The ability to manage augmented staff with an existing in-house team of developers can be challenging. We have compiled some tips and tricks to make managing extended team easier.
For many businesses that have complex technical needs, 👉 IT staff augmentation 👈 is a great solution to hire the right tech talent, and get projects off the ground quickly. Now managing extended teams can present a unique challenge for your project managers.
This can present unique challenges for a few reasons. Some of them include:
- augmented staff usually works remotely. And, not each project manager has experience with remote workers
- making augmented developers feel like part of the team despite differences in location & remote work
- organizing tasks and effective communication using online tools
But you can work through these challenges and gain numerous benefits thanks to this hiring and outsourcing model too.
Developers hired via staff augmentation can join your software development team ASAP. They can join various software teams. Teams for web development, application development, infrastructure engineering, etc. There is no shortage of specializations required to get a tech project up and running. Augmenting your team with experts in these areas is a great way to help meet business objectives and maximize your team’s potential.
Common challenges of managing an augmented extended team
There are a few common team augmentation challenges associated with managing extended teams such as:
- managing a remote team
- balancing different time zones
- distributing workload
- maintaining good company morale
Let’s explore each of these more closely and why they can be problematic with augmented teams.
Managing remote developers
A lot of the time when using staff augmentation services you can hire a remote development team or a remote programmer to work on your project. Not every project manager will have experience with remote work and how to navigate that world. Some of our tips on how to manage remote teams include:
- Have a game plan – know what you need to be done and how long it should take
- Overcommunicate – it’s better to communicate even things that seem obvious than to leave something unsaid.
- Check-in with remote developers often to make sure that everything is okay and that everyone is on the same page
- Resist micromanagement – managing extended teams does not mean constantly controlling what they do, how they do it, etc.
- Set clear expectations from the beginning to avoid misunderstandings and confusion
- Use online tools to help keep everything organized and accessible
Managing a remote team from staff augmentation services does not have to be scary. You just need the right approach.
Figuring out working hours across various locations
Another challenge to overcome with augmented developers is location differences. In some cases, you may also be dealing with time zone issues. We mentioned previously how managing remote workers can be a challenge. This challenge can be amplified with different locations and time zones. However, there are ways to solve these issues and work around them.
First of all, here at Swyply, regardless of the distance or time zone issues, we make sure our developers working hours overlap with yours. We try to ensure that there is an overlap of two or three hours. This way your project manager can get everyone together to collaborate on all aspects of the project.
Also, our developers will make themselves available for your weekly o daily virtual chats, to make sure that they are on the same page as everyone else. These two solutions make location and time zone differences less of an issue than they appear at face value.
Distribute workload evenly among in-house team & augmented team
In some cases when you add skilled technical resources your project manager may struggle to balance the workload. They may need a minute to find a balance to distribute tasks between your in-house team and additional team members.
It’s important to constantly monitor the number of tasks assigned to each individual. You want to avoid a situation in which someone has too much to do. Or someone is idle and has nothing to do.
Plus the monitoring of tasks and distributing the workload can help you better gauge how long you need developers from a team augmentation service.
Maintaining company culture & good morale
The constant rotation of developers in any given team can be bad for morale. This is especially true if it’s permanent full-time employees that are leaving. Most tech company owners are aware of the fact that developers tend to switch companies fairly often. This can be due to a number of reasons such as career stagnation, financial limitations, etc. But whatever the reason, the exit of an employee can negatively impact those that stay behind.
Another aspect that can suffer when we are constantly losing employees and hiring new ones is not being able to establish a company culture. You find that your company mission and culture disappear. The truth is it’s the employees who build that culture and keep it going. Of course, it can be altered by managers and CEOs but the foundation is established by employees. New employees can alter that culture and sometimes it can turn toxic.
How staff augmentation can help with company culture & morale?
Staff augmentation can help you maintain company culture and good morale. Firstly, you are able to hire someone who fits both in terms of technical skills and soft skills. Secondly, this developer can fill a slot on your development team that may in a traditional hiring model struggle with high turnover. Finally, everyone knows that a developer who was hired from a staff augmentation firm will eventually leave. So it’s not as difficult to process as a permanent member leaving suddenly.
Therefore, staff augmentation services can actually help with 👉 employee retention 👈, and maintain good morale along with company culture.
How to integrate augmented staff with the in-house development team
Integrating augmented personnel into an existing team can be challenging. It is important that both teams understand their respective roles and responsibilities, as well as the dynamics of how they will interact. Here are some tips for integrating augmented staff and creating a successful team dynamic:
Tip #1: Assign a buddy to your extended team members
Assigning a “buddy” to support augmented developers at least at the beginning is crucial to ensure integration success. When you assign an in-house team member to each augmented member they can serve as a mentor, resource, and sounding board. This person can help the augmented staff member adjust to the environment. Also, they can help them build relationships with the rest of the team.
Tip #2: Include augmented software developers in team meetings
Make sure to include augmented personnel in team meetings. This way you can be sure that augmented staff understand the project goals and have an equal say in decision-making.
Also, if in your company you have team meetings such as a virtual coffee break. Where the goal is for people to get to know each other and talk about something more than work. Include augmented personnel in these meetings. They will bond with your internal team and make collaboration easier.
Tip #3: Treat augmented personnel like regular permanent employees
All staff augmented or not should be treated equally. This helps to build trust and encourages collaboration. By treating each developer equally you foster a teamwork atmosphere.
When speaking to a developer who was added via staff augmentation, you should speak to them like you would your in-house development team.
Tips on how to manage augmented staff in IT projects
Managing augmented staff in IT projects requires some special considerations. Here are some tips for successful management:
Organize quick onboarding
Onboarding new hires is a crucial step in any recruitment process. The truth is when you hire software engineers via staff augmentation, you will need to onboard them as well. Of course, this onboarding process will be accelerated but it’s still necessary to make them feel part of your organization.
The first step of onboarding should be introducing new employees to existing staff. They should be introduced to who they will working with. Plus they should also know who is responsible for what aspects of your company in case they need something.
Additionally, you should provide them with information about the tasks they will be working on. Along with that, they should be shown what programming tools they need to use. Also, make sure to introduce augmented developers to any communication and organization tools you use internally.
As an interesting fact, here at Swyply, we also onboard coders to our organization. This is not just something done by our customers but we do it for our internal processes and procedures as well.
Focus on communication
The key to any successful partnership is communication. An organization that does not have adequate communication, dies. So it’s important to establish communication between your extended team and your internal team. You should plan for things like regular check-ins, feedback loops, and milestone reviews.
Plus in our experience, it’s sometimes better to overcommunicate with developers from team augmentation services, because not everything that is obvious to you is obvious to them.
An example where over-communication is necessary:
So, overcommunication may be necessary when you have a remote developer who is just joining your team. Something that is obvious to us about how we work, organize and communicate. May not be obvious to a developer who is joining your team for a short period of time.
It’s better to ask if everything is okay and to communicate even minor things to make sure that everything is crystal clear. Also, this will help the developer fit in with your team a lot faster and feel more comfortable.
The balance between control and flexibility
Make sure that there is a balance between control and flexibility. Allowing the team to make their own decisions while still having a clear direction will help ensure that the project stays on track. No one likes someone who micromanages their every move.
Plus having a rigid environment also reduces and suffocates creativity. You do not want this because augmented staff and your internal team can offer cool ideas to make your project even better. So leave some wiggle room.
While talking about control and flexibility, we should also mention expectations. It is also important to provide clear expectations and goals for the augmented staff. Make sure that they understand the scope of the project and the timeline for completion. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Offer & encourage feedback
Feedback is valuable for all employees and employers. Providing developers with feedback can help them grow professionally. Additionally, if you give positive praise, it will let developers appreciate and value their work. Moreover, if you are open to feedback from developers, you may gain better solutions for your projects.
Also, when you work with a staff augmentation partner like Swyply, we will check in with you once a month. During this time we want to know that our cooperation is heading in the right direction. We want to know that your company does not have additional needs. If you do we can add more developers, switch developers or even remove developers.
Here at Swyply, we also check in with our programmers to make sure that they are happy with their current projects. If something is not right, we can intervene and make sure nothing becomes a big issue.
Assign clear tasks & deadlines
Assigning tasks to your augmented team and your in-house team is crucial to help not only get the project done but also in terms of collaboration. Each member should know what tasks and responsibilities belong to them. They should also, be aware of when their task needs to be completed in order to not delay the entire project.
Setting clear expectations can help your team avoid confusion, in terms of whose doing what and when. You want to avoid a scenario where two people do the exact same thing. Plus it helps push the project forward.
Also, make sure to check in on these assignments. Augmented teams that work remotely, need more communication to allow them to feel comfortable. Plus you will know that everyone is on the same page. This will help minimize any issues before they become really big problems.
Use management & communication tools
There are a number of management & communication tools that can help you manage your local team and a remote team, along with any augmented staff. Some of these tools include the following:
- Google Meets
- and so much more.
You may already use such tools to manage your local team, you can always add additional profiles to connect your augmented team members with your in-office staff.
Encourage collaboration & teamwork
The key to a 👉 successful team augmentation project 👈 is to encourage teamwork between all parties. There are various techniques that can help you encourage collaboration amongst your employees. Some of them include:
- Build trust amongst employees and this can be easily done, all you need to do is have virtual chats like a coffee break. This allows people to get to know each other and communicate informally.
- Give the freedom to teams or individuals to make independent decisions. It’s a nice feeling for people to make their own decisions. Sometimes these decisions can lead to awesome changes that benefit your project. Plus you show that you trust the experts you hire and they can be held accountable for their actions.
- Provide software development teams with learning opportunities. If you can provide professional development opportunities for teams to help them not only build skills but also work together.
- If necessary or if need be, mix up your teams. As projects change, do not be afraid to group up different sets of people. This will give fresh perspectives, more bonding opportunities, etc. Plus you will see who vibes better with who and which sets of people are more productive together. Hiring developers from a staff augmentation provider will also help you mix it up.
Summary on how to work and manage extended teams for IT projects
Staff augmentation is a great way for businesses to access specialized skills for their IT projects. It is important to ensure that augmented personnel are integrated well into the existing team and that they are managed effectively. To manage extended teams, try some of these tips:
- assign a buddy to support them,
- include them in team meetings,
- treat them like regular staff,
- organize quick onboarding,
- focus on communication,
- a balance between control and flexibility
- offer & encourage feedback
- assign clear tasks & deadlines
- use management & communication tools
- encourage collaboration & teamwork
By following these tips, businesses can ensure that their projects are successful and their teams are productive.
It is also important to provide augmented staff with the necessary resources and tools to do their job. This includes access to the right software, hardware, and other tools that they need to complete their tasks. However, when it comes to Swyply, in terms of hardware we provide our developers with laptops and co-financing for home office furniture. Each staff augmentation company will cover 👉 different costs associated with augmented staffing 👈.
Additionally, it is important to provide them with the necessary training and support to ensure that they are able to work efficiently and effectively. By providing augmented staff with the right resources and support, businesses can ensure that their projects are successful and their teams are productive.
Want to learn about IT staff augmentation or perhaps some tips and tricks on how to manage extended teams? 👉 Drop us a line 👈, we would love to hear from you. Let’s chat freely about can this hiring model works for your business.