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In the software development world, staff augmentation is a popular choice for companies that need to fill a specific skill gap in their team. It can be difficult to find the right developer for a project, and even more challenging to keep them on staff long-term. By using the staff augmentation model, businesses can get the help they need without taking on the risk of hiring a new employee. In this article, we will discuss how to get started with staff augmentation and some of the benefits that come with this approach.

What is staff augmentation?

Team extension, or staff augmentation, is the process of hiring an outside contractor to fill a software development need, either due to a temporary need or for a longer project. This can be done with individual developers or full teams of professionals. Companies use staff augmentation to quickly bring on expert talent that they otherwise would not have access to, create specialized teams for specific projects, and increase their overall agility.

Advantages of IT team extension

There are many advantages to using staff augmentation compared to traditional hiring methods. One benefit is the cost savings that staff augmentation provides. By using staff augmentation, businesses are able to quickly staff their team without taking on the risk of hiring a full-time employee. Additionally, staff augmentation enables businesses to be more agile and adaptable when it comes to changing project needs, as they can scale up or down depending on the situation.

Finally, staff augmentation can help businesses fill skill gaps that they would not be able to otherwise. By bringing in highly-skilled developers from outside the organization, businesses are able to access valuable resources, build up their knowledge base, and create highly specialized teams.

Getting started with IT team augmentation

The process of staff augmentation begins with a careful evaluation of the software project and the skill set required to complete it. It is important to consider both short-term and long-term needs, and staff accordingly. When looking for a software developer - or rather, when looking through the bios of a selection of fitting software developers provided by a company like DEVTALENTS - it is important to ascertain whether they possess all of the skills needed to complete the job. However, staff augmentation providers are capable of supporting clients with a number of specialized experts. Depending on the timeline and budget of the project, it may be more beneficial to dynamically adjust team composition, matching current needs.

Another important consideration is the type of experience the client is looking for in terms of duration and type of project. For example, DEVTALENTS is happy to provide experts with commercial experience in fields such as banking and fintech, ecommerce or machine learning and AI. Additionally, many providers assist their clients in identifying the skills and experience necessary for the project.

Staff augmentation services are provided by software development companies, staffing agencies, and technology partners. It is important to take the time to research and evaluate each staff augmentation provider before making a final decision. Credible companies provide quality staff augmentation services, which may save the client time and money, as no costly mistakes caused by inexperience will need to be addressed.

Staff augmentation step by step

  1. Once you have chosen a staff augmentation provider, the next step is to create an agreement that outlines the specific services and timeline required for the project. Make sure to include details such as deliverables, deadlines and other relevant information in the contract. 
  2. Set up clear communication channels between your staff augmentation team and the staff in your organization. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to project expectations and progress updates.
  3. Once the staff augmentation team is onboarded and up to speed with their tasks, it is important to stay involved throughout the project and provide feedback. Regular communication not only helps streamline development, but also provides staff augmentation teams with the necessary guidance and direction they need to complete their tasks.

Risks and common pitfalls of staff augmentation services

Though staff augmentation offers a great way to staff a software project in a fast and cost-effective manner, there are some risks associated with this approach. It is important to be aware of these before beginning the staff augmentation process.

One risk is that staff augmentation providers may not have enough resources available to provide deep technical expertise for every project. This can leave you without the resources and expertise needed to fully staff your project. This means that it is important to make sure the provider has access to a large talent pool.

Additionally, staff augmentation can also be more expensive than hiring a full-time employee in the long run - when the software developer will be needed for more than several months. The exact point at which staff augmentation stops being cost-effective depends on the specifics of the situation: the team member's seniority level, a specialization in a rare technology, etc. DEVTALENTS' experts are happy to go over project requirements with every client and advise on the best course of action.

Finally, it is important to understand that staff augmentation services may require specific contracts and agreements in order to ensure that both parties are protected. It is important to read these carefully before committing to staff augmentation services. On the flipside, providers like DEVTALENTS have access to top legal advice and are capable of adjusting to each client's specific needs, e.g. when constructing an NDA.

Use cases for IT staff augmentation

Staff augmentation can be used in a variety of software development scenarios. Often, staff augmentation is used to staff specialized projects that require niche technical skills and experience. This could include web development, mobile app development, or even AI and machine learning projects.

Another use case for staff augmentation is when businesses are looking to outsource entire sections of the software project process. This could include staff augmentation for UX design, coding and testing, user interface or database development. This way businesses can staff their entire project in an efficient and cost-effective manner, while allowing their in house team to focus on core processes.

Finally, staff augmentation is also a great option when businesses are short on time and need to staff up quickly. By bringing in software development experts with the right skills and experience, businesses can staff their project in a timely manner and have the team up and running within days. 

Taking the first steps towards team extension

Staff augmentation is a great option for software projects that need quick turn-around times and specialized technical skills. By understanding the risks associated with staff augmentation and taking the time to carefully evaluate team extension providers, businesses can staff up quickly and efficiently while keeping their costs down.

Olga Trąd

Marketing Manager

Fascinated by the spirit of innovation that permeates the IT industry, Olga has never abandoned her roots as an IT content marketing specialist. She draws on years of experience in the technology sector to shed light on interesting trends, solutions and practices.

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