation so that the cooperation is successful?
- Determine specifically which competencies your employees lack to implement the project. It is important not to waste a budget on acquiring skills that already exist in the company. Take advantage of staff augmentation by attracting suitable specialists from whom your employees can learn.
- Define the area of responsibility of the external expert. This is important in the handling of the project. There should be no room for assumptions here. Each team member should understand the project and also have a clear picture of the phases of the project and who is responsible for what particular phase.
- Determine the way of communication. This applies in particular to the off-site model, where the expert is not physically in the organization. Make sure that all communication on projects takes place through a specific communicator so that the expert is informed about the progress of work or changes.
- Select a project with a specific deadline. This allows the project to be carried out without unnecessarily prolonging it. In the case of a long-term project, it can be more profitable to hire a specific specialist permanently.
- Take care of the technical documentation. Remember that although the project remains with the company, the expert who ends the project takes the knowledge of the software with him. If the team does not take care of the technical documentation during project work, the application of the simplest update becomes a problem.
Staff augmentation is not a cure for all the evils of today’s IT business. However, it can significantly accelerate development and increase a company’s flexibility so that it can use this service wisely.