What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff augmentation is the practice of hiring outside professionals to work on specific projects. Qualified professionals from a trusted staffing firm join the internal team to bring in additional expertise.
Engineering Staff Augmentation, in particular, refers to the process where software development teams bring in experienced technical personnel on an as-needed basis to enhance, extend or complement their existing workforce.
This approach can lower project expenses and introduce niche expertise to the team. It's important to note that staff augmentation differs from outsourcing. In outsourcing, the entire project or a part of it is given to external developers, whereas in staff augmentation, technical professionals from the staffing firm become integrated into the in-house team.
How Does Staff Augmentation Benefit Companies?
Staff augmentation enables companies to expand their workforce by incorporating skilled professionals into their current staff. This approach eliminates the hassle of traditional hiring processes, such as shortlisting resumes or negotiating salaries, and reduces the risks and costs associated with hiring new employees. Additionally, companies save on infrastructure expenses, such as electricity, office equipment, and internet costs. The integration of the augmentation professionals into the client's existing structure makes it easier for managers to oversee their work and manage their deliverables.
How Does Staff Augmentation Work?
The process of staff augmentation involves several steps, including:
1. Identifying the business need
The company first identifies the specific problem or business use case that requires additional help. They may also identify a use case that requires external expertise.
2. Searching for a staffing partner
After establishing the requirements, the company then searches for a staff augmentation partner with the required expertise to handle the project. This step includes setting up meetings with different staffing partners.
After shortlisting staffing vendors, technical interviews are conducted to assess the expertise and domain knowledge of the professionals. This step may also include relevant skill assessments and background verification of the candidates.
4. Project onboarding
After selecting the candidates, companies conduct onboarding and on-the-job training sessions for them. The selected individuals are also introduced to the project manager and the rest of the team.
Once the staffed developers have been added to the original team, they are assigned individual tasks and monitored by the project manager who assesses their performance.
When to Use a Staff Augmentation Service?
Businesses use staff augmentation for different use cases , such as completing short-term projects or a specific part of a project. It can also be used to manage the client's workload while the company hires a full-time employee. Staff augmentation is also an effective risk management solution, as it allows businesses to scale the development team without a long-term commitment. Organizations can also use it for managing seasonal workloads or when they are facing tight deadlines.
What are the Challenges of Staff Augmentation?
Even though staff augmentation is an amazing way to build a product, it has a few challenges too. Let's have a look at the few issues companies may face while augmenting their staff.
1. Time zone alignment
If the staffed Engineers are in a different geographical location from the client, managing their schedules can be difficult due to time zone differences.
Since the project manager approves the staffing vendor, the accountability for project completion also lies with them. Hence, a trustworthy vendor is necessary.
Sometimes, project managers may face communication issues while working with remote staffing partners, which can affect the team dynamic and delay project deadlines.
What is the Difference Between Staff Augmentation vs. Consulting?
Staff augmentation and consulting are two strategies that businesses use to bring technical expertise to their team. However, they are very different from each other.
As discussed above, staff augmentation is the process of hiring experienced individuals from outside your company to work on specific projects. These professionals become a part of the client's team and are managed by the client's management.
Consulting is the process of hiring external experts for advice to solve a specific business problem. Consultants are external mentors that guide the client with specialized knowledge and expertise and are not part of the client's hierarchy. Their communication is also limited to the necessary stakeholders.
Staff augmentation is used when a company needs outside help to complete a project using existing protocols, while consulting is used when the organization needs technical expertise to tackle a challenging business problem from scratch.
Staff Augmentation with Jalasoft
Finding the right Partner is difficult. There are very few staffing partners in the market who have the right experience and domain knowledge to augment software development projects.
Jalasoft is a nearshore staff augmentation partner that has been helping businesses augment our software development teams since 2001. We have 20+ years of experience in staff augmentation engineering services and have assisted businesses worldwide by augmenting teams with top professionals.
Jalasoft looks for long-term partnerships based on trust and results, offering services at a lower cost. Our engineers are adaptable and bring the required experience to the table. Besides that, Jalasoft engineers also offer time-zone alignment.
Our professionals employ robust agile-first methodologies and iterative development to deliver projects on time and with exceptional quality. To learn more about our staff augmentation services, visit this link .