What is IT Staff Augmentation and How to Use This Model

May 10, 2022

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Reasons to outsource in-house software development to third-party providers never change. According to recent Deloitte insights, outsourcers, in the first place, seek cost optimization (70%), flexibility (40%), and speed to market (20%).

They usually choose between several outsourcing models like staff augmentation, managed services, or a dedicated team to reap these benefits. Each of these approaches has its pros and cons, but here, we’ll focus on staff augmentation.

Keep reading to learn more about staff augmentation and when to use it.

Why Extend Your Team in 2022?

Imagine you have launched a project with strict deadlines and planned to rely on your internal human resources, but something has gone wrong. Several software engineers have left for another company, the scope of work has unexpectedly increased, or you have decided to modify the tech stack. As a result, the SDLC has been disrupted, and now you need to find new specialists to keep going quickly. Otherwise, you won’t release the product in time and will face financial and reputational losses.

Under these circumstances, staff extension is a more practical option than standard recruitment in the local market. The cooperation with a third-party company allows you to engage the necessary professionals in 2-3 weeks compared to the months you would spend to find them on your own.

Given the current tech market competition that will only grow, the agility ensured by alternative team collaboration models is essential.

Read Guide on How to Hire Developers for Startups

What is the Staff Augmentation Model?

IT staff augmentation is an outsourcing model which implies that external tech specialists cover the necessary positions in your in-house team. They can join you temporarily to complete several tasks or work on a long-term basis.

Staff augmentation happens through third-party outsourcing tech companies that have a pool of professional developers open to work. Once you contact them and explain your human resources needs, they offer you candidates with the relevant experience and skills. You will need to interview the potential team members to validate their expertise and make sure they fit your team.

When staff augmentation starts, the hired employees become a full-fledged part of your team with several nuances. First, they usually work remotely. Second, you don’t have to arrange HR processes and payroll management for them. The hired outsourcing company does all the chores for you.

Benefits of Staff Augmentation

When switching to a new working model, companies always do it for a reason. If you hesitate about staff augmentation, the following advantages can convince you to outsource:

  • Cost-efficiency. Staff augmentation allows you to hire software engineers remotely to get lower hourly rates than in your local market. Besides, you don’t have to spend on recruitment, HR, office rent, and many other administrative operations.
  • Increased productivity. By involving third-party specialists for specific tasks, you boost your team’s overall productivity. You can cover a larger scope of work within the same time and optimize software development processes.
  • Higher flexibility. Staff augmentation allows you to invite new team members both short- and long-term. You don’t have to worry about firing them when their help is no longer needed because of project scope changes – the relationships are transparent from the start.

Overall, staff augmentation is a perfect fit for companies that need to find software engineers within the shortest time and have a gap in their current working processes.

Leobit finds a tailored cooperation approach for every customer and personalize services based on your needs.

Staff Augmentation Risks

Even though the benefits of staff augmentation outweigh the flaws, the collaboration model still has its weaknesses. Before outsourcing, you should know that the following issues may impact the work:

  • Complicated management. Even though an outsourcing company will help you coordinate the work, managing remote specialists takes extra effort. Especially at the beginning of the cooperation when your internal and external team members have never worked together.
  • Communication issues. The location of remote software engineers matters. When working hours overlap and there are minimum cultural differences, you won’t have problems with communication. If the cultural and time gap is too big, it may create obstacles to understanding each other.
  • Privacy risks. Be sure all remote team members sign an NDA obliging them to keep all confidential information secret.

Staff Augmentation vs. Dedicated Team vs. Freelancers

Looking for external specialists for your project, you will probably choose between staff augmentation, a dedicated team, and freelancers. Let’s briefly review in what cases which approach to choose.

Staff Augmentation Dedicated Team Freelancers
How it looks A remote specialist(s) joins your existing team to complete a particular task or a part of the work A remote team completes a project for you Remote specialist works on an hourly or scope-related basis to complete outsourced tasks
Management     You manage the engaged software engineers You control the development process while a third party PM manages the team You manage the freelancers and need to synchronize their work with an internal team additionally
Salary You approve and review the salary Third-party company decides on the remuneration while you pay the total charge You agree on the salary at the beginning of the cooperation
Office facilities Third-party company Third-party company Freelancer’s choice you have no impact on

How to Find a Software Development Provider for Outstaffing

Like with other outsourcing models, the success of staff augmentation depends on who you partner with. After all, the software development provider will be responsible for a large share of your work.

Hence, you need to find someone who can ensure the highest quality and smooth software development process. We recommend following these steps:
       1. Know your needs. Understand what competencies your current team lacks and what tech specialists can supplement them. It will allow you to narrow down the search and focus on companies with relevant tech skills.
       2. Find and analyze several companies with staff augmentation services. Browse the web to find several suitable options. View their case studies and read reliable reviews to check how they work.
       3. Contact the team to discuss the potential contract. Choose the outsourcing agency and contact them to explain what you need. A good provider will carefully study your requirements before offering anything.
       4. Interview the candidates to make the final decision. Talk with the people who are about to join your team. You should check their hard and soft skills to ensure they will get on well with your in-house employees.
Besides, you need to prepare your internal team for the upcoming work with their remote mates. It’s a necessary step to get off on the right foot.

Why Leobit for Staff Augmentation

Leobit is a full-cycle web and mobile application development provider supporting multiple collaboration models to serve customers worldwide. We can assemble a dedicated team for large projects or outstaff our software engineers to work as a part of your team.

Our software development company unites over 160+ strong software engineers, architects, testers, and UI/UX designers available for team extension. They are proficient in leading technologies and domains to jump on practically every project.

Final Thoughts

Staff augmentation is one of the collaboration models that can help tech companies that lack internal resources to complete a project. It’s an excellent option for businesses that have an engineering team but need to engage more tech specialists for any reason quickly.

If you think about outsourcing tech tasks or an entire project, Leobit can assist you. We find a tailored cooperation approach for every customer and personalize services based on your needs. Contact us to discuss your project now.

Tetiana Paratsii
Tetiana Paratsii
Marketing Analyst at Leobit
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