The Why, When and How of Staff Augmentation vs Managed Software Project

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Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2985525">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2985525">Pixabay</a>

The attempt to build an in-house software development team is one decision entrepreneurs have to consider at one point or another but the downsides involved in energy, money and time wasted in trying to hiring tech talent can be rather invested in finishing business goals and birthing new ideas and launching more projects.

The IT industry has grown over the past years so it also has the dynamics surrounding the hire of models.

One of these models that combines both internal recruitment and outsourcing benefits to help fill vacancies and skills gaps immediately is Staff Augmentation.

Staff Augmentation

Wikipedia defined staff augmentation as an outsourcing strategy used to staff a project and respond to business objectives and which entails the location of dedicated technical resources, usually offshore, hired as overseas development extensions of in-house application development teams on fixed or flexible terms or conditions.

Staff Augmentation involves the continuous monitoring of the organization’s internal team and recognizing when to fill in the skills gap in the course of a project. Upon identification of a missing skill, individuals or teams are hired to fill the vacancy and complete certain technical tasks.

Staff Augmentation has increasingly gained a rise in acceptance now thanks to specifics in IT infrastructure such as brain drain, fierce competition and low access to domestic expertise.

Extreme developer rates are also an issue that requires attention and the need to provide a quick solution to HR issues is made possible by this model. The model could be short or long-termed.

Short Term Staff Augmentation is used when a company staff or specialist is on a break, either a vacation, sabbatical or sick leave while long term Staff Augmentation is applicable for long term complex projects that require a specialist you lack.

Benefits of the Model

Flexibility

Staff Augmentation allows flexible hiring of staff/specialist at necessary periods without consuming significant time and energy.

Payroll

Additional staff/specialists can be hired in various places where the prices of hiring one could be much lower than in the company’s home base. The difference in the rates helps to reduce the cost of software development.

Skills Gap

The model allows the possibility of hiring a programmer from outside the company’s base. Countries that possess a large amount of unengaged yet available software developers and tech specialists are major outsourcing destinations.  It also permits for these skills to be hired not just from anywhere on the world but it achieves this in a short time preventing the company from suffering major losses.

How the Model Works?

The process of recruitment based on this model is quite simple and requires three main steps which are:

  1. Identification of Skills Gap

This is the stage at which the company identifies the skills it lacking and makes use of its internal HR or uses the service of an agent to get a qualified specialist to fill these gaps.

  1. Incorporating Hired Employees

The hired specialist can now undergo an adaptation process where they are introduced to their duties, workplace and other team members as well as the project on the ground.

  1. Developing Augmented Staff

This stage entails the ongoing training and development of the expanded team to ensure that beneficial assets of the team are well preserved and to guarantee an outstanding project delivery.

Staff Augmentation in Comparison to Managed Project Services

When the client hires an outsourced team alongside a project manager to handle the entirety of the project and its delivery. This is a “Managed Project”.

In situations where the team is outsourced and managed by an in-house project manager that controls the project and its delivery.  The model is referred to as Staff Augmentation.

Advantages of a Managed Model

  1. Availability of the Project Manager

The client gets a devoted project manager and a full team that carried out all the work for you while you channel your time and energy into other projects and responsibilities with the full assurance of on-time project delivery.

While a manager model seems like the best solution to solving HR problems, it also has its own risks which includes

Lack of Control:

Lack of transparency and control over the project can be a major issue as most of the interim decisions are made by the outsourcing provider which may leave you to quit behind on your project.