The Digitalist Team
October 20, 2022

De-Risk Innovation with Team Augmentation

Innovation is quintessential for organizations that want to keep up with the constantly changing demands of modern society and want to take on the neck-to-neck race with their competitors. Even though it is necessary for every business to reinvent itself once in a while, this transition and change don’t come without risks. Not to mention that innovation is a huge challenge as if done wrong, it can turn the company back on its path instead of leaping forward.

Today, executives already know that innovation is needed as they are well aware of the risks of being left behind. Although, innovation cycles are becoming shorter than ever, which puts immense pressure on project managers.

In order to achieve business goals, organizations need to find a healthy balance between supporting effective innovation and eliminating risks.

De-risking innovation

But how can companies de-risk innovation when the process is full of unknown factors, exterior impacts, and traps along the way?

One can think of many solutions to this challenge, like finding the right technologies, conducting a thorough market analysis, or revamping the complete marketing strategy. In our view, the most effective way in which companies can support their innovation cycles and guarantee the best possible outcome is by assembling the right team for the job.

Nowadays, finding a competent and experienced workforce is a huge challenge globally, as HR divisions are suffering not only from candidate shortages but also from high fluctuation levels. As a result, organizations and HR spend too much time and other resources on finding the right candidate for the job, resulting in a delay in mission-critical projects.

Moreover, if they find the seemingly perfect candidate, that person needs to receive onboarding and get familiar with the in-house processes and technologies. This can takes months until they generate real value for the company.

Is there any other faster and more effective solution to de-risk innovation?

Our answer is team augmentation…

What is team augmentation?

Team augmentation is the temporary utilization of outside personnel, let it be a complete team to complement the missing skill sets within the organization with a dedicated project manager or a couple of freelancers who conduct specific tasks instead of the in-house team. The goal of team augmentation is to expand the capacities of the corporation, which can last for weeks, months, or even years, based on the unique demand of the company.

Why do organizations choose to turn to outside sources?

One of the most critical issues companies face is workforce and talent shortage, frequently solved by team augmentation practices, generating value in the shortest possible time. It is a perfect means to temporarily increase the capacity of the organization when meeting deadlines is crucial or when adaptation is imminent.

It provides a temporary bridge between the current state of workforce shortage and hiring talented individuals who can perform the required responsibilities long-term. Moreover, in tense market conditions having a knowledgeable and readily available team can make a huge difference in gaining a competitive advantage.

Augmented teams are easy to scale up or down, as there are no unforeseen conditions within the cooperation. It is always handy to invite fresh and new know-how to the team, even if it is only required for a shorter period of time.

Pros & cons of staff augmentation

Whether team augmentation is the right choice for you or not depends on many factors.

It is important to examine this source of capacity extension from multiple viewpoints, so you will be able to opt for reaping its benefits or deleting this item from your list of possible solutions.

Benefit #1: Quick in delivering value

While you might need weeks and months until a new employee finds their place within the company and learns all necessary processes, technologies, and best practices, a talented and skilled augmented team doesn’t need that much time before getting down to business.

Benefit #2: Smoothes out peaks and valleys

Every organization’s journey has its ups and downs, and it always comes in handy when a company has someone to lean on when there is too much pressure, and the deadlines are strict or when customers need SOS developments.

Benefit #3: Increase or decrease workforce on-demand

There are situations when an organization has to proportion its capacities according to the changing market conditions at a rapid speed. This can mean a decrease or an increase in the required workforce. When companies use team augmentation, the size of the team can be quickly adapted to the changes.

Disadvantage #1: High-level of industrial knowledge

There are industries where a high level of contextual and industry-specific knowledge is required to complete a project. In this case, it might be better to think long-term and hire employees instead of turning to team augmentation, as even the most talented IT teams need to get familiar with the peculiarities of new markets.

Disadvantage #2: Not a great solution for long-term projects

If you already know that your project needs more than 2 years to be completed, it is better to invest in hiring and establishing your own team instead of using outside sources. The reason for this is simple: there is a risk that an augmented team will turn over within that period of time.

Disadvantage #3: Increased dependence

Organizations using team augmentation methods increasingly depend on third-party partners to resolve problems and deliver results. There are companies and executives who personally don’t prefer this construction, which is why hiring talented employees would be a better investment.

Types of Staff Augmentation

We can distinguish between three types of staff augmentation. One can choose among them according to requirements and the volume of tasks.

Commodity

We can talk about commodity staff augmentation when considering the necessity of a new workforce without any specific skill set. Usually, factories and other industrial manufacturers, retailers, and events need this staff augmentation type when they are short of manual labor workers.

Skill-based

Clerical work, data processing, or transcription, for example, belong to this category. In this case, the hiring organization needs an extra workforce with specific skills without highly critical levels.

Highly-skilled

Highly-skilled staff augmentation is necessary when the required skills are only obtainable through training and years of experience. Software engineers, designers, and marketing specialists belong to this category.

Types of Staff Augmentation Services

We can also make a distinction between staff augmentation services and service providers who cater to the specific needs of organizations. There are many different options to choose from. The best solution or a mix of different solutions is always company-specific and depends on their unique goals and expectations.

The most frequently used staff augmentation services:

  • Traditional staffing providers
  • Master vendor staffing providers
  • Consulting firms
  • Gig platforms
  • On-demand talent platforms
  • Direct independent relationships

Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Model

As you can see from the previous paragraphs, there are many options to choose from, considering the type and service of team augmentation. You can work with a single freelancer and a complete dedicated team with a specialized skill set, or you can use a mixture of different staff augmentation types. 

Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb to apply that could help you choose the ideal solution for your organization. As all companies and business goals are different, we need to examine every business case separately and uniquely. Naturally, you need to consider your expectations, company culture, business goals, project scope, and budget when interviewing third-party providers for the job.

We advise you to take company values into consideration apart from examining the experience and skills of a partner organization, as their general approach towards their clients, the flow of communication, and their capability to turn your issues into an actionable plan can hugely impact the success or failure of the cooperation.

If you want to have a meaningful conversation with a company specializing in highly-skilled team augmentation, get in touch with us now!

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October 20, 2022

De-Risk Innovation with Team Augmentation

Innovation is quintessential for organizations that want to keep up with the constantly changing demands of modern society and want to take on the neck-to-neck race with their competitors. Even though it is necessary for every business to reinvent itself once in a while, this transition and change don’t come without risks. Not to mention that innovation is a huge challenge as if done wrong, it can turn the company back on its path instead of leaping forward.

Today, executives already know that innovation is needed as they are well aware of the risks of being left behind. Although, innovation cycles are becoming shorter than ever, which puts immense pressure on project managers.

In order to achieve business goals, organizations need to find a healthy balance between supporting effective innovation and eliminating risks.

De-risking innovation

But how can companies de-risk innovation when the process is full of unknown factors, exterior impacts, and traps along the way?

One can think of many solutions to this challenge, like finding the right technologies, conducting a thorough market analysis, or revamping the complete marketing strategy. In our view, the most effective way in which companies can support their innovation cycles and guarantee the best possible outcome is by assembling the right team for the job.

Nowadays, finding a competent and experienced workforce is a huge challenge globally, as HR divisions are suffering not only from candidate shortages but also from high fluctuation levels. As a result, organizations and HR spend too much time and other resources on finding the right candidate for the job, resulting in a delay in mission-critical projects.

Moreover, if they find the seemingly perfect candidate, that person needs to receive onboarding and get familiar with the in-house processes and technologies. This can takes months until they generate real value for the company.

Is there any other faster and more effective solution to de-risk innovation?

Our answer is team augmentation…

What is team augmentation?

Team augmentation is the temporary utilization of outside personnel, let it be a complete team to complement the missing skill sets within the organization with a dedicated project manager or a couple of freelancers who conduct specific tasks instead of the in-house team. The goal of team augmentation is to expand the capacities of the corporation, which can last for weeks, months, or even years, based on the unique demand of the company.

Why do organizations choose to turn to outside sources?

One of the most critical issues companies face is workforce and talent shortage, frequently solved by team augmentation practices, generating value in the shortest possible time. It is a perfect means to temporarily increase the capacity of the organization when meeting deadlines is crucial or when adaptation is imminent.

It provides a temporary bridge between the current state of workforce shortage and hiring talented individuals who can perform the required responsibilities long-term. Moreover, in tense market conditions having a knowledgeable and readily available team can make a huge difference in gaining a competitive advantage.

Augmented teams are easy to scale up or down, as there are no unforeseen conditions within the cooperation. It is always handy to invite fresh and new know-how to the team, even if it is only required for a shorter period of time.

Pros & cons of staff augmentation

Whether team augmentation is the right choice for you or not depends on many factors.

It is important to examine this source of capacity extension from multiple viewpoints, so you will be able to opt for reaping its benefits or deleting this item from your list of possible solutions.

Benefit #1: Quick in delivering value

While you might need weeks and months until a new employee finds their place within the company and learns all necessary processes, technologies, and best practices, a talented and skilled augmented team doesn’t need that much time before getting down to business.

Benefit #2: Smoothes out peaks and valleys

Every organization’s journey has its ups and downs, and it always comes in handy when a company has someone to lean on when there is too much pressure, and the deadlines are strict or when customers need SOS developments.

Benefit #3: Increase or decrease workforce on-demand

There are situations when an organization has to proportion its capacities according to the changing market conditions at a rapid speed. This can mean a decrease or an increase in the required workforce. When companies use team augmentation, the size of the team can be quickly adapted to the changes.

Disadvantage #1: High-level of industrial knowledge

There are industries where a high level of contextual and industry-specific knowledge is required to complete a project. In this case, it might be better to think long-term and hire employees instead of turning to team augmentation, as even the most talented IT teams need to get familiar with the peculiarities of new markets.

Disadvantage #2: Not a great solution for long-term projects

If you already know that your project needs more than 2 years to be completed, it is better to invest in hiring and establishing your own team instead of using outside sources. The reason for this is simple: there is a risk that an augmented team will turn over within that period of time.

Disadvantage #3: Increased dependence

Organizations using team augmentation methods increasingly depend on third-party partners to resolve problems and deliver results. There are companies and executives who personally don’t prefer this construction, which is why hiring talented employees would be a better investment.

Types of Staff Augmentation

We can distinguish between three types of staff augmentation. One can choose among them according to requirements and the volume of tasks.

Commodity

We can talk about commodity staff augmentation when considering the necessity of a new workforce without any specific skill set. Usually, factories and other industrial manufacturers, retailers, and events need this staff augmentation type when they are short of manual labor workers.

Skill-based

Clerical work, data processing, or transcription, for example, belong to this category. In this case, the hiring organization needs an extra workforce with specific skills without highly critical levels.

Highly-skilled

Highly-skilled staff augmentation is necessary when the required skills are only obtainable through training and years of experience. Software engineers, designers, and marketing specialists belong to this category.

Types of Staff Augmentation Services

We can also make a distinction between staff augmentation services and service providers who cater to the specific needs of organizations. There are many different options to choose from. The best solution or a mix of different solutions is always company-specific and depends on their unique goals and expectations.

The most frequently used staff augmentation services:

  • Traditional staffing providers
  • Master vendor staffing providers
  • Consulting firms
  • Gig platforms
  • On-demand talent platforms
  • Direct independent relationships

Choosing the Right Staff Augmentation Model

As you can see from the previous paragraphs, there are many options to choose from, considering the type and service of team augmentation. You can work with a single freelancer and a complete dedicated team with a specialized skill set, or you can use a mixture of different staff augmentation types. 

Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb to apply that could help you choose the ideal solution for your organization. As all companies and business goals are different, we need to examine every business case separately and uniquely. Naturally, you need to consider your expectations, company culture, business goals, project scope, and budget when interviewing third-party providers for the job.

We advise you to take company values into consideration apart from examining the experience and skills of a partner organization, as their general approach towards their clients, the flow of communication, and their capability to turn your issues into an actionable plan can hugely impact the success or failure of the cooperation.

If you want to have a meaningful conversation with a company specializing in highly-skilled team augmentation, get in touch with us now!

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