To meet the rising demands in the global marketplace, a lot of businesses have adopted staff augmentation for their software development needs and general IT needs.
This is particularly true during the pandemic period and as we emerge from the pandemic, as companies attempt to increase their productivity.
Our place of work has never been more flexible than ever before, as many workers have begun to do their jobs outside of the office and in their homes, cafes, and bars. According to one study, 83% of business leaders said that the shift to remote work had been a success.
Extracted from our experience over the last two years, the remote work model has been firmly established, which has also accelerated the success of staff augmentation.
The advantages of staff augmentation are by now quite well known. Organizations are able to hire highly skilled talent for short-term projects or tasks through a scalable model.
This flexibility translates into savings in areas such as operations costs while at the same time driving up efficiency, allowing the organization to remain competitive in whatever industry they’re in.
Yet although the advantages of staff augmentation are clear, there are a few challenges that you are confronted with. So let’s take a look at a handful of them now.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of staff augmentation, scalability facilitates the rapid placement of necessary resources in order to drive time-sensitive projects.
When an organization has multiple ongoing projects, this becomes particularly acute. Likewise, the same goes for when companies are winding down a project with staff augmentation before moving onto new projects.
The solution for this is a qualified staff aug vendor that can develop timetables and expectations with you before any work has started. From your side, you can make them transparent in a number of areas, including:
- Finding out their attrition rate (with the industry average around 10-15%.)
- Find out the size and depth of their workforce
- Check out the vendor’s brand recognition and ask for some client work examples
- Clearly define any expected scale-up and scale-down periods with the vendor
At the absolute core of business is clear and effective communication. So for any company that is considering staff augmentation from nearshore or offshore, pay particular attention to a few key indicators.
These include the time zone, any language barriers, and cultural differences, which all play a part in the quality of communication, which in turn translated into a certain level of productivity.
When messages are unclear, or when two teams are speaking on different levels, staff augmentation can lead to a bundle of unwanted problems, principally in the loss of productivity, drops in revenue, and loss of time.
To enhance communication, there are many tools in which you can foster closer and constant communication, from Slack and Zoom to Teams and GitHub.
The legal underpinnings of a business partnership are in the contract. And those that neglect the specifics are poorly constructed and are likely to end up in farce or tragedy. Don’t underestimate the importance of each sentence of a contract.
When contracts are vague, there can be ballooning expenses, a loss of quality control, and risks to sensitive information. Put things in place to mitigate these risks.
A contract with a staff augmentation that is win-win is likely to include:
- Data protection
- Terms for invoicing
- Scheduling scale up and scale down periods
- Non-compliance stipulations
- International governing laws for contracts with foreign vendors
- Liability clauses and warranty for service quality
A particularly important aspect of staff augmentation for software development is the regular transfer of knowledge – which could slip through the cracks if not handled properly.
The potential of waste or loss depends on the significance of the project or the length of the project. As part of staff augmentation partnership, ensure that there is a clear understanding of the information that is going to be collected and how that is going to be held and shared.
On the vendor’s side, they need to be aware of certain issues, while for the company, they need to select a vendor with a history of well-established best practices.
These issues for the vendors to be aware of include the specific knowledge items for transfer, the people who are responsible for the transfer, the creation of measurements to assess the quality of transfers, and the setting of meetings with the relevant stakeholders to assess the information.