Staff augmentation can be a potent tool in a company's arsenal if it is comprehended and implemented correctly. In this article, we will explore the differences between staff augmentation and project outsourcing and discuss what to keep in mind while selecting between them.
So, let's dive in.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation, also known as team augmentation or staff/team enhancement, is an outsourcing method that enables businesses to address skill shortages in their workforce.
This approach involves adding individuals with specialized knowledge to in-house teams to increase their capacity during times of high workload or to cover specific skills required for a fixed period. In other words, you are essentially hiring specialists "as a service" to supplement your existing workforce.
As a result, staff augmentation projects can be either short-term or long-term collaborations, depending on the partner you choose to work with. They may also be flexible in terms of project duration and resource re-allocation if necessary.
At We As Web, we have designed our Team Augmentation offering as a service that prioritizes flexibility. Whether you require a single developer or an entire team, we collaborate with each client to accommodate their specific needs.
If you need your developers to work with you in your office during critical phases of the project's life-cycle, we are happy to comply!
What is Project Outsourcing?
Project outsourcing involves engaging a business to execute your project using their resources. Instead of hiring your own staff to complete the project, you are essentially paying an entire team to do it for you.
It is worth noting that multiple third parties can be engaged to foster the core expertise of each partner. Allowing you to create a cross-functional team of experts by using essential skills from multiple partners or by hiring a larger development agency that can cover all necessary roles, from business analysts and project managers to developers, engineers, testers, or designers.
Project outsourcing allows you to leverage the knowledge of remote experts to bring your project to life. In contrast to staff augmentation, where remote developers are brought in to provide a helping hand, in project outsourcing, the tech partner plays a leading role in designing and implementing your project's roadmap.
Ultimately, staff augmentation and project outsourcing enable you to access all the relevant resources that can help you achieve your business goals.
Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation
The benefits of staff augmentation are many, but they are only truly advantageous if the model aligns with your strategic business needs. One reason these services are gaining popularity is due to the direct access they provide to developers.
By bringing in remote staff members, they become an integral part of your team, enabling direct lines of communication. In addition, staff augmentation can strategically shift maintenance and support work from in-house teams, freeing them to focus on delivering new product features. Furthermore, if you are looking to expand into a new market, staff augmentation can act as a "soft-landing" and bridge the gap until needed teams are hired.
While hiring an individual can be cost-effective, if your projects take longer than usual, it can become expensive. The cost of augmented staff may be perceived as higher per hour than that of a standard employee, but the model passes on the cost of employee retention (such as salary increases, bonuses, company benefits), salary and taxes, or office space to the partner company.
Before making a choice, consider ramp-up periods and security risks. If the project involves access to important IP information, security risks need to be taken into account. Also, be aware of turnover risks in long-term staff augmentation projects.
One way to mitigate this risk is to work with an agency that can easily bring in a new person from their larger pool of employees, with in-house knowledge of the specific project. Working with freelancers, on the other hand, can reset the process back to square one.
If you're considering collaborating with a third-party, it's essential to choose the right model that aligns with your business strategy. While such services can offer agility and speed to any company, they can also backfire if not understood correctly.
With the increasing trend towards flexibility and remote work, leveraging staff augmentation services has become imperative.