Why Team Augmentation Is The Secret To Scaling Remote Teams

Bethan Vincent

When you need technical expertise and experience right now, finding and hiring talent can be a long, expensive process. 

There is an alternative which offers both flexibility and scalability, allowing you to inject on-demand global experts who have the experience and skills required to make remote work.

What is Team Augmentation?

As the war for top talent increases, organisations are finding it increasingly to hire development expertise. Even under current conditions, many technology job vacancies remain unfilled for long periods as employers struggle to find candidates of a suitable calibre. 

It’s possible that our current shift remote working will raise this bar even further, as the best candidates will now be able to pick from a global pool of employers.

Team Augmentation, also known as Team Extension, is a service that allows organisations to enhance their in-house teams with additional expertise without any difficulties or the fees associated with finding, hiring and retaining top talent.

This additional expertise is hired, compensated and trained by the provider, who then make individuals or entire teams available on an on-demand basis at a predictable cost. 

Alongside reducing recruitment costs and time-to-hire, companies are increasingly looking to Team Augmentation to increase development velocity by adding additional development resources to drive new feature releases and the development of new platforms.

This is especially prevalent in competitive markets where the difference between going live with a new proposition first or second can make or break a business. 

Cycle time compression may be the most underestimated force

Team Augmentation vs. Outsourcing vs. Dedicated team

Outsourcing is a model used by organisations to execute entire projects using the resources of another organisation. This outsourcing provider will provide a dedicated team which will be a separate entity with its own management and frameworks.

This is a valid approach for large and discrete pieces of work which can be easily packaged up into clear deliverables and milestones. For example, we work with a number of organisations in this way to define, build and deliver new applications.

Team Augmentation, by contrast, allows organisations to expand their own capacity to deliver projects and programmes within their own processes and team structures. The organisation remains in control of the project scope and deliverables but gains the benefit of expanded resources in the form of additional individuals who bring a specific skill set or expertise to an existing team.

Dedicated Team is an expanded form of Team Augmentation where instead of adding an individual or number of individuals, organisations engage an entire team provided by an external partner. This team will be highly experienced and able to slot into existing processes, code standards and specifications. This team can be purely development or a combination of development, design and product management.

A number of organisations choose to combine elements of each option to create a Hybrid-Model where they engage with both external individuals working under their own management alongside externally managed teams.

This is often a preferred option where there are multiple product and development teams within larger companies that have different requirements and skills gaps.

Team Augmentation vs. Hiring Contactors

There are a number of differences between working with a contractor and entering into a team augmentation agreement. With a contractor, you still need to find and vet people on an individual basis, which can be just as involved as a normal recruitment cycle.

Working with an individual contractor can also be risky, as there can be little room for manoeuvre if they do not get on well with your existing team.

Team Augmentation, on the other hand, enables you to swiftly access replacement within an existing commercial agreement, eliminating the need to find a replacement yourself and draw up a new contract.

You are also not locked into one type of resource or skill set, as Team Augmentation allows you to enter into an arrangement whereby a single commercial agreement covers multiple resources types. For example, you could have both front-end and back-end developers on hand, swapping in and out as required. 

This flexibility ensures you to use your budgets efficiently and have access to all the resources as required to meet business objectives

Team Augmentation also adds in a layer of governance and escalation. if something goes wrong, you will have a clear way of escalating your concerns to get a resolution. Working with a long term commercial partner also ensures that both parties are aligned on governance principles and clear ways of working that persist beyond individual relationships.

Scaling Remote Teams Effectively

As many organisations pivot to a fully-remote set up in the wake of the current pandemic, team augmentation has become an increasingly attractive proposition from both cost management and process perspectives.

When you’re in a hurry to hire, you may be tempted to skip some important interviewing and vetting steps for seemingly qualified candidates, which can result in poor outcomes.

This can be compounded in a remote setting where you need to be confident that new team members have the skills and drive to perform in a distributed team.

One of the benefits of Team Augmentation is that additional team members have been pre-vetted for you. They also come to your team with existing remote experience and a solid track record of delivery across multiple projects, with a portfolio to match.  

If your organisation is new to the world of remote work, adding experienced remote individuals, even if only for a temporary period, can also help you build out your remote processes to pave the way for adding future full-time remote hires.

Our team members have helped companies put in place solid remote project management processes, communication tools and shared our playbook for managing and training remote employees. 

On-Demand Access To Our World-Class Team

Over the past 10 years, we have worked with a range of global clients to extend their in-house teams with full development teams or specialist individuals on an on-demand basis. 

We provide fully-trained, highly experienced developers, product managers and QA specialists across both web and mobile, with expertise in Laravel, PHP, C#, Vue.JS, React, Flutter, Kotlin and Swift.

Our Team Augmentation services start at from a one-month commitment and can be scaled up sustainably to suit the needs of a project or organisation as it grows. 

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you reduce costs, access talent and ship faster.

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