Once upon a time, in the enchanting kingdom of Software Development, Snow White (aka YOU!) embarked on a quest to find a way to expand her team and help her conquer her projects easily. How will she know which options are poisonous apples and which ones are the perfect fit?
Staff augmentation is like true love’s kiss, offering several benefits, like flexibility in scaling your team, access to specialized skills, cost-effectiveness, and faster project delivery.
But Snow White didn’t go alone; she had seven dwarfs to help along the way. You could say that today’s blog is your band of dwarfs, containing seven key considerations to ensure a successful staff augmentation partnership. Join us as we explore these factors, ensuring you live happily ever after.
- Define project goals, skills, roles, and timelines clearly.
- Choose the right staff augmentation partner through meticulous evaluation.
- Prioritize effective communication, teamwork, and regular progress updates.
- Onboard and integrate augmented staff, providing training and clear roles.
- Address any legal issues or concerns early on
- Stay flexible, adapt to project changes, and adjust team size.
- Implement data security strategies, such as de-identified data and a clear dev-ops process.
Benefits of Staff Augmentation
Before discussing tips for success with staff augmentation, we need to discuss why this is a good development option. You can’t put the cart before the horse!
Flexibility in Scaling the Team
Staff augmentation is super flexible when scaling your team. Unlike traditional hiring, which can take 60-90 days or longer plus sometimes involves expensive recruiting feeds, staff augmentation allows you to quickly and easily adjust your team size up or down. This is especially awesome when you’re working on projects that have changing workloads or tight deadlines. You can bring on more people when things are hectic and then cut back when things slow down.
Access to Specialized Skills
When you need someone who’s an expert on a specific topic but you don’t have the right person on your team, staff augmentation can be the way to go. Staff aug agencies should have someone with the exact skills you need (like a machine learning specialist, a cybersecurity pro, or a mobile app wizard) and be able to bring them on board quickly. Having access to these specialists can make a huge difference, allowing you to tackle tricky problems and take on projects that your team might not have been able to handle.
Cost-Effectiveness vs Full-time
We said it above, but hiring full-time employees can be expensive. You need to pay their salaries, provide benefits, get them equipment, and oftentimes pay a placement agency to find someone. With offshore staff augmentation, you skip all that! Working with external experts on a project-to-project basis can save you money on long-term personnel costs. Staff augmentation helps you allocate resources where and when you need them, so you don’t have to pay for a full-time team during lulls in project activity. This is especially useful for startups, small businesses, or organizations with tight budgets.
Faster Project Delivery
When it comes to software development, time is everything. Staff augmentation can help you save time and speed up your project delivery by getting access to experts immediately without going through the long and tedious process of hiring full-time employees. This means you can start your projects quickly and finish them on time with more confidence. Staff augmentation gives you an edge over your competitors by making the development process faster.
7 Key Considerations for Successful Staff Augmentation
Now that you’re all on board with staff augmentation, it’s time to hire an agency.. Right now!
But pump the brakes, friends. Ensuring you have a successful staff augmentation experience requires upfront considerations. We’ll walk through 7 tips and factors to think about as you start your staff aug journey.
1) Define Your Project Goals and Needs
If you’re thinking about adding more people to your team, make sure you know exactly what skills and roles you need. Take the time to figure out the technical expertise, experience, and qualifications necessary to fill any gaps in your current roster. This will help you find the right staff augmentation team with the needed professionals.
Once you know what or who you’re looking for, set clear goals and timelines for the first project. This will help everyone involved understand what needs to be done and when. It’s important to have a well-structured timeline to keep everyone, both your current team and your new team members, on the same page and to ensure things stay on track.
2) Choose the Right Staff Augmentation Partner
Picking the right partner for staff augmentation is tricky. Unlike regular outsourcing, where you look for teams and portfolios, staff augmentation focuses on evaluating individual candidates. To make the right decision, consider the partner’s specialized location first. For example, do they focus on Eastern Europe or Latin America?
Their size and scale also matter as that determines the number of candidates you choose from and how much personal attention you receive. You should also check if they recruit people with the tech stack or skills that your project requires. Lastly, you must ensure that they can handle your hiring volume, whether big or small. Getting the right staff augmentation partner isn’t just about meeting your technical needs but also finding a person (or more) who can blend with your team.
3) Effective Communication and Collaboration
Good communication is key to a successful staff augmentation process. Establish and maintain clear communication channels and ensure you can talk to your new team members in real time, using messaging apps, video calls, or project management tools.
Getting your in-house and augmented staff to work together is super important if you want your projects to be successful. Make sure everyone feels included and like they’re part of the team. Nothing stops a project quicker in its tracks than conflict!
To keep up with the project’s progress, ensure regular check-ins with the team. This is a good way to address any concerns, clear up doubts, and ensure everything is going according to plan.
4) Onboarding and Integration
After bringing on augmented staff, making them feel like a part of your team is crucial. Provide the necessary training and access to the tools, software, and resources they need to contribute effectively. While it doesn’t need to be as involved as a full-time hire, your staff aug personnel must understand who you are and your processes. Clear guidelines and access to essential tools ensure that the augmented team members can quickly get up to speed and make meaningful contributions.
But it’s not just about having technical skills; it’s super important to make new team members feel like they’re part of the team. One way to do that is by getting them involved in all the fun stuff you do. That way, they really get what you’re all about and what you’re trying to achieve. Plus, they’ll feel more connected to your company and motivated to help. You can work together better and accomplish more when everyone’s on the same page. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Finally, roles and responsibilities should be clear to everyone to avoid confusion and inefficiencies. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both your in-house and augmented team members. That way, everyone knows what is expected of them, and it helps prevent conflicts or overlaps in duties.
5) Legal and Contractual Considerations
When hiring external people to augment your team, ensuring everyone is on the same page is important. TLDR: legal clarity is essential. When reading through your agency’s contract, make sure it explains everything; from terms and conditions to what the project is, how long it’ll take, and when everyone gets paid. That way, you can tackle issues before they become real.
You’ve got to protect your company’s secrets, intellectual property, and sensitive data. Make sure there are clearly explained data security and confidentiality requirements somewhere in the contract. And most importantly, you need to make sure your new team members understand and follow your privacy rules to keep both everything and everyone safe.
6) Flexibility and Adaptability
Software development is an ever-evolving business. Projects are always changing, and technology is always evolving, which makes it hard to keep up. Staff augmentation gives you the flexibility to adapt to these changes quickly. But you already knew that – so what’s the tip here? Make sure you’re effectively using your staff aug scalability. Be prepared to adjust your augmented team’s focus or size as project requirements shift or business values change to ensure you maintain project efficiency and alignment with your goals.
7) Data Security
Like any other project, staff augmentation engagements must be kept secure. To do that, you have to emphasize Data Security. This is more than just having anti-virus software on your computers; data security must be complete.
When working with a staff aug partner, you need to ensure you have a good process of locking down production data. That way, staff augmentation partners can only work with a de-identified data set. In addition, network access should be limited to only what the augmented staff genuinely needs. Beyond this, DevOps needs to be tightly controlled so augmented staff can only push code and changes to lower-level environments.
Staff augmentation offers a flexible and dynamic approach to project execution. To ensure a successful staff augmentation experience, you must define your project goals and needs, evaluate potential candidates, ensure effective communication and collaboration, provide training and access to tools, address legal concerns, stay flexible and adaptable, and finally, have a data security strategy.
By carefully considering these factors, you can maximize the benefits of staff augmentation and ensure you live happily ever after. ???