Staff augmentation is something that is growing in popularity for businesses and freelancers. The reason why is that it is an effective solution for getting the work done without spending much.
Freelancers, on the other hand, can easily make bank on being a part of an augmented staff for a business. They do not have to commute to work which easily increases their savings both in money and in time. It is an effective way of having a better work and life balance.
While it is undeniably growing in popularity, staff augmentation is a relatively new term for everyone. It only became more viable and feasible for businesses and freelancers because of the advancements in technology. But what is staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation simply refers to augmenting or boosting an already existing staff with an external worker or employee. They can be added through the office space which means that they will be hired physically or they could work remotely, which is the preferred setup for both ends.
Why do businesses augment their staff? There are some situations wherein the existing staff members might not actually have all the tools and the skill sets needed to finish a project. For instance, a web developer that is knowledgeable in React JS might be needed in order to make a website for an internal project. Not all web development teams know every single framework or language. The need for staff augmentation is also seen in projects that require a lot of manhours and specialty skills. It is usually also needed in companies that are scaling up or are taking up larger projects that may be too big for their current teams.
Staff Augmentation Benefits
There are a lot of benefits that can stem from using augmented staff for businesses. Most of them are for saving time and money.
Relatively More Affordable
Outsourcing the work is relatively cheaper than having to hire a full-time employee. This is in terms of the actual cost in cash for the compensation of the employee and in the time plus resources for searching for the perfect candidate. Sending out job posts and interviewing candidates can cost more money for the company and time for human resources. Some companies even use headhunters for the cause.
Since staff augmentation involves the hiring of people who specialize in a certain field or industry, the augmented staff would be considered more effective. One of the main reasons for augmented staff is to get people who know specific things about the technology or the project process in order for the client to be able to complete the said project. Projects will be handled more efficiently and effectively since it will be executed by a team with the appropriate skill sets and tools.
Augmented staff usually work faster on the projects since they have the proper tools and specializations. Teams who do not have specialized people or who lack manpower will usually work slower since they have to figure out the tech stack or they have to do more load for each individual person. More people thanks to staff augmentation will help move the project along faster since there will be more team members to pick up the slack and backlogs.
Staff augmentation is pretty much straightforward. Clients can get augmented staff to get their projects done more efficiently in a more affordable way. With that said, there are a few best practices to maximize the potential of staff augmentation.
Planning before getting an augmented staff is crucial. Clients need to know what they need and how much augmented staff they will need to get. Some projects may need more than a few especially if the client does not have any specialized team members at all or if their current composition is not at all suited for the project that they are taking on. Strategizing should also be a part of the planning phase.
Clients and project managers can choose which models of software development they can rely on. For instance, they can decide to use the Waterfall model. Deliverables can also be planned at this stage so that it will not be difficult to delegate tasks during the production stage of the project.
Progress and success should be measured accordingly. Clients that want to know how the project is doing will need to measure the progress and deliverables as precisely as they could. Augmented staff can already send detailed reports to help the project managers gauge the effectiveness of the project. By seeing the key performance indicators and current progress, the project managers can also manage to adjust accordingly should there be challenges or an anomaly in the project.
Since most augmented staff will be working remotely, clients and the augmented staff should be able to communicate freely to make the work easier. Tasks can be clearly communicated and any clarifications can be easily achieved. There are a lot of free communication apps out there that can be used to make talking and collaborating easier.
Slack – Slack is famous for workplace communication. It allows users to separate channels to make it easier for segregating discussions into the proper places. For instance, frontend devs can have their own channel for discussions about the frontend of the app or the website. Slack also allows users to upload files which means that it can already be a repository for smaller files. The paid version allows users to see beyond the message limit and file limits. For smaller projects that would not really go beyond a few months, Slack’s free version would be more than enough.
Skype – Skype has also been a popular communications app for years. It is free to use by everyone. Skype is also famous for its video call feature which has been upgraded to video conferences for its users. It can be useful to set up weekly or daily video conferences between the client and the augmented staff. Project managers can also use it to manage the augmented staff and give out daily tasks through scrum meetings.
Telegram – Telegram is more of a casual communications app but it can still be used for professional setups. It has a fast and smooth user interface which makes it ideal for quick chats. It also allows users to upload files without any hard limit. Users can create group chats which can be used for organizing channels as well.
Viber – Viber is also often used for group conversations. For smaller teams, Viber can suffice since it is free to use and has the basic capabilities of any communication app.
Facebook Messenger – Facebook’s very own Messenger also has a few tricks that can be used for professional teams. It can allow video call conferences as well for group chats. Files can also be uploaded.
Managing every staff member can be quite cumbersome. However, it is one of the most crucial things that can be done to ensure the success of the project. Project managers can make use of various project management software in order to keep track of everything the augmented staff is doing.
Asana – Asana is one of the famous project management apps usually used by professional teams. It has a free version that still allows users to create channels and upload files as well. All of the tasks can also be listed and checked off.
Trello – Trello is a more straightforward project manager. It has a lot of task cards that show each deliverable which can be modified and checked off the list. There are also some plugins that can be used alongside task cards such as card counters and time modifications.
Feedback and Improvements
Feedback is always important in any project. In order for the augmented staff to know if they are doing well or if they need to do improvements. Without any clear feedback, the project might not go the direction the client wants it to go. Feedback can still be given constructively even if it is a bit on the negative side. Clients should remember to phrase their sentiments in such a way that will be beneficial for both sides. Augmented staff are also entitled to have their own feedback given to the client especially if they can find ways to improve the process or workflow for the project. For instance, they may have ideas for a new feature or how to improve an existing one.
Choosing the Right Supplier
Getting an augmented staff is a big step. Clients need to know how to choose the right supplier to ensure that their projects will be taken care of properly.
Flexisource has a proven track record for staff augmentation and has helped clients to do more for their projects without having to spend more. There are also other services that can Flexisourced for less such as web development, mobile app development, IT support, quality assurance, and more. There is no need to go out and look for candidates. Clients will be able to save money and time thanks to Flexisource’s excellent staff augmentation services.
Flexisource IT’s commitment to excellence has created many long-time business relationships over the years and has continued to attract new customers across many different markets both locally and from abroad.
The company’s culture of excellence is reflected in its selection of staff for itself and other business clients. After a rigorous screening system and internationally-accredited training, Flexisource IT’s personnel are armed with the professional aptitude to fulfil any task requirements. If our clients have other specialized requirements, we help them find the person they’re looking for. The value doesn’t stop there as we provide an alpha project manager that helps communicate your goals to your offshore dedicated staff for free.
Our long list of currently existing clients is a testament to our commitment to excellence and delivering quality services. By aligning our clients’ goals with ours, we’re able to come up with strategies and tactics that don’t only achieve their desired results but also help them save up on time and money. Through the years, they’ve remained our most loyal customers because of our staunch dedication to achieving their business goals in a timely and efficient manner.
Whether it’s IT Development or Customer support services, Flexisource IT is dedicated to providing you with the kind of quality you would expect from a business partner rather than just another outsourcer.
If you’re looking for a company that’s dedicated to bringing you quality service, you have found the right one. Give us a call or send us a message and we’ll get back to your shortly.