Agile squad or Staff augmentation: differences and advantages of each model

Agile squad or Staff augmentation
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When new projects and technological challenges arise and it becomes essential to expand the work team, you must take into account the two best-known contracting modalities, related to outsourcing. Agile squad or Staff augmentation: we will tell you what each one is about.

Agile Squad

In short, this modality could be the equivalent of the Scrum team of the agile Scrum methodology. Agile Squads are multifunctional and self-organized teams of between 4 and 10 people, who can perform all the tasks that are necessary for the good performance of a project.

The most relevant characteristic is that they are autonomous in their functions; that is, team members decide what to do and what methods to use to achieve their goals. They do not depend on external entities or members external to the squad, everything they have to solve they have to solve themselves.

The list of advantages
  • Scalability. It is possible to create several squads and serve one client or several at the same time.
  • Flexibility. Team members can share responsibilities and work times according to demand.
  • Sufficient autonomy of decision and knowledge to generate high quality deliveries in the shortest possible time.
What does it consist of and when to choose this modality

When hiring a squad to an IT outsourcing company, you are hiring a team to assign them to a certain project.

At MyTaskPanel Consulting, we take agility and flexibility to the next level by offering the squad administration service, through our agile coach. This figure is the one that manages the configuration of that squad to adapt it to the needs of the project in each of its stages. That is, the members of the squad, who participate in each iteration, are not necessarily always the same.

This type of contracting is appropriate for most cases, but especially when the following situations occur:

  • It does not have its own team.
  • The challenge is complex and requires different skills.
  • It is not known for sure how long it will take to complete the project and it is desired to delegate decisions to highly trained personnel.

Many companies fear this modality, because they consider it difficult to limit in price. An agile squad is charged per month or per sprint, as the time it will take to complete development is unknown. It is linked to the Scrum modality that is not planned 100%, but only thinks about the next iteration and progresses little by little. In the end, in practice it is cheaper if it is handled well. Therefore, it is necessary to have a good product owner who knows what he wants and needs.

The companies that feel most comfortable working with an agile squad are the most agile, technological companies, at the forefront; those who realized that it is a highly effective work modality. The most traditional companies, on the other hand, continue to bet on projects with a closed budget.

Staff Augmentation

This modality has been in the market for years and consists of adding additional personnel to the company’s resource staff. The key is that personnel is provided by an external company, considered as a specialist and strategic partner, on which the assigned workers depend. This option is generally chosen to fill highly specialized positions and on a temporary basis.

The list of advantages
  • Savings in fixed and/or additional costs. Only what is worked is charged.
  • Time saving. You avoid personally selecting the ideal staff.
  • Change of professionals at no additional cost. If the selected person stops contributing to the project in the way the company expects, the outsourcing company takes care of finding another one.
What does it consist of and when to choose this modality

A specific person is hired (not a team as in the case of agile squad), with certain characteristics that are needed for the project.

It is the client who is in charge of assigning tasks and controlling the work of the person hired, while the company supplying the resource is responsible for its suitability and takes care of replacing it if necessary.

To be successful with this modality, it is necessary to plan an adequate onboarding of the new team member, to explain the work modality, the objectives to be fulfilled, the tasks to be carried out, the quality requirements, the team members, etc.

Unlike a squad, hired professionals cannot be changed from one iteration to another. That is, a specialist hired joins the client’s work team, either for a complete project or for tasks of several projects.

In short, staff augmentation is applicable when you already have a formed team and you need to fill a vacancy for a certain time.

In short, the Agile squad or Staff augmentation decision will depend on the characteristics, the situation and the state of the company and the project that you are going to start. At MyTaskPanel Consulting, we offer you both modalities. Do not hesitate to contact us.


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