When a business sets out to work on a development project but doesn’t quite possess the necessary resources, it is typically faced with this question at an initial phase: Is staff augmentation the way to go or should you opt for software outsourcing instead? Well, before we can delve into this topic any further, we must understand what each of these options are. First up: Staff augmentation; they are aimed at augmenting the company’s existing employee roll and not too heavy on the pocket.

On the other hand, when you choose to outsource software development, what you are doing is pretty much handing over the entire project, or at least a significant chunk of the project, to another team external to the company’s payroll. In this approach, payment is typically fixed or sometimes based on ‘blended’ rates. Now, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages each one of the two options above has to offer in an attempt to decide which one works better for you.
  • Staff Augmentation
    • Advantages:
      • This method gives the company access to specialized expertise that its in-house team may currently lack. So, if it concerns a novel technology or trend, staff augmentation will help with bringing the skills to the table.
      • Many times, companies have a rigid set of protocols that they must adhere to, and this approach helps make sure that the company has jurisdiction over every single aspect of each process.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Since the costs are linear, if the project overshoots the estimated deadline, the company has to bear the additional costs.
      • Since you own the project in every sense of the word, you are required to exercise direct oversight over the team to make sure that everyone is working on the solution.
  • Software Outsourcing
    • Advantages:
      • This strategy helps take the burden off the internal team, allowing them to continue focusing on whatever constitutes priorities for the company.
      • With project outsourcing, the company can make use of best practices along with other recommended practices utilizing a team that is already well informed in this regard.
    • Disadvantages:
      • Even a slight lag in communication and mismatch in coordination between the development partner and your internal team can cause the project to crumble in the blink of an eye.
      • Since you are putting much responsibility on the shoulders of an external partner, it becomes vital to make sure that the partner you start working on the project with is dependable and indeed possess the expertise required for completing your development project.
It is clear to see that both approaches to software development have their sets of pros and cons to offer. So, be it staff augmentation or a strategic software partnership you may be considering, the fact remains that are both quite substantial options. Moreover, the only way to ensure they turn into the right choice is by carefully evaluating the requirements of the organization as well as that of the project.