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Staff Augmentation Model for IT Projects: Pros and Cons

Find out about the advantages and disadvantages of the staff augmentation model in software outsourcing

Staff augmentation is ideal for companies that have their own development teams. This model allows you to attract people with specific knowledge (industry expertise, technology) or simply to expand your team. With staff augmentation, companies hire specialists for a specific amount of time to complete a required amount of work — for example, to release a side project or work on a specific function.

Let’s say you have a successful digital product that brings you profit. In order to attract more users, you want to add more features. But your internal team lacks developers or experience. Instead of looking for candidates and interviewing them, you turn to an outsourcing company.

Staff augmentation suppliers offer skilled developers who can help you achieve your goals. Then you, as the CTO or CEO of your company, conduct interviews with each candidate and sign a contract with the vendor.

It’s also a good choice when you only need one to three specialists and not a full team. To establish effective collaboration, choose a provider who monitors their employees and helps them solve problems, as this will greatly improve the quality of the service you get.

Pros
  • Less training
  • Easy to scale the team
  • Effortless management
  • Lower cost
Cons
  • Security risks
  • Slower communication

Advantages of the staff augmentation model

Full control

With this model, you manage the developers on your side and have complete control over the development process. You or your technical manager can control every detail of the project. For time tracking, you can choose a project management tool so you won’t need to worry about the safety of your product.

Flexibility

It’s easy to increase or decrease the size of your team with staff augmentation. You can hire more specialists to develop a project faster or reduce the number of developers when you run out of tasks. You can get the exact number of required specialists, from 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) to 100 FTE and above.

Smooth integration

When you’re hiring developers with the right skills and knowledge, it’s easier to integrate them into your company’s workflow.

Lower cost

By choosing the staff augmentation model, you can reduce costs compared to hiring in-house developers. Hourly rates will depend on where your team is located.
According to PayScale, US developers are paid an average of $8,700 per month. In contrast, programmers from Eastern Europe are paid an average of $3,700 a month.

Suitability

The staff augmentation model is suitable for both long-term and short-term interactions, such as when you’re faced with a specific problem that requires certain skills to solve.

Disadvantages of the staff augmentation model

Training

Regardless of the experience and knowledge of developers, they should still spend some time learning about the company’s workflows. The onboarding period can vary depending on the complexity of the workflow and the onboarding process.

Additional load for C-level management

The more employees are in the company, the more responsibilities top managers have. Managers need to manage a large number of specialists and provide them with a comfortable work environment.