September 21, 2021

Staff Augmentation or Dedicated Team?
As companies race to be the first to launch an app or transform their business through digitalization, they turn to technology providers such as Stratpoint to quickly provide resources or services in the form of developers, cloud engineers, scrum masters, and testers. It makes sense — highly specialized tech skills are tricky to hire and require a lot of investment to develop internally.  Apart from capabilities, however, it is also important to consider the engagement model when outsourcing tasks, functions, or entire projects. Some companies onboard additional resources through Staff Augmentation. Others fully outsource a project to a Dedicated Team. In this article, let’s explore the strengths and limitations of these contracts.  

Staff Augmentation

A quick way to onboard supplemental resources is through the Staff Augmentation model, offering the following benefits:
  • Scale up or scale down your team size in response to the volume and urgency of your projects. You only need to onboard new resources within the timeline of your requirements and disengage them once the project is completed. There is no disruption in the way your team is organized or operates.
  • Budgeting for additional resources through staff augmentation is straightforward: rate card x number of months.
  • The agency will handle sourcing, onboarding, and debriefing. They will manage resource replacements as needed. This saves your team the time and cost associated with talent recruitment, especially when you do not expect to retain the resources in the long run.
  • You can hire talented staff on-demand from remote locations, which may mean more cost-efficient rates.
  • You can hire for niche skills that may be hard to develop in-house.
The Staff Augmentation model works well for temporary requirements. The per head cost on a month-to-month basis is higher than organic hires, but the speed and flexibility in contracting the much needed resource makes up for the additional cost.  However, when you extend this engagement to 18 or 24 months, you are incurring extra costs without necessarily benefitting from what should be a long-term partnership. When you expect to work with a vendor for an extended period of time, you should already be considering a partnership — such as in a Dedicated Team engagement.  

Dedicated Team

When you choose a Dedicated Team engagement, you will outsource projects to a team — scrum master, developer, QA, and the lot — instead of delegating tasks to individual resources as in Staff Augmentation. The Dedicated Team will deliver not just man-hours but value-driven outcomes. This kind of engagement works well for organizations who want to stay on top of a steady stream of IT projects while staying focused on their core business.  A Dedicated Team works as a partner to your own team and comes with the following benefits:
  • At the beginning of the engagement, the service provider and you will agree on service level and expected outcomes, not just number of hours per workday. Because of this, the Dedicated Team is incentivized to deliver quality work within the approved timeline.
  • A project manager or scrum master will be in charge of the team’s day-to-day deliverables and productivity. You will not need to spend time assigning tasks to each member of the team. Because the team lead is fully allocated to the project, they can immediately and independently attend to issues or impediments. 
  • A Dedicated Team’s members are handpicked so that their technical and soft skills will complement each other in a project. You don’t need to waste time figuring out the team dynamic — they will start work on Day 1 building on each other’s strengths and assisting each other where there are weaknesses. 
  • As a Dedicated Team spends more time working together, they become even more efficient in assigning tasks, estimating timelines, and delivering requirements — through constant feedback and collaboration with the customer and with each other.  
  • You can directly correlate the service cost with the business value delivered by the project; unlike in a Staff Augmentation engagement where you cannot directly measure a single resource’s contribution. It’s now more straightforward to compute for ROI.
  • Your service provider’s core business is technology. The Dedicated Team brings with them the depth of knowledge and breadth of experience of their own executives and team leads. They can consult with subject matter experts from their headquarters regarding challenges and better strategies. You can leverage this technical oversight to ensure your project’s success.
  • In a long-term partnership, your service provider will have a deeper understanding of your goals and strategies. Together, you can align your organizational plans to improve resource planning and technology roadmapping, and to have a mutually beneficial relationship.

Partner with Stratpoint

Stratpoint deploys Agile Dedicated Teams to assist companies with their software development, cloud, and data initiatives. Based on our 20 years of practice as an end-to-end IT service provider in the Philippines and in Silicon Valley, we deliver the following value-added benefits through our Agile Dedicated Team engagement:
  • We have an established Agile practice led by certified Agile professionals. Our Agile Dedicated Teams can deliver software in a 2-week sprint and deploy improvements as the market demands. 
  • Stratpoint Tech Council — composed of tech leads from our software development, cloud, data, and R&D units — provides guidance and oversight on the latest technological trends, approaches, and industry best practices for all our projects. If a project requires integration with technology that is outside the skills of the project team or the client, they may readily seek advice from the Stratpoint Tech Council. 
  • Stratpoint has its own Data Privacy and Security teams. Our developers are trained to enfold best practices on these disciplines into their work. When needed, the respective teams provide guidance in projects to ensure the security of our clients and the users of their solutions.
  • On top of project team leads, we assign an Engagement Manager to every customer. The Engagement Manager seeks to understand all requirements and projects as a whole, making sure all our efforts align with the client’s long-term business strategies and enable digital transformation.
Considering to outsource a project to a Dedicated Team? Message us through the form below.