Engagement Models: Pros and Cons
Engagement Models have been a viable option for businesses looking to reduce recruitment costs and deal with talent and expertise gaps without compromising their organizational structure. Before making such decisions, it’s fundamental to understand how these engagement models work, what actually are the benefits in hiring businesses and possible downsides. Let’s get to it!
Staff Augmentation is an engagement model where you get highly-skilled talent for your team without having to hire them directly. This allows you to focus on your product instead of dealing with the Human Resources part of the process.
High Productivity – As you’re not hiring employees for the long run, you can pick the right people based on your current business needs. This means you’ll get experts to help your team achieve their goals.
Control – The people you pick will be part of your team, meaning you’ll have as much control over them as you’d have if they were in-house developers. This means you can keep track of the work done and ensure you don’t receive subpar quality code.
Flexibility – As your needs change, you can either increase or decrease the amount of people involved in the project. You might even want to keep the number of people involved but look for different profiles, based on a different skill set or background.
Cost Effectiveness – You’ll get top talent for the time you need it. You won’t have to keep these experts after they’ve delivered your product. A final benefit of this model is that you’ll get top talent just for the time you need it, avoiding making major investments in hiring personnel or supporting fixed costs such as rent, furniture, office maintenance or individual staff expenditures (hardware).
Institutional Knowledge – Even when picking professionals with good industry-specific knowledge, there is still a lot of historic and internal information that is required to pass on to them. This also applies to traditionally hired employees.
Pro-tip: Create a document that has the most relevant information for succeeding, to be shared in the on-boarding process.
Costs in the Long Term – Staff augmentation solutions are a good fit for short term projects, as you can get highly skilled people without the associated hiring costs. When taken to the long term (2+ years), it might not be as beneficial, but that will depend on the agreed rate and the results being delivered.
Managing Progress – The bigger the team you have working with you, the harder it is to manage their results and keep track of the work being done. This is also applicable to hiring full time employees.
Managed teams is a bit like staff augmentation but you also have project managers that ensure that the results you are looking for are achieved. This allows your internal resources to focus on other areas of the business. It’s also a faster way to assemble a full team to tackle a problem, without the overheads associated with hiring them.
Adaptability – Most often, dedicated teams have professionals with different skill sets from one another, which makes it an optimal solution when your project’s scope will suffer frequent changes. It’s also easy to increase or decrease the team’s size.
Cost – Being a mix of different professionals, you might get an improved overall rate. It’s well suited for longer partnerships, as it allows you to better distribute the workload between your in-house team and your dedicated team. It’s also easier to track their results and contribution, so you can assess if they are saving you money.
Speed –Your outsourcing partner probably has available resources so they can assemble a diverse team fast. This drastically reduces the time it takes to tackle new challenges or ideas.
Fast Prototyping – It’s probably the fastest way to create new prototypes or test new ideas, while having no impact in your in-house teams. You just have to create a list of requirements and the team will start working to achieve them.
Not Ideal to Hire for Short-term Projects – Hiring a dedicated team model is ideal for bigger projects that require flexibility and evolvement in tasks that could change frequently.
Different Time Zones – It can be tricky to work overseas with other teams due to different time zones. If the alignment is not being recognised in the same way by both teams and the communication is reduced to some hours where both are working at the same time, it can delay any ongoing project.
Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach – The definition of goals and requirements should be a priority before hiring any dedicated team to work with. Establishing your target and objective in any project will reduce time and costs, as well as helping decide if a dedicated team is needed.
Project Outsourcing is the engagement model with the lowest level of risk and involvement. You simply have to decide what you’re looking for and what are the acceptance criteria, and an external company will be responsible for picking the right technologies and people to achieve your goals. This model is frequently picked by non-tech companies, as it allows executives to apply their strategies and focus on key differentiation points.
Lower Risk – When outsourcing projects, you write a list of requirements and the risk is split, as the company responsible for delivering the product is the one that has to deal with any problems or setbacks. Coding, quality assurance and bug fixes are all taken care of by the outsourcing team.
Easier Process – After writing the requirements and acceptance criteria, your focus will be on receiving the end product, not in helping with the small daily decisions that need to be made.
Frees up Managers Time – After clearly defining goals, a trusted outsourcing partner will get right to work to deliver a good quality product. In turn, this frees your managers time to help with the decisions of the rest of your teams and products.
Requires Less Training – As the responsibility to deliver a high quality product falls on the outsourcing company, you don’t have to spend resources training anyone from their team.
Turnover doesn’t Affect Results – The agreement between you and your outsourcing partner is based on development/delivery and not on the amount of resources utilized, which means dealing with turnover is not your responsibility. On top of this, the probability of getting the product on time is higher, as hitting deadlines on time is one of the most important metrics for outsourcing agencies.
Lower Control –While you free up managers’ time and reduce risk, you’ll also reduce the control over the way the product is developed, which might pose some problems if the goals are not correctly set.
Slower to Take-off – As there is greater responsibility out on the outsourcing agency, more meetings will need to be held at the start of the project, to make sure everyone understands the goals correctly. On top of that, projects can’t start until all the contracts and planning documents are finished.
Harder to Integrate – As you don’t have as many inputs during the development process, it might result in a solution that isn’t as easily integrated into other products.
Lack of Expertise – If you opt for the wrong partner, you might be outsourcing a project to a company that lacks industry-specific experience, which might result in avoidable mistakes.
Now that you know all pros and cons, how can Exaud actually help you out?
From traditional to emerging technologies that power innovation, our team has the ability to help transform your organization’s digital journey by identifying the right technology and tools that’ll provide the right solutions for your business.
We’re pros at adapting to your business model and project requirements, help you save money, better use internal resources and quickly get into prototyping without relying on your team’s efforts. As for the downsides of such engagement models, our team carefully follows all documentation provided by its clients and collaborates with a thorough onboarding process. Managing results is entirely a matter of clear communication between our team and the client – we work for the same exact goal and transparency is key. As for long term costs? Agreed rates play a big part but so do results – we design, develop, deliver and maintain solutions so why not sticking around for a longer run? Time zones don’t have to be a problem as long as both parties are neatly synchronized and it can even become an advantage. Integration and expertise challenges are easily brushed off when trust is built through effective communication, clear goals and expectations – we assemble a team of developers, testers and designs based on your project requirements, not the other way around.
To sum up, bringing successful projects through staff augmentation is not only possible, but a great and beneficial strategy, as long as organizations know exactly what to expect and how to choose the right partner. In the end, communication, expertise, experience and planning will become businesses’ biggest allies to make development relationships work.
Example: Exaud provides solutions in a wide range of industries such as Healthcare, Education and Business Development, and can help you design your ideal project. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business!
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