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4 Important Things to Consider Before Scaling Your Development Team

Business.com / Technology / Last Modified: May 30, 2018
Image credit: tsyhun/Shutterstock

CIOs said they believe a lack of talent is preventing them from keeping up with the rapid pace of technology. Here are the options to consider when ready to ramp up the IT team.

Many businesses are facing the greatest shortage of technology talent since the early 2000s. Harvey Nash/KPMG revealed that 65 percent of CIOs said they believe a lack of talent is preventing them from keeping up with the rapid pace of technology. Usually, when businesses look for additional help to complete their projects, the first thing that comes to mind is hiring more team members; however, there are other options.

Finding and hiring more highly-skilled team members can be a costly and risky move, especially for companies with budget restraints. As a result, staff augmentation and outsourcing are popular ways to execute entire projects using outside resources. These solutions can provide development teams with the skills required without the need to hire another full-time employee in-house.

But how do you know which option is right for your business? If you need to scale your development team but feel unsure whether you should outsource or hire in-house, here are a few things to consider before you make any hiring decisions.   

1. Identify the skills your team lacks

Before deciding how you will scale your team, it’s important to evaluate and understand what skill sets your in-house development team already possess. For example, maybe you have a team of highly-skilled front-end developers, but you’re missing the back-end know-how to complete a new project.

Outlining and understanding the skills and knowledge your team already possesses will help you eliminate any overlap when you add someone new to your team. It will also help you avoid overpaying for extra services or know-how your organization might not actually need.

If you’re struggling to identify the skills gaps on your team, have your employees fill out a simple survey. Include questions about whether or not they feel they have the right tools to do their jobs and what additional training they feel they need to do their jobs effectively. Once you identify what you team is missing, then you can decide if more in-house training is possible, or if you need to bring in an outside developer to get fresh ideas flowing and help expand your team’s skill set.

2. Outline your budget

Once you’ve addressed the gaps that need to be filled, you can decide on the best way to get the help you need – whether its hiring in-house or outsourcing the work completely. More often than not, this decision depends heavily on your budget.

There are many costs associated with hiring a new developer in-house beyond pay. In fact, the estimated cost of hiring a new employee can be 1.5 to 3 times that of his or her salary when you factor in the costs of recruitment, training, and any onboarding processes. All of these tasks can take a significant amount of time and resources, and put a strain on smaller budgets.

3. Evaluate your project timeline

If you’re going to scale your team, consider the amount of control you’d like to maintain over your projects. Having a team comprised of entirely in-house members is often the best way to have complete control over projects and their outcomes. Team members can meet with each other in-person, facilitating collaboration and creating a workplace culture that only takes place when team members work face-to-face.

However, according to Glassdoor, the average time-to-hire for technology positions is on the rise, and it can take around 35 days to hire a developer in the United States. If you need to get a product to market fast, then the time spent on the recruiting and hiring process is crucial. Furthermore, if you need to expedite the hiring process in order to get a project started on time, outsourcing or augmenting your staff may be the best way to scale your team without sacrificing quality.

4. Determine if real-time communication is necessary

When you have an in-house development team, you’re able to meet as often as needed to discuss project details. You also have a better sense of the security of your data and can ensure that project information remains in the right hands.

However, it’s no longer difficult to find a highly-professional outsourcing partner that can address any data security concerns before you sign a contract. What’s more, if you choose to work with developers in another country, communicating in real-time has never been easier thanks to real-time collaboration tools, such as Slack, Asana, and Campfire, that now exist.

Just keep in mind that if you do decide to outsource any development work, the time zone difference between your company and your outsourced developers shouldn’t exceed eight hours or you may face communication problems.

Choosing the right path

When it comes to growing your development team, there is no one-size fits all approach. Some companies may be able to fulfill all of their needs by hiring in-house. However, many organizations are discovering that a hybrid approach is the right way to go because it allows existing in-house team members and outsourced developers to work together.

One of the best ways to use a hybrid approach to scale your team is to work with an outside vendor who can provide both staff augmentation and full outsourcing services. This can give your company the “best of both worlds,” without the burden of managing multiple outside collaborators.

To find the right solution for your team, take your time to work through the points above. Not only will this help you understand which option will work best for your business but it will also help you deliver the desired results to your clients in an agile, cost-effective way.

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