What Is IT Staff Augmentation?

Sometimes, companies need an expert with a special skill to get a job done. One way to satisfy this need is with the help of augmentation.

It lets you add people to your team only when needed. This way, you’re not stuck with extra employees when work slows down.

This practice resembles outsourcing but the difference is that you’re in control over your team. This is why IT staffing augmentation is a more attractive option for many.

What Is IT Staff Augmentation?

So what is IT staff augmentation exactly? Simply put, it is a way to hire skilled tech professionals on a temporary basis to fill current workforce gaps. You may turn to it when

  • dealing with a sudden spike in workload,
  • need a rare skill set for a specific project,
  • or facing tight deadlines.

To grasp the IT staff augmentation meaning better, imagine your company has just landed a big project that needs a specific technology stack.

Your current team doesn’t have all the expertise required. Perhaps, you need an expert in blockchain technology but such skills are outside your team’s toolkit.

Of course, you could hire new full-time experts. This can take months. Or, you could outsource the task. This way, you won’t be able to monitor every step of it.

So you lean on augmented staff. This allows you to promptly bring in the specialized talent, without losing control over the process.

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Benefits Of Augmented Staff

So why are staff augmentation services often more preferable to outsourcing or hiring new staff? Let’s review three core reasons.

Fill Gaps In The Workforce

Let’s say your team is almost ready for software release. They’re just missing expertise in cybersecurity to finalize the product.

With the IT staff augmentation program, you bring in a cybersecurity specialist to complete the task.

The beauty of it is that you don’t have to compromise on consistency (as with outsourcing) or delay the launch (as with hiring a specialist).

Only Pay for What You Need

Very often, hiring a full-time specialist might not make sense financially. This is particularly relevant to tasks with a short-term requirement.

So the best option is to hire an employee just for that critical period. That is, you’ll pay only for the specific services you get. No need to worry about the costs of keeping the employee when you don’t have a job for them.

Maintain Control 

The biggest issue with outsourcing is that it often leads to misalignments with your project’s vision.

In contrast to this, the IT staff augmentation process implies that you bring in an expert who works under your direction, alongside your existing team.

This way, every aspect of the project remains aligned with your standards and goals. 

Steps Of The Employee Augmentation Process

If you are attracted by the IT staff augmentation prospects, here is a review of the key steps, with which you can put this model into practice.

#1 Determine Needs

First up, you’ve got to know exactly what you’re missing in your team. “Understaffed” is an issue but it’s not a concrete need. You should nail down the specific skills or types of expertise lacking.

Speak to your project managers or team leads to get a full picture. Once you know what you need, write it down. This list is your guide to finding the right people.

#2 Source Talent

Now, with your list in hand, it’s time to look for those with the skills you’re after. The safest thing to do is to go to agencies that specialize in the IT staff augmentation framework.

Speak to their manager, explain your needs, and ask all questions you have. You must have a clear understanding of what their services include.

#3 On-board Talent

After the agency connects you to the right candidates, bring them into the fold.

First things first, you should see to it that you have a shared understanding of the IT staff augmentation responsibilities implied.

Then, you should introduce the expert to what the project’s about, how things work, and who’s who in the team.

#4 Provide Ongoing Support

After they’re set up, keep checking in. Monitor how they’re getting on and if they’ve got any concerns or need anything. There are two key things you should monitor at this stage:

  • everyone is moving in the same direction
  • small problems are addressed before they get bigger.

It’s also good to get your team together now and then, so everyone feels involved.

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Wrapping Up

As you can see, augmented staff can be of great help when you need extra skill or a pair of hands without the long-term commitment.

They can fill gaps in your team, when and where you need it. This approach saves you time and money and, importantly, ensures your projects stay aligned with your vision and standards.

FAQs

Can Augmentation Work For Small Businesses Or Startups?

Absolutely! It fits for businesses of all sizes. For startups, it can be especially beneficial in those situations, where they’re looking to tackle projects that require niche expertise.

How Does Staff Augmentation Impact Team Dynamics?

When done right, it can positively impact team dynamics by bringing in fresh perspectives and skills.

But to achieve this, you should integrate new staff into your team through proper onboarding and communication.

What’s The Difference Between Augmentation And Managed Services?

The former involves hiring external professionals to work under your direction. The latter means outsourcing entire projects or functions to a third-party provider.

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