Right now, exactly at this precise moment you probably have tons of new projects to design and implement, new Applications to deliver, reports to add and your Management team is making more and more pressure for you to deliver everything quickly, but are also probably running out of resources as well. You are in a hurry to add more hands and hopefully, brains to increase your department’s bandwidth.
Can a Team Augmentation Engagement be the solution that you are looking for? At Sapiens Software we have hundred thousands of hours of experience in Team Augmentation projects and we dropped this lines to help you make a good decision regarding this engagement model.
The Team Augmentation Engagement Model
If you work for a company that constantly develop software as its main business or to support its main processes and you have enough resources to manage a Software Development project, that is at least Project Managers, Developers, Testers, BA’s, infrastructure and knowledge about the Software Development Life Cycle of your choice but you are running low on personnel for the amount of work that you need to deliver. You are totally looking for a Team Augmentation type of Engagement.
In a more detailed explanation I would say that Team Augmentation is for companies that:
- Knows how to develop software because they do it all the time either because its their business or because they need it to support their business.
- Have everything needed to develop software, including an existing team, Project managers, Team Leaders, QA, Testers, Repositories, Infrastructure and the list can go on.
- Have plenty of development work to do. And by development work I mean design, implement and improve Software, not only bug fixing and maintaining.
- Require talented developers that can hit the ground running and can add value to their projects.
- Plan to retain the developers for a period of time of at least a year (not always true but the intention is what counts).
- Are comfortable managing Software Development Projects.
- Have knowledge and are able to manage a determined Software Development Life Cycle.
If you find familiar most of the descriptions that I numbered before you may have a ticket to ride in a team Augmentation project. And if so you should keep reading further.
What to expect when you decide to go with a Team Augmentation Engagement
Under this model, the risk is shared between you and your Software Development Outsourcing company of choice. You will control the project and your provider will make sure that they have everything they need to work and that your developers are there for you when you need them.
Your company will be in charge of planning, designing and implementing the software. Your provider will only put their Developers at your service. This not always true as providers like Sapiens Software will assign a “mirror” Project Manager, QA Analyst and Tech Leader to assist yours, which will give you more confidence in the fact that everything is being supervised. But this is not the common behavior. In most cases you are the one planning and controlling the project alone, which is fine, because you want to control it and make it your way. Know how is not something that you are able to exchange for anything.
Expect ramping up or down
During the life of a Team Augmentation engagement you should have the possibility of ramping the team up or down according to your needs. Needless to say that you should respect a time period to notify your provider that you need to remove a resource or two or add a new one before you actually do, but the possibility of changing the number of developers that you have assigned is a must, otherwise, there wouldn’t be much of an advantage for you to sign this kind of engagement. A good advice for you and your provider would be to discuss how do you expect the team to ramp up or down during a year period, so that both of you are prepared to face the change with enough time.
Expect a quick response
This kind of engagement should have enough support from the provider. The fact that the control is on your side doesn’t mean that your provider will only sign the contract and be done with it. Every change that you request to be done to the team should be addresses quickly because it will impact directly on the team’s ability to deliver. You should expect that given a reasonable period of time your provider respond to your requests to change a team member, assist to special meetings, and plan ahead for special events. Communication between you and your provider is very important. A good advice for you and your provider is to plan ahead for permissions, vacations, holidays and even discuss the good and the bad facts of each one of the developers being Outsourced.
Expect a monthly invoice
Monthly payment is the “de facto” invoice modality for this kind of engagement. However sometimes a different periodicity can be arranged but it is not common.
Expect development speed and accuracy to increase over time
The more the team works on your projects and relate to other employees of your organization the more they know about the company culture, language and processes which in turn gives you the advantage of speed and accuracy at their work. Don’t be scared about ramping up or down affecting the performance, the flexibility of this kind of engagement comes at a price, but that impact can be reduced through shadow programming and other techniques that your provider can put in place. So be sure to demand that level of service.
I hope that this lines help you better understand the Team Augmentation Engagement model and also i hope that you take advantage of it soon, if you are not already doing it. Here at Sapiens we are always ready to help, if you have questions or comments please feel free to drop some lines in the comments area or the contact page.