Software Development Staff Augmentation
Build Your Team and Launch That New Project with Software Development Staff Augmentation
You never have just the right team to tackle that new, innovative software project, especially in today’s tight labor market. There are software engineers and developers ready to step in and help, but if you have a pile of resumes on your desk and an HR process to follow, you may be missing an important opportunity. Software development staff augmentation isn’t a replacement for full-time hiring, but it’s an excellent, often very cost-effective, way to access a global pool of talent and take advantage of expanding markets for what your company has to offer, at just the right time.
Keeping Quality in the Mix
As an IBM VP noted concerning software development, “software has emerged as a key differentiator in many products.” Customers, with other companies or individuals, have become acutely aware of the quality of software, both as a primary product and as a complement to a hardware product. Whether you’re hiring as quickly as you can or adding through software development staff augmentation with companies like Sonatafy, the important thing is to be hiring talent that’s at the level you need, and with the skills you require. Fortunately, that’s an advantage of reaching out beyond your local geographic area for team members, and bringing them in as remote developers: you have access to the best the world has to offer.
Global Opportunities, But a World of Time Differences as Well
If you’ve already worked with software development team augmentation using offshore talent, you may be saying, “been there done that” as you’ve seen the problems. Time zones can be a big factor, both for your company and the team members you’re adding. A significant concern about turning to international software developer talent that a Forbes contributor noted, “outsourced employees are pushed to work during the night or with a significant time lag between teams” in order to keep up. Working with widely dispersed teams can seem like a marathon, where someone is always making big adjustments in their schedule to stay connected. That doesn’t mean looking overseas is the wrong move, it just means you should look closer.
The Smart Companies Set Up A Remote Work Structure for Everyone
It’s much easier to bring in talent from nearby countries when your company is already evolving. The importance of a well-defined remote work environment including tools and habits has become critical, CIO magazine notes, “as companies continue to contend with the pandemic, the resulting rise of remote work, and the need to fill key technical roles at a distance.” In reflecting on the state of hiring in 2021, they’re noting that companies are turning from pandemic-reactive to seeing a new model of work and hiring that can benefit them.
In particular, while many workplaces evolve naturally using Slack and other tools to communicate remotely, an overall strategy is key. Many researchers have been exploring what works and what doesn’t, as Science Direct reports a sampling of results: “positive aspects of using collaboration tools in distributed teams were increased team awareness and informal communication” it’s almost a “if you build it, they will come” kind of effect, as a large percentage of workers are turning to remote work and tools that help them thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Software Development Staff Augmentation
What is a staff augmentation project?
Companies of all sizes find the need to add more team members or specialized workers to their software development projects. The means by which many project managers meet their goals is by adding temporary team members using staff software development staff augmentation strategies, especially those where external provider contracts to supply the efforts of workers meeting the company’s needs. This can be a project where software staff augmentation adds developers, testers, specialists in specific protocols or hardware interfaces, or other resources that fit the specific project’s needs allowing the manager to meet objectives and schedules without engaging in the full process of hiring full-time staff members internally.
What is the difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing?
Outsourcing is typically moving an entire process to an external provider, an outsourcing company that contracts to complete a project or provide a product with minimal direction. Staff augmentation keeps the project in-house but allows it to proceed with additional resources that are not immediately within the company, such as software development staff augmentation that adds developers who are familiar with certain database technology, hardware interface, or networking protocols. These skilled additions become part of the team, working under the internal direction on an internally-developed product or project.
Is staff augmentation consulting?
Software development staff augmentation can seem like consulting since the goal is frequently to add the efforts of workers who have expertise in specific areas, particularly those which the company does not currently have. A true consultant, however, is something different, providing advice and specialized experience as an outsider, usually on a short-term basis such as helping a software development team adapt their processes to an Agile project management style, but not actually contributing to the software development itself.
What are the benefits of staff augmentation?
Software development staff augmentation provides a flexible development resource that can contain specific skill sets, allowing a project manager to meet company goals and objectives without the delays and distractions of staffing and possibly de-staffing teams as the company adjusts its strategies. Additional benefits can include the fact that the staffing firm recruits and presents targeted resources rather than a large pile of resumes, and handles the employment of additional staff so the company usually contracts through purchasing for the work rather than through HR processes. Engaging international resources for software development staff augmentation can also provide cost savings as well.
How much does staff augmentation cost?
Software development staff augmentation is contracted on a time and materials basis, with labor hours varying according to expertise and market pricing, including international markets. The rate can be low, such as $18 per hour, or higher, up to several hundred dollars per hour, for specialists and temporary CTO/CIO roles.
What is the opposite of staff augmentation?
Software development staff augmentation provides a flexible resource as part of an internally managed project, even if the project’s goals and deliverables change during the process. The opposite is detached outsourced development, where the client contracts for a deliverable and has little involvement in or control over the project and its fixed outcome.
What is the difference between staff augmentation and managed services?
Staff augmentation for IT services might add installation and network technicians to expand an internal team’s capacity, or fill other IT roles while a company’s internal IT department has a need. IT managed services involves a contract with a provider to manage a company’s IT services, including planning for future needs and developing strategies for current operations, within the specifications of the contract’s requirements such as service levels, workday or 24/7 support, and disaster recovery coverage.
Is staff augmentation time and material?
Yes, software development staff augmentation is based on time and material or T&M billing, allowing the customer to manage the time spent by the staff augmentation resources directly.
What is the difference between managed services and outsourcing?
IT outsourcing is the acquisition of specific IT services, usually limited to certain types, from an external provider, while managed IT services contracts for the flexible management of a company’s IT needs as a package. A company might outsource the hardware maintenance of its server hardware, while arranging for managed services for its desktop infrastructure including support, software upgrades, and cybersecurity, for example.
How do I move from staff augmentation to managed services?
The transition from staff augmentation to managed services involves identifying the services provided by the internal and augmented staff team and managed by internal project managers, then arranging for a similar set of services to be offered by a managed services provider. A transition plan needs to be created and implemented, followed by ongoing supervision of the contracted services to ensure they’re meeting company needs and agreed upon quality levels.
What is a managed services model?
A managed services model is a strategy for meeting the company’s IT services needs through an external managed services company, as opposed to relying on an internal IT department. It typically duplicates the resources provided by internal IT, but in a more flexible way that uses economies of scale and flexible staffing, vendor relationships and specific expertise to give the client company cost savings and service advantages.
What is a outsourcing team?
An outsourced team can provide software development, software testing and other related services contracted to the client company. They can develop a mobile app, for example, or provide contracted website testing on an as-needed basis.
What is T&M in consulting?
T&M, or time and materials, is the basis for contracts with consultants, experts, and software staff augmentation providers among others. It provides for billing of an hourly rate, along with certain provisions for expenses. This provides great flexibility for managers who need to be able to manage augmented staff as full team members of their software development or software testing project.
What is outsourced project?
An outsourced project is one where the outcome is well defined, and an external provider contracted to provide it. For software development projects, that could be a new website or mobile app. The outsourcing company manages the project as it sees fit, so long as the product meets the contracted requirements.
What is dedicated team?
A dedicated software development team is an external resource provided as a unit to the client company, such as a web development team, on a long-term basis. The provider hires the team, often located in another country, and provides their services to the client for them to manage.
What is the opposite of direct hire?
A direct hire is a simple employee, recruited and employed by the company with the associated costs of recruiting, hiring, retention, and possibly the ending of employment at some point. On the opposite side of the employment spectrum are temporary workers, whose labor can be provided on a short or medium term basis, under a general contract for services with the provider company that doesn’t require a specific worker, just a role to be filled.
What are the risks of outsourcing?
The basic concerns when outsourcing an IT project include the skills and experience of the IT workers on the project, the IT project manager’s experience, the level of quality of the services provided, the level of security provided, adherence to target dates, and flexibility. For international outsourcing, risks also include communication skills, cultural differences, legal issues (for example, GDPR in Europe), and local instability.
What are the types of managed services?
- Networks and Infrastructure management
- Security strategy definition and implementation
- Desktop support services, especially for remote users
- Print and storage services maintaining print spoolers and storage backups
- Cloud service management and strategy definition
- A common SaaS strategy to avoid fragmented access by individual departments
- Wireless and mobile (BYOD) strategy, security, and support
- Communication tools and support
- Analytics to support an internal IT road map, website support, and data science applications
- What is the difference between managed services and professional services?
Managed services typically provide ongoing IT services that meet the daily IT needs of a company as well as recurring needs like onboarding employees and decommissioning inactive users, performing routine software upgrades and troubleshooting as needed. Professional services tend to be on an as-needed basis, providing assistance with major purchase decisions, significant troubleshooting issues, cloud migration, and new hardware and software installation and deployment.
Software Development Staff Augmentation is a Tool to Keep Your Team on Target
Strategically adding team members using existing remote team infrastructure can be an expedited way to add just the right talent to your software development project. By focusing on staying connected and working with nearshore resources not far away geographically, even dynamic Agile projects can thrive. Contact Sonatafy for the resources you need, and a simple way to connect with them.