The IT Staff Augementation Survival Kit
The economy continues to recover slowly and growth is stagnant in various industries. Companies of all sizes are cutting budgets and shifting priorities while waiting on the storm to settle.
With adversity comes ingenuity, and technology is evolving to meet consumer demands at lower price points. Many companies have embraced cloud computing and are increasing productivity and efficiency as a result—yet many are facing employee hiring challenges. How can your company leverage the skills and expertise of outside professionals without any long-term commitments? The solution is IT staff augmentation
IT staff augmentation allows your company to outsource certain tasks, projects and activities. Generally, your current staff will be evaluated to determine what skills are needed outside of their skill sets before hiring a reputable IT outsourcing company.
Staff augmentation services provide numerous business benefits:
- Qualified professionals with the level of experience required by your company
- Dedicated and skilled consultants at competitive pricing
- The ability to choose professionals with expertise outside of your current personnel’s scope
- Support systems and infrastructure to address any issues or questions
- The ability to complete projects that may not have been possible otherwise
When augmentation is properly planned and executed, the team is productive and efficient. Poorly planned or implemented strategies can lead to disastrous consequences. Fortunately, there are several best practices to ensure the process runs smoothly, while keeping everyone involved.
Following are several guidelines to survive your company’s IT staff augmentation.
Clarify Objectives and Expectations
Failure to define and clearly communicate the project goals will reduce productivity. A strategy to on-board more consultants is counter-productive if there are no tasks assigned and no expectations. All projects should be outlined and broken into manageable tasks, with each staff member reporting results at certain milestones. Milestones allow you to keep an eye on the entire project as a whole, while holding everyone accountable for their individual performance goals. Clear objectives and expectations encourage maximum productivity from everyone involved, possibly saving the expense of hiring additional resources.
Integrate Consultants into Existing Teams
Consultants utilized via IT staff augmentation shouldn't work alone. You'll likely get a much better value of perfomance if they are paired with existing employees in your company. This helps them to assimilate into your company culture and understand essential knowledge held by permanent employees.
Effective management is highly dependent on everyone being accountable for their progress. When certain activities are split among various teams or staff members, how will you prevent the “blame game” and find the true culprit during a problem? The milestones created when outlining your staff augmentation objectives will come into play here. Revisit each staff members’ set of tasks, goals and expectations to see where the ball was dropped. Expect all workers to be fully accountable for their individual actions and the actions of the team.
Use Current Staff Members First
Assess your current staff members’ obligations. Do they have any other tasks, time restrictions or jobs that prevent them from taking on new projects? Keeping a record of your current staff provides the opportunity to decide if IT staff augmentation is actually necessary, and which duties could be assigned to current employees instead.
More companies than ever are experiencing lower profit-margins in an unstable economy. Whether looking to meet project objectives or streamline expenses, staff augmentation is the best model for acquiring qualified professionals in this tough and competitive market.
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