Staff augmentation. In modern day business — and especially app development — you’ve either heard of it or done it yourself.
But in case you need a quick recap, staff augmentation is a type of outsourcing strategy where employees are hired in to fill gaps on projects and products to push the agenda forward. It’s a convenient way for companies of all sizes to boost their output without needing to go through a lengthy, expensive hiring process.
Staff augmentation in 2021
Staff augmentation is a huge business and is a great example of a sector that thrived during the pandemic. The global outsourcing market was worth $92.5 billion in 2019 — not a bad figure, right? But as of today, and likely as a result of the pandemic, the IT staff augmentation market has grown to $132.9 billion.
As a concept, the idea of staff augmentation is pretty solid. You, the business, have a talent gap that needs filling. They, as a potential staff member, are skilled in a way that you need. Put the two together and everyone is a winner.
Except that staff augmentation practices have been less than ideal recently. With remote working becoming the norm, workers risk being commoditized and used like faceless robots rather than the valuable assets they are.
Staff augmentation can also cause issues for product managers. Using staff augmentation may bring in the right people for the job, but there may be a QA expert from one place, a designer from somewhere else, and a programmer from a third location. That means you have your “team”, but it’s not really a team that can work together easily — leaving the product manager with a lot more work to do.
This is why Cheesecake Labs are standing against the status quo of staff augmentation, offering our ‘dedicated team’ service instead.
The Cheesecake Labs ‘dedicated team’ approach
When a potential client approaches Cheesecake Labs with a talent gap that needs filling, our first question will always be “what are your needs?”. Some clients only require a single engineer or a couple of extra hands on deck, and that’s fine but it’s not how we like to operate.
Loaning out a solo engineer puts them in a strange and often uncomfortable situation. It can feel like they’re stranded on an island without their usual team, support network and collective intelligence.
That’s not a great environment to work in. It starts to feel like they’re just an interchangeable cog in the machine rather than a person who brings value to the product and business.
Cheesecake Labs runs on teamwork, that’s why we offer a full package deal. Once a client has communicated their needs, the CKL dedicated team comes forward as a unit (varying in size) — including a project manager, a tech lead, engineers with different expertises, and a quality assurance expert.
This team is a tried-and-tested, well oiled machine. They’ve been interviewed, onboarded and verified; they’ve collaborated together already; have all the tools needed in place; and they have access to collective intelligence from across the Cheesecake Labs family.
With typical staff augmentation, you may get an individual who can help you get to where you want to be — but the risks and responsibilities are many. It’s an altogether different experience when working with a dedicated team.
What are the benefits of a dedicated team versus staff augmentation?
Working in a Cheesecake Labs dedicated team helps foster an environment of collaboration, innovation and engagement. That leads to positive knock-on effects for our clients, too. Let’s take a quick look at how a dedicated team from Cheesecake Labs can benefit your product and business.
The right tools
When it comes to application development best practices, there are tons of methodologies on the market. Worse still, each of them can seem like a silver bullet or magical path to deliver both on time and on budget… which one do you choose for your augmented team?
It’s here that a Cheesecake Labs dedicated team really makes a difference. We are addicted to improving and overcoming our expectations and limitations. And that’s not just a mindset, it’s an approach to tooling and methodologies, too.
Over the last 8+ years, we’ve honed and tightened our approach to developing custom applications. We’ve built shopping experiences, gaming networks, and even an app to book helicopter taxis. We’ve incorporated IoT, voice search, and other emerging technologies. We’ve tried and tested all the main methodologies and tools to work out which is best. And, as a result, we’ve cemented a thorough understanding of the processes and tools that increase our efficiency and maximize value — value that we pass on to you.
Our exclusive recipe is comprised of many quality assurance measures and efficiency boosters. But here’s a quick taster of what you can expect:
- Clear and streamlined communication between all stakeholders and the team (by that we mean the whole team, not just a subset of it!) using Slack, plus various stand-up and weekly meetings.
- A well-defined management process with a transparent control and monitoring report, shared weekly, to see the status of the budget burndown vs. effort and progress, etc.
- We use JIRA as the tool to manage milestones, releases, and tasks, including a custom-crafted Kanban board to give everyone full visibility over project progress.
- Each of our developers follows a strict Git-flow with clear quality guidelines and peer code review.
- We deploy infrastructure as a code using Terraform to develop and maintain applications and have environments up and running.
- Strict continuous integration and deployment pipelines to ensure that the code delivered is high quality and free of critical bugs.
- Development and code metrics using the most innovative service and tools in the industry.
Peace of mind
Using traditional staff augmentation practices, product managers have to spend more time and effort micro-managing an individual or group of individuals. Meetings and check-ins can become more complicated, ideas can be diluted and you’re guaranteed to lose value (plus time and money).
With a dedicated team, you simply tell us what your objectives are and we’ll take on the responsibility of achieving them. Cheesecake Labs will handle everything you need — keeping you in the loop constantly and providing you with a great product packed full of value for your end users.
We’ve built our reputation by producing delightful digital products time after time. By choosing our dedicated team over regular staff augmentation, you know the final product is going to be excellent — crafted and carried forward by a team that truly cares about shared success.
Our teams are made of people with multiple competencies, which means you can get the help you need when you need it. Suddenly need to pull a UX or UI designer into the mix? No problem. They’re already in the CKL family, and we’ll quickly have the right talent for you. No disruptions, no lengthy searches for the right person, it’s all included in a Cheesecake Labs dedicated team.
Expertise and experience
Quality, efficiency, style, standards, and velocity — you’ll experience a boost in each of these when working with a dedicated team.
Following the staff augmentation model, you have no choice but to hire a set of individuals and patch them together. How well they’ll work as a group, how similar their standards are, what each of them deems as quality… it’s all coming down to guesswork. And if your assumptions are wrong, then you’ll be facing costly rounds of rework and falling behind schedule.
Not to mention the fact that you’ll have to spend time (and therefore money) finding, interviewing, and hiring these people for yourself.
With the CKL dedicated team, however, you can take advantage of our expertise and experience, our tools and processes, our quality and efficiency. And that’s how you get ahead.
Move quickly and claim your competitive advantage
Hiring a great team of individuals can take weeks, even months, of work to put together. Not only is that draining your budget and slowing you down, it’s allowing your competitors to gain traction and take over the market gap that you’re trying to fill.
By choosing Cheesecake Labs, you can get started with our tried-and-tested dedicated team right away! Our employees all share the same workflow, so they can work seamlessly on your product with no conflicts when sending work between team members.
The Cheesecake Labs dedicated team in action
Cheesecake Labs has successfully partnered as a dedicated team with several clients over the years — and we’re happy to tell you how well it’s worked.
Global WiFi hotspot manufacturer Skyroam was facing scalability challenges when they first contacted us in 2016. Their current Shopify platform was holding them back and they needed a custom eCommerce solution to reach their full potential.
Read more at Forbes: Five Tech Innovations That Will Shape The Future Of Shopping Experiences
We started our dedicated team engagement with 2 engineers plus a project manager, and, together, they helped Skyroam design and develop an eCommerce platform capable of global expansion. Mission one, complete.
Later, we increased the dedicated team to 4 engineers, a project manager, and a quality assurance expert to squeeze more value out of the, now global and highly successful, eCommerce solution. Our team worked closely with the marketing team at Skyroam, ensuring that the product roadmap was totally aligned with the business’s KPIs and goals.
After 4+ years together, Skyroam’s eCommerce revenue from digital channels had increased from 5% to over 70%. All that was left to do was execute a perfect handover to Skyroam’s internal technology team and let them take the lead.
What could a Cheesecake Labs dedicated team do for you?
Using a dedicated team in place of standard staff augmentation is better for workers, better for creativity and better for your business. Our partnership could go on for months or years, depending on what you need.
No matter how long you work with us, Cheesecake Labs can work seamlessly with your in-house team and keep you ahead of the competition. Contact us today to see how Cheesecake Labs can bring added value to your product.