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Updated by MalcomRidgers on May 30, 2019
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How to Prepare a Team to Work with IT Staff Augmentation Services

Learn how your team can prepare to work with staff augmentation companies.

1

Ensure the Project Specification is Clearly Understood

Before briefing augmented staff on the project specification, it’s important that internal teams understand the underlying principles of the project. Having a fully-briefed internal team means that they can help contracted workers get up to speed with the project aims and outcomes.

Although staff augmentation companies provide fully-trained workers, every project is different and internal staff may need to provide some initial training on more unique aspects of the development.

It’s also important to ensure that employees understand how augmented staff will help fulfill the project specification. Project managers should reinforce the benefits of working with a contracted team and provide an overview of how the process will work.

2

Define Roles and Workflows

Internal staff should be aware of what tasks fall under their jurisdiction, and which will be assigned to new team members. When everyone understands their individual roles, projects become more efficient and collaborations more effective.

Depending on the size of the project, managers and team leaders should be assigned to ensure accountability and quality assurance. Having a management structure in place provides augmented staff with a point of contact to seek clarification and share feedback.

To make the most of staff augmentation, workflows need to be implemented to ensure best practices are followed and deadlines are met. Everyone in the team should be aware of when individual tasks are set for completion and how work is progressing.
Security should also be included as part of a company’s workflow so that everyone understands what procedures to follow. Quality assurance checking, software testing, and pre-certification and compliance testing should be carried out throughout the project lifecycle.

3

Provide Training on Project Management Tools

Provide Training on Project Management Tools

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) 2015 Pulse of the Profession report found that companies that use a project management methodology are more likely to meet budgets, stay on schedule, adhere to quality standards and meet outcomes.

In preparation for working with IT staff augmentation services, project managers should ensure that internal staff are familiar with the chosen project management platform. Tools like Asana, Jira and Basecamp provide an overview of a project’s progress by monitoring individual tasks.

If part of the project involves coding, it’s essential that every piece of code is documented so that software can be easily maintained in the future. Code documentation tools like Swagger help companies enforce methodologies for recording code and pair programming.

4

Encourage Clear Communication and Flexibility

Encourage Clear Communication and Flexibility

According to Atlassian, 59% of U.S. workers say communication is their team’s biggest obstacle to success. Bearing this in mind, companies need to pay extra attention to how everyone communicates throughout a project’s lifecycle.

Managers and team leaders need to have the authority to make decisions and staff need to have the freedom to provide constructive criticism in regards to processes. Likewise, everyone involved needs to be able to share their ideas and feel that their opinions matter.

Before onboarding augmented staff, companies should decide on which communication methods will best suit the project. For example, smaller companies may prefer face-to-face communication to ensure messages are clearly understood. Whereas larger organizations may prefer email communication for efficiency.

Despite the need for documented workflows and processes, companies also need to be flexible in how they implement these structures. Research conducted by PwC shows that Agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects. Agile methodologies enable teams to be more adaptable and achieve positive outcomes by delivering projects early and focusing on adding business value.

When preparing to work with an augmented team, internal staff needs to keep an open mind. If they view this collaboration as a learning experience, they can gain valuable insights into alternative ways of working.

6

Getting started

According to a survey conducted by ArcGIS, nearly a quarter of a million development jobs remain unfilled in the US as a result of the digital skills gap. As companies struggle to hire staff with specialist expertise, an increasing number are turning to staff augmentation companies to meet their needs.

Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy used by companies to scale their IT resources. It involves hiring external experts to work in-house alongside an existing team. Staff augmentation bridges the gap between hiring full-time employees and working with a remote team by providing companies with flexibility, control and access to top talent.

A recent report published by the World Economic Forum confirms that between one-half and two-thirds of companies use external contractors, temporary staff and freelancers to build their teams.

So, how can companies prepare their internal team to work with staff augmentation services? Let’s take a closer look:

7

Overview

To summarise, here are the four actions companies should take to prepare their team to work with staff augmentation services:

  1. Ensure internal staff is fully-briefed on the underlying principles of the project so they can help contracted workers understand what needs to be achieved.

  2. Assign roles to internal staff to ensure they know what tasks they’re responsible for and which fall under the scope of new team members.

  3. Decide which project management tools will be the most beneficial to the project and ensure all staff is fully trained in its functionality.

  4. Outline how ideas and feedback should be shared and encourage internal staff to be flexible in their approach to the project.