Staff augmentation vs managed team vs project-based models?
If you’re considering staff augmentation, you may have also looked into other software outsourcing models like the managed team or project-based models. Each has their own advantages. Depending on the level of involvement you’re looking for, your budget, and the kind of skills you’re in need of, one may be a better fit than another. Let’s look at how each compares.
In short, staff augmentation is an outsourcing model that allows you to bring highly skilled tech talent onto your existing team without the time and overhead required when hiring someone as a full-time staff member. Depending on your needs, you can utilize staff augmentation services to fill a single gap on your in house development team or to build up a full dedicated team via an outsourcing company.
Either way, typically you would begin the hiring process by working with a staff augmentation company to interview candidates they have available. You would then select team members that fit your requirements best. The team members you choose then immerse themselves into your existing internal team, maintaining your company culture and working in line with your development process and strategic goals.
The core of the managed team model is hiring a fully dedicated team that is separate from your in house team. In a managed services model, responsibility and ownership are shared by the client and the managed services provider. You would work together to determine which responsibilities belong to whom. Your managed team operates independently of your in house team, with an outsourced Project Manager overseeing daily operations and workflows.
By choosing project outsourcing, the outsourcing provider takes most of the responsibility and owns the projects from start to end. They complete your development projects according to your specifications, without any need for you to manage the staff on a day-to-day basis.
Read More: Staff Augmentation vs Managed Services — What, When & How?
What benefits can businesses expect with staff augmentation?
IT software staff augmentation services are gaining fast adoption among companies that want a cost-effective way to develop high-quality software but who may not have the existing software development or project manager resources to do so internally. Here are some benefits that the staff augmentation model can offer your business:
Staff projects faster
It takes ample time and resource capacity to plan and organize the recruitment process for hiring new team members. You need to draft a job description and update it on several job portals, sometimes for months. Not only that, but you will spend time shortlisting and interviewing candidates.
When you work with staff augmentation companies, the entire task of recruiting falls on them, rather than your internal team. Your remote software engineers can be ready in a few days rather than in a few months.
Access top tech talent
The reality is that you may not have sufficient expert-level developers on staff to meet your project demands.
Staff augmentation enables you to leverage external resources, detect loopholes and patch them. The model also saves the time you need to spend on training and retraining our development, as experts from the staff augmentation company bring the exact skills and experience you need.
You only decide the particular skills and technical expertise you expect candidates to possess. A staff augmentation company will quickly provide you appropriate candidates to supplement your IT workforce.
One of the key benefits of staff augmentation for many companies is that you can easily upscale and downscale your team. Flexibility is built right into IT staff augmentation services.
Especially if your core business priorities are likely to change over the next 12 months, it might make sense to utilize staff augmentation services rather than hiring and then laying off full time staff members (not to mention much more ethical).
Control your IT costs
There are significant costs associated with bringing on full-time staff members: training costs, office space, day-to-day operational costs, allowances and bonuses to improve their happiness, and more. While sometimes this is more than worth it to have a dedicated long-term staff member, other times it just doesn’t make sense.
Utilizing staff augmentation can help you cut operational costs by hiring developers who will produce the same quality and quantity of work at a fractional cost over the length of your project.
What are the common staff augmentation services?
Staff augmentation can look very different, depending on the needs of the business, their budget, and available service providers. It’s important to get clear on your priorities, so that you can find a software staff augmentation firm that will meet your needs. In general, you can expect staff augmentation services to fall into one of three categories:
Sometimes simply referred to as "project outsourcing services," commodity staff augmentation is a business model in which a company provides temporary workers in order to complete a specific project or tasks.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering commodity staff augmentation. First, it is important to carefully consider the skills and experience that the organization needs. Second, the organization should have a plan for integrating the new staff into the existing workforce. Finally, the organization should be prepared to manage the new staff and monitor their performance.
Typically the commodity model is used to source workers without specialized skills. If you’re looking for help fulfilling tasks like data entry or repetitive manual testing, commodity staff augmentation might be the right fit.
Skill-based staff augmentation is a staffing model in which organizations identify the specific skills and knowledge required for a particular project or position, and then hire developers with those skills on a short-term or long-term basis. This can be an effective way to get the skills and knowledge you need without having to invest in training or development for your own staff.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering skill-based staff augmentation. First, you need to identify the skills and knowledge you need. Then, you need to find experts who can provide those skills. Finally, you need to integrate the expert into your team and manage the relationship.
With this type of flexible team augmentation services, organizations are after a specific skill set, but are not necessarily requiring a strategic, expert-level staff member (as they would the highly-skilled model).
Highly-skilled staff augmentation can be used to address skills shortages or fill business-critical positions, fast. By hiring experts in specific areas, you can free up your own employees to focus on other tasks.
With this model, it becomes very important to find workers who are truly experts in their field. There's no point in paying for someone who is only marginally better than your own staff. Second, you'll need to be clear about what you expect from the augmentation. What are the goals and objectives? What are the deliverables?
If you keep these things in mind, this can be a great method for augmenting your in house team.
The focus with this augmentation model is finding an outsourcing partner who can provide top-tier talent to help a company gain competitive advantage. For example, they might not be just looking for a Python developer but rather someone who has years of experience developing Python-based eLearning platforms.
Read More: 6 Ways to Scale Fast – Software Team Augmentation
When is staff augmentation the right choice?
The cost and time of recruiting an in-house team can be enormous. With IT staff augmentation services, you can hire highly skilled remote developers or a technical project manager and dedicate them to a specific project in your organization without all of the overhead.
For this reason, staff augmentation can be a great model when:
You need to reinforce your team
While you have in-house software developers, it is imperative to complement or improve your current expertise when releasing new products or launching new projects. In this case, you may want to augment your IT team while you still leverage existing resources internally. This type of reinforcement is very common amongst organizations who opt to utilize a staff augmentation model. It’s important to note that this is different from hiring dedicated teams of developers. A staff augmentation service is best when you want to augment your existing team - not build a fully separate team.
A deadline is approaching
Recruitment for software development roles is a long process from job advertisement to onboarding. You probably don't have that luxury of time and patience which could be an average of two months. Implementing an IT staff augmentation project can enable you to meet your needs regardless of the duration of the contract you signed- short term or long-term contract. You can also access a large pool of software developers from any part of the world in no time.
You need specific skills
Augmented staff can help to fill a software development or IT skill gap by providing additional staff with the necessary skills to complete a project or task. You may want to expand your team within a short time by introducing specialized engineers or technicians (DevOps, data scientist, quality assurance engineer, or business analyst). Or, you may need to bring someone in who has a special skill set and can help to train up your existing staff over time. Either way, if your remote development team is lacking a specific skill set, staff augmentation may be a good fit.
As a bridge for hire
Starting a staff augmentation project can help bring in software development engineers to meet your short term needs while you recruit permanent employees. Essentially, they would help to cover the staffing gap so you can keep your projects on track while you go through the traditional recruitment process.
Why are companies choosing staff augmentation in Poland?
Polish software developers have strong technical experience and can assist companies worldwide in implementing a range of software projects - from large scale enterprise software projects to a simple web development project.
A few key facts about the Polish software market:
- Poland accounts for 25% of Central Eastern Europe's offshore programmer skills.
- Around 15,000 students with a concentration in information and communication technologies graduate from Polish universities each year. Simultaneously, around 80,000 students are studying to become software engineers. This implies that the country receives an annual tidal wave of tech talent.
- According to the Tholons Globalization Index 2021, Poland is placed 14th among the top 20 digital nations. Additionally, according to the same index, Krakow is among the top twenty super cities in terms of digital innovation.
- Poland is ranked among the top 30 nations for offshore services by Gartner.
- The Polish IT market is expanding at a steady rate of between 5%-10% per year.
Read More: Hire Skillful Polish Programmers - Poland Team Augmentation
How can my company find the right staff augmentation partner?
Choosing the right partner is perhaps the most critical step in any staff augmentation model. The company you work with will either make your experience seamless or make you wish you had never decided to outsource software development in the first place. It really is make or break!
A few tips for finding the right staff augmentation partner:
- Your outsourcing vendor should fit your culture. If you are a very casual, modern startup, you may not want to work with stuffy, corporate-focused staff augmentation companies. Make sure you get to know potential vendors through video chats before making a commitment.
- Do your research on the broader outsourcing market. The staff augmentation process isn’t right for every company or even every project. Understand your options such as using the managed service model, hiring a dedicated team or hiring a custom software development company through more of an outsourcing model. Doing this research up front will help you understand how different companies position themselves and how their strengths might match up to what you’re looking for.
- Assess potential vendors’ credentials thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and case studies. Take the time to look at reviews and speak to past clients. This may be the most important tip! Don’t neglect comparing staff augmentation companies and assessing service quality. All of this work will be worth it in the long-run.
What steps can we take to improve the results of staff augmentation?
While staff augmentation can be used as a cost-savings measure, it doesn’t come without its risks. To maximize the benefits of staff augmentation while reducing any potential risks, we recommend you:
Identify your company’s skill gap
Every business has a skill gap. Before augmenting your IT or software development team, it’s important to understand exactly what your company’s skill gap looks like. This can be done through interviews, surveys, and observation.
Speak to your IT managers, look ahead to the company’s IT priorities and compare your team’s capabilities to those that will be needed over the next 3-9 months. Once you have an idea of the skills you lack, think about if they are short or long term gaps.
Sometimes team’s have a short-term skills gap needed for a particular software modernization or digital transformation effort. Other times teams may have long-term skill gaps on their core team that will prevent them from meeting their long-term business objectives. Staff augmentation can help you bridge this gap - whether short or long-term.
Take time to integrate remote developers
If you are working with remote developers, you will need to modify your management style and build a good relationship with every member of the team very intentionally. You need to constantly communicate to ensure both in-house teams and remote teams are in sync.
Anytime you are holding a Zoom meeting with your remote team, create some time for them to share about their hobbies, lifestyle and interests. This will enable you to figure out what everyone has in common. It will also foster healthy relationships among the team.
Ensure clear communication
Clear communication has the potential to improve your bottom line. Your team needs to understand the vision, mission, project requirements, and development process. It is important to enhance the communication process in the development cycle so everyone can buy into decisions and contribute effectively to the projects at hand.