We’re living in a historic time – one where not only have humans been forced to change the way we interact with each other, but where businesses also must re-examine (at least in the short-term) how they operate. That includes resourcing.
The pandemic that is sweeping our world is changing the way we do business. That’s undeniable. Many digital teams have transitioned to a completely remote workforce and are learning on-the-fly how to maintain their productivity – from research, to design and development services (read our tips). But what about organizations that offshore their web development work? While historically “farming out” development can provide significant cost savings that to some organizations outweigh the risks – the current conditions related to the coronavirus are exposing a potential new and unexpected offshoring concern: Availability.
What We’re Hearing from Our Clients
Several of Paragon’s clients working in a blended on/offshore development paradigm have indicated slowdowns with their offshore development teams. One of our clients has reported that upwards of 80% of their India-based offshore development resources are offline due to stay-at-home measures. The reality is that some offshore teams are struggling to maintain “business as usual” because their team members simply cannot access the systems to work on digital properties remotely from their homes. While clearly not all offshore teams will experience slowdowns, it’s sensible (and not insensitive) for program/project managers to address these questions with their offshore teams:
- Are project timelines or budgets at risk?
- How have offshore developers been affected by stay-at-home policies?
- What (if any) is the contingency plan?
Hopefully the answers are sufficient, and timeline are not at risk. However, for digital teams that are experiencing or expect to undergo disruptions that may impact project deadlines, it’s best to have a contingency plan in place – whether that’s an internal reallocation of resources, or when that’s not feasible – access to staff augmentation services.
Staffing Considerations to Ensure “In-Flight” Project Momentum
During times of disruption or crisis, staff augmentation needs may arise for a number of reasons – whether that’s reduced offshore availability, a reallocation of internal resources, or staff reductions due to budgetary constraints (to name a few). When shifting to an onshore development team to fill those gaps, it’s critical that there’s a plan in place so that in-flight projects move forward without missing a beat. Below is an example of how we do it – each step highlighting key factors we recommend that organizations consider essential when assessing staff augmentation teams to backfill resources:
Paragon’s 5-Step Process for Joining “In Flight” Projects
Step 1: 360o Project Assessment – Quickly get up-to-speed on project scope and schedule – including goals, requirements, timelines and “in-flight” status.
Step 2: Custom-Fit Resource Assignment – Hand-select in-house, expert resources to best fill project gaps based on a careful evaluation of the skillsets that are both explicitly and implicitly required.
Step 3: Seamless “In-Flight” Integration – Seamlessly plug-in to existing development teams – aligning with systems, technology stacks, protocols and activity timelines already in place.
Step 4: Delivery and Knowledge Transfer – Package and deliver all project assets according to the requirements guidelines, and provide lessons learned for future efficiencies.
Step 5: Roadmapping and Resource Retainment – Carefully work with key project stakeholders to assess potential resource needs for project extensions, managed services, or longer-term visions.
When augmenting staff during in-flight projects or otherwise, it should always amount to far greater than “just adding staff”. True augmentation means inserting talented resources that will know how to integrate into an existing team and enhance the performance of everyone around them through subject matter expertise, while fulfilling their assigned tasks in an exemplary fashion.
Whether due to unexpected crisis scenario like we’re experiencing now, or simply a team member resignation, having a contingency staffing plan in place is not only important, it’s prudent.
We offer a variety of flexible staff augmentation models and resource types to meet your need:
We know times are difficult. How can we help? Let’s talk.