The technology industry has been facing a major shortage of skilled workers for many years. Recent research shows that 94% of employers struggled to find talent in the last year.
This has resulted in many organisations struggling to find the resources they need to complete their technology projects. In order to overcome this challenge, many organisations are turning to team augmentation, where they partner with 3rd parties to add additional resources to their internal development teams.
This article will look at team augmentation best practices; the benefits, things to consider and how to overcome any potential risks. Using our own experience partnering with leading organisations to augment internal development and QA teams, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to maximise the success of project delivery.
Why are organisations turning to team augmentation?
Organisations are increasingly turning to team augmentation as a solution to the technology industry's shortage of skilled workers. The high demand for tech talent has resulted in over 2 million job vacancies being advertised in the UK between May 2021 and May 2022.
The UK tech sector has seen significant growth and success, with the country being Europe's leading tech ecosystem and fast-growing UK tech companies raising close to record levels of funding in recent years.
This success drives demand for skilled tech professionals and creates a competitive job market, making it difficult for organisations to find the talent they need to deliver their digital projects.
The situation is compounded by the recent Spring budget, which has promised significant investment in tech. The government's commitment to spend over £3.5 billion on the future of tech and science has raised expectations for delivering successful initiatives, making it more critical than ever to have the right talent in place.
With the UK tech sector thriving, organisations are seeking ways to build and maintain their technology teams. By partnering with third-party dedicated teams, organisations can tap into an external pool of highly skilled professionals to build their technology teams and gain a competitive advantage.
Benefits of team augmentation
Team augmentation enables organisations to scale their tech teams as needed and take advantage of the diverse skill sets that external resources bring to the table, without having to invest in the cost and time of hiring and training new employees. Here are 4 key benefits of team augmentation:
- Increased capacity for tackling more projects: When organisations decide to augment their team, they bring in specialists and experts to help achieve digital initiatives at speed and scale. This results in increased capacity, allowing them to take on more projects and drive growth initiatives.
- Better use of resources: Team augmentation allows organisations to take advantage of the resources and expertise of others, often reducing the need for investment in expensive infrastructure, technology and training. This can result in lower costs and increased efficiency.
- Access to technical expertise: External software development companies are knowledge pools, with experience delivering projects across industries and organisational cultures. Partnering with these organisations allows you to gain access to specialised technical skills and knowledge that might not otherwise be available within your organisation.
- Ability to scale as required: When a project requires additional resources, an organisation can bring in additional team members. When the project is completed, teams can be scaled down. By doing so, organisations can better control project costs.
Risks of team augmentation (and how to overcome them)
Team augmentation is not without its risks. These risks can have a significant impact on the success of the project, so it's essential to be aware of them and to have a plan in place to manage them.
One of the key challenges of team augmentation is ensuring that the augmenting team is aligned with the internal processes and culture of your organisation. Failing to ensure this can lead to confusion and friction between the two teams, which can negatively impact the outcome of the project. Establish expectations early on and engage in regular check-ins to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Building trust with the augmenting team is key here. This can be achieved in the onboarding process, establishing clear lines of communication, and providing regular feedback on their performance. By doing so, everyone will be working towards the same business goals, and the project requirements will be well understood.
Ensuring this will help team members feel like they are part of a full dedicated team, rather than resources. This can result in improved team morale and a more positive working environment, leading to better results and increased productivity.
Augmenting teams may have different processes and methodologies, which can lead to inconsistencies and blockers in the overall project delivery.
To mitigate this, it's important to clearly define roles and responsibilities, establish a structured onboarding process and regularly evaluate the work of the augmenting team to ensure they are meeting expectations.
Organisations should ensure they are using project management tools like Azure DevOps for ensuring real-time collaboration and effective communication between team members. Ensuring work item tracking, source control management, continuous integration and continuous deployment capabilities that are critical for the successful delivery of team augmentation projects.
Last year 39% of UK businesses identified a cyber attack, with one in five identifying attack methods such as a denial of service, malware or ransomware. The risk of data breaches or unauthorised access to sensitive information increases when working with a team that may not be familiar with the organisation's security protocols and procedures.
To overcome this risk, organisations must implement clear security protocols. This can include measures such as data encryption, firewalls, and restricted access to sensitive information, as well as regular security audits and monitoring to detect any potential threats.
It is also important for organisations to involve the augmenting team in the planning process to ensure that everyone understands the security protocols and the importance of protecting sensitive information.
A clear direction:
This risk can arise when the augmenting team is not well integrated with the existing team and does not have a clear understanding of the organisation's processes, objectives and goals. Decisions may not align with the organisation's expectations, leading to delays, miscommunication and a reduction in quality.
Organisations should ensure a strong leadership of the project and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. A clearly defined Project Manager or Product Owner, for example, can help teams integrate into the existing team and maintain focus within the project.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that team augmentation efforts are successful and lead to improved overall productivity and performance.
Audacia is a leading software development company based in the UK and headquartered in Leeds. We can provide the team augmentation services you need to deliver new digital products and services at scale.
Contact us today to discover how we can help extend your internal software development and QA testing teams to accelerate the delivery of your next project at 0113 543 1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org