Overnight, organizations worldwide have had to change the way they work due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Remote working and geographically dispersed teams have become an integral part of the vocabulary of even those organizations that did not even have a remote working policy. In the face of this change, it has been a challenge for most organizations to maintain productivity and operational efficiency at the same levels as before.
It has become difficult for software development organizations to stick to product development timelines and maintain access to highly skilled tech talent.
Pandemic or not, the software development industry is looking at a growing talent gap, as the shelf-life of technologies becomes shorter and futuristic technologies become mainstream.
Staff augmentation emerges as a viable solution to meet the enterprises’ urgent skill requirements, extend their in-house technical capacity and skillsets, scale faster, optimize resource planning, and increase their cost efficiencies without compromising on quality.
However, to reap the benefits of staff augmentation, especially in challenging times such as these, you need a great staff augmentation partner.
Here’s what you should look for in your staff augmentation partner to ensure guaranteed success.
Check the 3 T’s – Tools, Technology and Technique
The software development landscape is more dynamic than ever before. Tools and technologies keep changing. New development methodologies and familiarity with the same (agile, DevOps) impact development velocity.
A good staff augmentation partner is not one with a large number of resources but one with the most ‘skilled’ resources. These resources are technologically proficient, have good knowledge of the tools ecosystem, and are well-versed and experienced in working with new-age development methodologies like DevOps.
Staff augmentation services are often sought when an internal engineering team is looking to fill specific skill gaps. Software projects today are also becoming very niche as they are being used for business-critical functions. This means that the resources working on these projects have to be knowledgeable and solution-driven and should be able to come up with creative solutions for complex problems.
Your staff augmentation partner should have the experience of working on complex and critical projects and should be able to demonstrate the technical dexterity of the resources and their problem-solving skills. Evaluating their work portfolio and the kind of projects they have worked on help in assessing if the staffing company can meet the technical needs of your organization.
Evaluate communication protocols
A staff augmentation partner is an extension of the in-house team. However, since the software development landscape has become more complex and given the distributed nature of this arrangement (especially now with remote working), assessing communication protocols becomes essential.
Clear and transparent communication is essential as it impacts the on-time delivery and consequently impacts its market competitiveness and success.
Having a communication philosophy that ensures uninterrupted work, proactive communication of any challenges and hurdles, and robust monitoring become essential traits to look for in vendors to successfully measure progress. Additionally, it is imperative to look at the tools they use for communication and project management to ensure transparency.
Evaluate the recruitment process
A staff augmentation company is only as strong as its recruitment process. Organizations look at staff augmentation partners to extend and expand their technical capacity. Since it is the talent that the organizations will be sourcing, it makes sense to ensure that the talent is ‘right’.
A staff augmentation company with robust, strong, and strict hiring processes delivers high-quality talent. It is also imperative to evaluate that, along with technical skills, these resources are also good team players, problem solvers, great collaborators and communicators, and solution providers. It is important to look for a partner that hires resources with these skills since these contribute equally to project success, especially in a remote or distributed team environment.
Ease of scaling
One of the greatest advantages of leveraging a staff augmentation is that it accelerates the recruitment cycle without its challenges. The worries of recruiting, running background checks, hiring, and payroll are for the staffing company to bother about. However, it is essential to check the flexibility of scaling that the staffing company is willing to offer and determine if these meet your organizational and project requirements.
It is important to assess how long a staffing company takes to replace a resource and the flexibility it offers to scale up or down resource requirements, whether they can allocate permanent resources, or add expert technologists to meet project needs.
In this day of economic uncertainty, staff augmentation provides a great opportunity to amplify your internal skill capabilities without having to invest time and money in internal skill development. It helps organizations keep their focus on their primary business without worrying about access to and cost of technical skills. Since the staff augmentation partner is an extension of your in-house team, make sure you select the one which has the right cadre of talent, flexible hiring models, and depth of service to ensure that all projects lead to success.