5 reasons why team augmentation could work for you
Most successful companies have encountered the problem. You have pitched for an exciting and lucrative project, but you recognize that your team’s numbers and skillset would not actually be enough to cover everything that is needed. Now, there are many possible solutions to this problem.
However, there are two solutions that offer the most promising prospects: One is to completely outsource the project to another company and the other is team augmentation. We are here to tell you why the latter may be the way to go.
But first, what is team augmentation?
The fancy term describes a rather simple practice: adding people with much-needed skills to your team to work on a project, while they remain employed with the company that offers the augmentation service.
This approach carries some distinct advantages, especially when compared to outsourcing – letting another company take over an entire project. Here are the five most important ones:
You stay in control of who works on the project. Maybe the content or technologies are sensitive; maybe you just want to make sure that everyone does their best; or maybe you’ve had previous bad experiences with outsourcing companies. Whatever the reason, when you use team augmentation, you stay in full control.
Your employees’ skills don’t go to waste. If you outsource a project, you will not benefit at all from all the useful skills you paid for your team to acquire in extensive training sessions. Instead, your own developers will be idle while they wait for new work. Not only does that waste resources, it also causes unnecessary costs.
Your employees will be happier. Outsourcing projects can leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of some employees. They may fear that this step signals a cutback of personnel in favor of more outsourcing in the future. Going the route of team augmentation instead gives the signal that you have trust in their capabilities, you just have to add some numbers when the going gets tough. In fact, this suggests that the company is doing well and may actually hire more people in the future.
Your training costs will be reduced. Since you can add people with the necessary skills on relatively short notice, the impetus isn’t on your company to train them up. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still good practice to keep your employees’ skills up to date, but staff augmentation reduces the urgency of the matter.
Your financial and legal burdens will be reduced. As the customer in a team augmentation project, you avoid the many costs and liabilities that come with adding new employees to your company. Insurance and similar obligations remain with the service provider, the augmenting staff’s actual employer.
Of course, there are some caveats. Just like with any other business approach, you may want to reassess whether team augmentation is the right choice for the project at hand.
Generally speaking, team augmentation becomes a less suitable solution the larger a project is. If you see the need to add augmentation staff in numbers equal to your core team just to deal with one project, you may have to investigate the outsourcing option.
The main reason for this is that the added staff may not need to be trained in the underlying technology of the task they are meant to accomplish, but they still need to learn the proverbial ropes in your company’s work environment. As we all know, few companies work in exactly the same way and use the exact same tools. So keep in mind that even experts may need some time and help to get going.
In addition, team augmentation will not actually help you in dealing with problems in internal processes. In fact, these may even be exacerbated by the addition of staff used to other environments. So streamlining processes is necessary to ensure a smooth team augmentation process.
If you keep these things in mind and ensure efficiency, the combination of your company’s talent and the specialized augmentation staff will be able to work together like a well-oiled machine, making that big project look much more manageable.