Best Practices

What is Staff Augmentation and When It Works Best?

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You can motivate your team to be more productive with salary raises, extra weekends, team buildings, and other activities. However, there are cases when even these instruments won’t work. For example, when you have a mature and functioning business and want to build a side project, your in-house team won’t handle such an extra workload. In such cases, IT staff augmentation can be the right choice for you.  

As a Business Development Manager, I consult many of my clients on which outsource model to choose. What I notice from my practice is that many co-founders do not understand which model suits best for their business situation, and fail to make the right choice. In this article, I want to talk about the option of staff augmentation and tell when it works best. 

So let’s dive right in! 

What Does Staff Augmentation Mean?

So what’s the meaning of staff augmentation? I think everyone somehow understands this notion. But let us break it down into details. Staff augmentation – is a flexible outsourcing strategy of hiring skilled professionals from an external provider to increase the team's productivity. Augmentation services are usually done on a contractual basis and for a short period of time. 

The augmented team is usually collected depending on the project requirements and the team’s skillset. The outsourcing team can also carry out the management and coordination so that you can save your time for other business issues.  

The main purpose of staff augmentation is to quickly find a team that can compensate for the lack of skills and knowledge. Technically, staff augmentation feels like helping your team without hiring new employees. By augmenting your team, you do not have to take on the HR and administrative employment issues. Instead, the outsourcing partner that provides the augmented team takes care of all these issues. 

Staff augmentation can be complete or partial. For example, you can hire only a group of professionals to compensate for the lack of skills. In other scenarios, an augmented team can entirely replace the existing staff. 

staff augmentation

Pros of Staff Augmentation

When talking about staff augmentation, there are a number of ways it can help your business strive. 

High level of productivity

The staff augmentation model increases your team's productivity, as the developers you hire focus entirely on your project. They work as a dedicated team, involved in your project's details and treating it as their own one. 

IP Rights Security

As the augmented team starts to work on your project, you have all the rights over the development of your project. Samely, your augmented team members adhere to your company's policy within the contract terms. 

No extra expenses

You do not have to pay additional costs for office rent, social benefits, equipment purchase, etc. Thus, with much smaller expenses, you can hire more specialists that would match your requirements. 

pros of staff augmentation

Pitfalls of Staff Augmentation

Team augmentation is an effective way to offload your team or launch a side project additionally to your mature business. Yet, like every existing model, staff augmentation has its nuances. So let’s take a closer look at them. 

Challenging onboarding

If you need a quick and quality result that matches your standards, you need professionals who will be involved in the company’s processes, mission, and vision. Unfortunately, when the purpose is to build an MVP, lengthy onboarding won’t be possible, leading to emotional burn-out of your augmented team. 

Lack of motivation

Working on an augmented team may be challenging for members to find motivation. Employed members can count on specific bonuses from their company – salary raises, social benefits, or bonus payment. In this sense, the augmented team can feel somewhat left out. 

However, these risks are quite manageable if you set up the processes with your remote team. Read about how to do it in our article Step-By-Step Guide: How To Build A Successful Remote Software Development Team?

pitfalls of staff augmentation

When Staff Augmentation is Right for You?

Staff augmentation is a great instrument to increase your productivity. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Team augmentation is helpful for certain situations only. Here are some of them: 

when to choose staff augmentation

Launching a side project

Let’s suppose you already have a team on your project in your local office. You have a mature business with an extensive team focused on your project. Suddenly, an idea comes to your mind, and you decide to launch a side project. However, you realize there is a shortage of resources in your talent market.

In such a case, staff augmentation can be an effective instrument to attract new talents, with particular knowledge not available in your country, to your team, by looking for them on the external market. 

Outsource model does not fit

The outsourcing model implies that you have a remote team that performs specific tasks autonomously. This remote team is entirely independent, working as an isolated company. In its turn, the team augmentation model prescribes that your remote team feels like a part of your in-house team, with whom you can communicate directly and daily. If such close collaboration is what you are looking for, staff augmentation is for you. 

Short-term projects

Staff augmentation better suits short-term projects when you need to complete a certain amount of work within tight deadlines, start several additional projects, and your local team is unavailable for this part of work. 

Need to launch quickly

For effective business strategy, certain businesses choose team augmentation when they want to cut the time-to-market period, develop a viable product in tight deadlines (Minimum viable product), launch a startup, and find a user-oriented solution. 

staff augmentation

How Does Staff Augmentation Work?

Staff augmentation is a fast and flexible process. It takes about 5 steps to outsource an augmented team: 

Gathering project requirements

Before forming a team, the outsource partner gathers the project requirements and learns which skills the client needs for their project. At Uptech, we communicate closely with the client during pre-sale calls and the development process. Close partnership with clients ensures that the result will be satisfactory. 

Selecting the team

Once we know what we need, we can go on to find professionals for your augmented team. Depending on the project requirements, the outsourcing company will select professionals with the necessary experience, skills, and technical knowledge. This process can take 1 - 3 weeks. 

Augmented Team Onboarding

This is a critical stage when you onboard your team to start the work on the project. The onboarding period involves appointing the project managers setting up the communication channels and management tools. 

find staff augmentation

Conclusion

Staff augmentation is an excellent solution if you want to offload your in-house team or build a side project. Flexibility, the economy of costs, and close communication with the team are just a few advantages that team augmentation can offer. 

Contact me, and I will consult you on the benefits of staff augmentation for you exactly. Also, check our previous projects here.

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