What Is Staff Augmentation?
Imagine your team is facing a new, exciting project that’s too good to turn down, but also too challenging for the number of team members you currently have or their skills. Instead of hiring more people to work on it (which may not be the best idea in the long run) or outsourcing the project altogether, you can temporarily arrange some workforce to fill in ‒ like a store hires temporary staff to work during the high season. That’s what we call staff augmentation or team extension.
Augmenting IT Projects
Team augmentation is one of the most popular IT staffing solutions. Why? First of all, it takes a massive burden off your hands: the recruitment and employment process. Staff augmentation companies hire trained specialists they can “rent” to work at other companies. Second of all, with the abundance of IT resources and declining rates, this seems to be the best solution to use talents and workforce. And third of all, if your company lacks the skills needed for the project, a team extension will complement those gaps.
Staff Augmentation Pros
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, the staff augmentation model has a ton of other pros. Above all, it focuses on speed and effectiveness to address your needs immediately, reducing the extra training, recruitment process, etc. It’s basically an “all hands on deck” approach so you can go straight to business.
What’s more? With staff augmentation, you actually cut more than just time: it saves you money too. By using this model, you reduce the need for new infrastructure, benefits for the potential new employees, and so on. Hiring extremely experienced staff on a permanent basis and making sure it wants to stay with you may turn out to be a considerable cost - which is no longer an issue when staff augmentation is there to save the day. It also helps you to stay within the budget if you work with a strict one. You can decrease costs even further by augmenting staff from other countries (so-called offshoring) where more experienced and/or cheaper employees may be found.
Generally speaking, staff augmentation gives you access to a large pool of talents not limited to your local resources. You still keep full control over your team, as it’s still based on your trusted employees, rather than hiring a whole self-reliant group (as in Dedicated Development Team models). In turn, you get the much-needed flexibility in terms of headcount and the competitive advantage as you gain speed and agility. Hiring a team extension also means that you get a higher chance of projects implemented on time and with a satisfactory result ‒ especially if the deadline would otherwise be tough to meet.
Finally, staff augmentation is kind of like a test run if you use it wisely. It can help you decide on the future shape of your company, the number of permanent jobs, and the possible workflow. The truth is, team extension can boost your team both literally and metaphorically: it can attract younger professionals focused on flexibility and freelancing who could bring fresh ideas and different insights to your organization. This model also promotes loyalty and team communication.
Is Staff Augmentation a Cure-All?
While the list of staff augmentation pros seems to be never-ending, it’s worth to consider a few critical factors before jumping on board:
- Is your project so elaborate and complicated that it’ll require weeks or even months of deep insight and extra training?
- Will the existing management handle the extra tasks, or perhaps an additional supervisor will be needed? Bear in mind that you can also use staff augmentation for management purposes, though.
- Is your project confidential? While signing an NDA with a contracted employee is legally no different from any other type of this document, this may be psychologically inconvenient for you and your client, especially if your team augmentation is done offshore.
- Do you plan offshoring to a distant region? Different time zones are usually difficult to reconcile with office hours. On the other hand, there’s always at least a few hours of overlap; this can even promote work time organization and setting up consistent communication procedures.
- Will your in-house employees integrate with the team extension? Will there be cultural differences that may affect this process?
Most of these aspects apply to particular, rare cases. In a significant number of examples, they’re quite easy to overcome.
It seems that most projects could only benefit from team extension, though - as you can see from the examples below.
Who Benefited From Staff Augmentation?
In need of some numbers? There you go: according to Deloitte, it can even take 94 days to recruit a high-skilled professional. That’s over three months or a quarter of a year ‒ who has time for that?
Apparently, Oktopost hasn’t. It’s a social media management platform created for B2B enterprises which struggled for two months to find appropriate specialists in Israel. With a staff augmentation model, they were finally able to meet the talents they needed. Establishing a team abroad also meant they opened for a new employee market. This gave them the flexibility they had missed when they had relied only on local resources. They also saved a lot, augmenting a total of three developers for the cost of one local.
BeaverPal partnered with WP Kraken for web development and quality assurance services. Thanks to staff augmentation, this digital marketing company was able to stay agile and address the market's ever-changing requirements. They got the ability to fully customize the plugins used for their website and develop a tailor-made code.
"We learned much more that we thought possible, and we appreciated that they were patient and thoughtful while we came up to speed".Emilio Burillo, Co-Founder at BeaverPal
AdRoll, performance marketing platform, and Instructure, creator of learning and e-learning programs, also claim to benefit from staff augmentation. While shy on the details, they don’t hesitate to say that their team extensions have fully integrated with in-house employees and helped to develop their products.
Staff Augmentation Process
Reducing your expenses while not compromising on the quality of your products and even bringing in new, unique talents sounds great, right? And it’s as simple as picking up the phone or opening a new email.
WPKraken can provide you with a dedicated team of specialists ranging from expert web developers, UI/UX designers, and QA specialists to project managers working in line with your standards and requirements. If you feel like you’ll be overwhelmed with the management of your new team extension, we can also offer you a dedicated project manager. We use Agile methodology and a fully trackable project management process so you could feel safe about your project. Our team is trained and ready to work in environments selected by you. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you bring your idea to life.