As a founder, you understand that people are your most valuable asset. The success or failure of your venture hinges on the team you build, especially for early-stage start-ups. In these initial stages, every new member joining the team can significantly shift the course of the project, which makes finding the right talent pretty difficult!
The right team complements your particular skills and shares your vision and dedication to the project. To succeed, your development team must have the technical expertise to propel your start-up forwards. However, in the ever-changing world of start-ups, the expertise you need can fluctuate significantly depending on the stage your project is at.
This is where team augmentation comes in. Staff augmentation enables you to acquire specific expertise for a project or a particular phase of your start-up to get the job done without over-stretching your budget or making long-term commitments to full-time employees.
For instance, you can augment your team with an IT specialist if you’re working on a complex software solution and require skills in a specific programming language or technology. Once that part of the project has been completed, you can scale down or bring in new talent based on the changing needs of your start-up.
This article delves into staff augmentation and why it’s a powerful strategy for early-stage start-ups. We’ll assess the pros and cons of the staff augmentation model and showcase how MOHARA’s unique staff augmentation services can propel your project towards success.
What Is Staff Augmentation?
IT staff augmentation is a business strategy that organisations use to quickly ramp up their in-house team with specific skills, either for a limited time or for the duration of an entire project.
This is often accomplished through an outsourcing vendor, who supplements the existing staff with qualified software developers or technical experts skilled in a specific programming language or technology.
Once that part of the project has been completed, you can scale down or bring in new talent based on the business objectives you want to achieve next.
The Pros and Cons of Staff Augmentation
Staff augmentation is a popular choice for businesses looking to expand their team on a short-term basis or add skilled technical resources. It’s a flexible solution that helps manage specific project needs or tackle a sudden increase in workload.
But – as with any strategy – it’s not all always smooth sailing. Staff augmentation comes with its own set of challenges to consider.
In this section, we’ll give you a straightforward rundown of the pros and cons of bringing in augmented team members. We’ll discuss the perks it can bring to your business and the hurdles you might need to navigate. So, let’s get started!
✅Access to expert skills: An outsourcing service allows companies to access specific technical skills that may not be available in their current teams, such as expertise in a particular programming language, software development methodology, or technology stack.
✅Scalability: During periods of high workload, staff augmentation can help companies scale their development team quickly without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees.
✅Cost reductions: This model can be cost-effective, especially when partnering with service providers in countries where labour costs are lower. You also save on costs related to hiring candidates and training them, or retaining full-time employees.
✅Speed to market: If your company needs to develop and launch a product or feature quickly, hiring experienced developers via the staff augmentation route can reduce development time and help you get to market faster.
✅Flexibility: You can adjust the size and composition of your team based on the specific needs of your project, and it’s easier to scale down once a project has been completed.
✅Global pool of talent: With staff augmentation, you’re not limited to local applicants. You can access talent from around the globe.
❌Integration challenges: An augmented staff member may have difficulties integrating with in-house teams, especially in terms of communication and collaboration. There could be issues with cultural fit or work style.
❌Quality control: Ensuring consistent quality can be challenging when working with augmented teams. They might not be as familiar with your company’s standards, processes, or expectations.
❌Security risks: Bringing in external staff can pose data security risks, as they will have access to proprietary code and potentially sensitive information.
❌Management overhead: Managing an existing in-house team and external members can increase complexity for project managers, especially if dealing with different time zones and language barriers.
❌Dependency: Over-reliance on staff augmentation might lead to a dependency on external resources and can weaken your IT workforce’s ongoing training and development.
Staff Augmentation vs Freelancing?
So, now you have a solid understanding of what staff augmentation is and the benefits it can bring to your business, along with potential pitfalls you’d want to consider. It’s a versatile strategy that lets you bring in efficient talent on demand. But at this point, you might ask yourself, “Isn’t this just like hiring freelancers?”
Staff augmentation and freelancing offer flexible ways to expand your in-house team, but there are some important differences between them.
To help you understand which approach might best fit your business needs, we summarised team augmentation vs freelancing in the table below to give you an overview of how they are different.
|Augmented staff usually integrate closely with your in-house team, working under the same systems and management.
|Freelancers often work independently, and while they can collaborate with your in-house team, they are usually not as integrated into the team as augmented staff are.
|Since augmented staff become part of your team, they’re usually managed by your internal project manager or team lead.
|Freelancers tend to manage their own workflow and time, and while they work in alignment with your goals, they may not be under the direct supervision of your team.
|Augmented staff typically have a set period of time during which they are fully committed to your project.
|Freelancers often work on a project-by-project basis, have several clients, and are only partially committed to your project.
|Augmented staff are highly technical and work with standardised procedures.
|Freelancers don’t necessarily have experience with, or can be required to follow in-house standardised procedures.
|Allows scalability because the outsourcing team can provide as many software professionals as the customer needs.
|It is not scalable, because freelancers’ hours of availability are limited.
|With staff augmentation, you can access verified talent with high-level or particular skill sets which are absent in your in-house team.
|Like augmented staff, freelancers can also offer a wide range of skills. The key difference is that quality may vary, and it may take time to find the right person.
|In a staff augmentation model, the vendor provides the talent and takes care of HR functions, administrative tasks, and other related responsibilities.
|Freelancers are usually self-employed and manage their own administrative and HR tasks.
The choice between using team augmentation or freelancing depends on the needs of your project, the level of integration you require, and the management capacity of your team.
That said, start-ups and scale-ups live in an uncertain world. Staff augmentation might be a better choice for these companies, because it allows them to bring in a dedicated team that is experienced in repeatedly delivering quality and adapting to uncertainty.
In this situation, resource augmentation has the following advantages:
🔥Better team integration
🔥Greater oversight and control over the work process and quality
🔥More skilled talent
🔥Fewer administrative hassles
Why Choose MOHARA Augment for IT staff augmentation
With over a decade of partnering with start-ups, scale-ups, and enterprise-sized businesses, MOHARA understands the hurdles you face as a growing company. We’ve seen it all – from the early stages to post-Series A scaling.
That’s why we’ve crafted MOHARA Augment – a service designed to provide you with the support you need while keeping things straightforward and aligned with your objectives.
The MOHARA Augment Difference
Unlike conventional team augmentation, MOHARA Augment draws on extensive experience in building start-up companies from the ground up. Our flexible engagement model adapts to the ebbs and flows of your scaling business, ensuring a seamless fit with your dynamic needs.
But we’re not just about technology. We’re as passionate about the business side of things as you are. Our experience in building companies gives us a distinctive edge, allowing us to support you beyond the usual tech solutions available out there.
“Start-ups and scale-ups and early-stage businesses operate in an uncertain environment, often with imperfect information.
Often you have to make decisions as a team collectively with that imperfect information in that uncertain environment.
We’re comfortable working in that environment because that’s what we do as a core business”.
Richard Sams – Co-Founder and CEO at MOHARA
🏆Immediate impact, accelerated growth
Need to make a big impact quickly? You’ll see immediate results by augmenting your team with our expert designers or engineers. We’re all about delivering value from day one.
When you partner with MOHARA for advanced augmentation services, you aren’t just getting access to some of our software specialists. Instead, you’re unlocking access to an entire team of experts working to advance your business. We see it as a collaboration in which your business brings as much to the table as we do.
Our team joined MOHARA not just to sit in a cubicle or work for a faceless corporation, but to build businesses and create innovative products. They thrive on innovation and relish the excitement of early-stage ventures – that’s our passion.
🏆Assured quality, proven processes
At MOHARA, quality isn’t an afterthought; it’s woven into our DNA. We have worked hard to
ensure that every project we deliver meets the highest standards by doing the following:
Our 8 Fundamentals of Repeatable Quality are core steps that help us understand how to deliver projects with repeatable quality. Generally speaking, quality projects can be delivered without following these fundamental steps, but by incorporating them we achieve repeatable standards and benchmarks.
We’ve identified eight different ways to look at a product; we believe the entire team involved in a project should understand them. They are called product lenses:
➡️UX / UI
➡️Stage of business
➡️Stack and infrastructure
For a more in-depth look at how we use product lenses, have a look at our article on feature prioritisation.
MOHARA process flow (MO_FLO)
We’re all about growth and improvement at MOHARA – it’s just how we roll. And there’s no better example of this than our MOHARA Process Flow, or as we call it, “MO_FLO.”
This living guide to project delivery is dynamic and continually evolving. Each update incorporates fresh insights, industry best practices, and valuable lessons gleaned from our experiences. This ensures that our approach to project delivery stays innovative, effective, and responsive to change.
🏆Engineering, design, and management excellence
The success of our product quality and business-building capability hinges on our commitment to excellence across engineering, design, and management.
Our functional heads work hand in hand to drive this excellence by leveraging knowledge, steering committees, benchmarking quality, and mentoring teams to ensure we’re always delivering the best for our clients.
🏆An extended network
With MOHARA Augment, you can access our vast network of funding resources, advisers, and product-building experts. While there’s no obligation to use them, having them at your disposal can open doors and bring fresh perspectives.
Ready to experience the difference MOHARA’s Augment service can make for your business?
Whether you’re just starting up or scaling, our team is ready to join you. Reach out to us today, and let’s start building something amazing together!