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5 minutes read

What is Staff Augmentation: Outsource Staffing Explained

By Tony Meazell
By Tony Meazell
5 minutes read

Deciding if you need staff augmentation services is one particular situation that many full time IT project managers will surely have experienced. No matter whether they are working on an app or some other type of software, the situation is usually the same. They start a project with some clear business objectives, timeframe and number of team members. However, because things don’t always go as we want them to, something happens and the need to adapt arises. What ends up happening is that deadlines need to be rescheduled and a development team requires more people than what was initially expected. 

For those situations, luckily, software development IT Staff Augmentation services exist. This is a time and resource-saving practice that many software development teams are increasingly adopting. However, it isn’t just about choosing the right people to bring into your project. This needs to be done properly, and most importantly, it needs to be done in a flexible way

We know that sometimes it is hard to figure out the right way to hire additional staff without compromising a project’s operational and capital expense plus. The same goes for its timeline. To avoid headaches, in this post we discuss what IT Staff Augmentation is, what its benefits and risks are, and some suggestions on how to make the best out of it. 

What is IT Staff Augmentation

It happens often that, at some point in an IT project, the existing staff needs additional skills, which leads to outsourcing services being needed. This may occur because something in the project changes or because a delay has occurred and there is a need to push things through at a faster pace. Whatever the case is, hiring additional team members from third parties is an often sought out solution. 

Staff Augmentation is the use of an outsourcing company to increase the number of team members working on your project. Additional IT professionals, like developers or designers, are selected based on various criteria: the required skills, experience, and work hours needed. The conditions on which additional staff is hired varies from company to company. One critical thing that the hiring part needs to address is the terms of confidentiality because sensitive information can be at stake. Even more important is flexibility regarding how you hire additional team members. 

The practices of project outsourcing and augmenting your staff are more common than most people think, and there’s nothing wrong with the staff augmentation model. In practice, many projects are faced with delays and additional requirements. As a matter of fact, failing to address the changing needs of a project can doom it. It can occur that a software development project manager fails to address the need for additional staff on time, and this ends up delaying deadlines and increasing costs. Knowledgeable project managers know that finding the additional staff they need in a timely manner is necessary. 

Staff Augmentation Benefits

There are many benefits of IT project outsourcing strategies like staff augmentation. These are some of them: 

  • Bringing additional team members to a project can accelerate the work pace. This translates into shorter and cost affective development times 
  • Team dynamics often bypass important aspects due to the effect of routine. Outsiders can share valuable insights that would have otherwise been overlooked. 
  • Additional skills can be added to an in-house team temporarily without having to increase the fixed staff. 
  • When done correctly, temporary team members can teach new skills to your existing team. Temporary members can also share valuable work experience. 
  • Sometimes by hiring additional staff you can have access to expensive technological resources that are not worth buying for a specific task. 

However, hiring additional staff can be problematic if you don’t watch out for the right things.

Staff Augmentation Risks

As good as these benefits sound, there are also some risks involved in the process of augmenting your staff. 

  • Hiring the wrong it professionals or considering the incorrect skills may result in delayed goals and expensive hires. To avoid this, it is best to have a clear idea of the project’s detailed staffing requirements. 
  • Some companies will lend individuals with inadequate qualifications for the job. It is important to check each individual’s background experience, skills, and the time working with the company. 
  • Project outsourcing is normally done in full-time equivalents. That is, there is no flexibility in terms of adapting to your actual required work hours.
  • Communication can sometimes be an issue when goals are not set properly. This can end up affecting your business objectives.  

Flexible Staff Augmentation Services

To avoid these problems and reap the benefits of staff augmentation, the best thing you can do is hire additional team members from a qualified development partner. Don’t just look for the lowest fee. Make sure that you really get what you are looking for, otherwise, you may risk your entire project. As I’ve emphasized, a key aspect you need to consider is flexibility. This should be a key decision aspect at the moment of deciding for the right staff augmentation service provider. 

The right staff provider will make sure you:

  • Discover the real amount of work hours and the skills your project needs. 
  • Hire project managers and other team members with the right qualifications and experience to match your business IT needs. 
  • Achieve your goals in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Finding the right IT staff augmentation service provider does not have to be a burden. Above all, make sure your concerns are heard and that your actual needs are met. 

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