6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Decide if Team Augmentation is the Right Solution to your Staffing Challenges
Maybe you just successfully argued for the budget to modernize your website, but none of your current developers have enough experience in modern web technologies to architect the right solution.
Perhaps you were assigned a huge project that is pushing up on an important deadline. You’d like to add resources to crash the timeline, but no one has any available bandwidth.
Or maybe you have a new sales channel you’d like to try out. You need a team to build a pilot, but you don’t know if it will succeed or how much work it will create over the next few years.
If any of these situations sound familiar, you’ve likely grappled with whether or not it was the right time to hire someone to solve a resource need.
Your options may seem limited to (a) hiring a new employee, (b) training a current employee in a specialized area, or (c) outsourcing your entire project to an external firm.
There is a fourth option, however: to utilize team augmentation to bring in expert resources from a trusted vendor, integrating them into your current teams and processes.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether team augmentation is the right solution for you:
1. Do I have the skills and expertise to meet these needs in-house?
Do you have employees who are experts in the particular field or project area you’re pursuing? Do these employees have time to take on additional work?
Team augmentation is a great way to bring in expertise in specialized areas outside of your core competencies. It is also a great way to fill in gaps when additional work is needed and everyone internally is stretched too thin.
2. How much time do I have to meet my needs?
If you’ve ever gone through the process of hiring an employee with a specific skill set, I don’t need to tell you how much time can be spent finding someone who is a good fit.
Even once you’ve found the right person, you must negotiate their contract, wait for them to notify their current employer, and onboard them into your HR processes and culture - all before they even touch the work that you hired them to do!
When filling that same need through team augmentation, you may be able to have them start work on Monday morning after signing the contract on Friday.
3. How much am I willing to invest to meet my needs?
Salary is just one of the costs associated with regular employees. Beyond the time and money spent trying to find and onboard employees, they require benefits, ongoing training, and other miscellaneous overhead costs.
Hiring a full-time resource may be the right way to meet long-term needs within your core mission areas, but these costs are magnified when you’re embarking on new strategic initiatives or when your resource needs are variable.
That brings us to our next question:
4. How quickly are my needs changing?
With today’s technology landscape changing at an ever-increasing pace, it is often the case that the tools, languages, and techniques that you rely on today will be totally different than those you will rely on in 2 years, 1 year, or even 6 months.
Compounding this trend is the fact that changing business environments may require you to pivot into or out of new initiatives with increasing regularity. These risks can be mitigated through short to mid-term team augmentation engagements.
5. Do I need to integrate this solution within my current team and processes?
When you have a project that falls outside of your core competencies, it is often your best bet to outsource to a vendor you can count on. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible if your work must be integrated within complex business or security processes.
Project outsourcing can also be a challenge if your project involves just one part of a complex internal system. Integrating expert resources into your team allows you to fill in gaps in your capabilities while still maintaining control over the project.
Furthermore, this approach allows you to leverage outside expertise while still utilizing current employees who may have bandwidth and skills to handle some aspects of the project at hand.
6. Could I use a fresh look at problems from outside of my organization?
Sometimes the best thing for a confounding project is to bring in a fresh set of eyes. Even when you have top talent on your payroll, people who work on a project every day may be less able to identify out-of-the-box solutions to your technology challenges.
Team augmentation gives you the opportunity to augment the deep subject matter knowledge that makes your internal resources so valuable with a fresh perspective that only an outside expert can offer.
Team augmentation can offer the best of both worlds, melding hyper-specialized external expertise with the continuity of a dedicated and integrated resource. All of this is available in a solution that is much more agile (and frankly, often cheaper) than hiring, training, and carrying full time employees. If any of these questions resonate with you or you have a few more of your own, we’d love to hear from you!