This article examines the different approaches available for resourcing your software development projects. If you have a project in mind and are wondering whether to directly recruit contractors or to use an outsourcing firm, consultancy or agency, then read this article to get some guidance based on Priocept’s experience.
Benefits of Outsourcing
Priocept operates as a consultancy providing the skilled services of individuals, or groups of individuals, to fulfill project requirements. This approach has many benefits for an organisation looking for particular skills to help achieve their goals, whether short-term or long-term, including:
- Multi-Skilled Resources – A number of resources can be used with a differing set of skills to fulfil a particular role. For example, finding an individual that is a data scientist, cloud infrastructure specialist, DevOps lead, and UI guru all combined into one, would be a very tall order. But by using a consultancy, a combination of individuals can be made available on a part-time basis to fulfil the overall requirement, with the customer only paying for the equivalent of one super-skilled person.
- On-Demand Resourcing – Resources used in this manner are flexible. Skillsets can be swapped out when required, resources can be turned on and off to meet the demands of projects, and burst capacity is available when necessary.
- Resource Continuity – Outsourced engagements can be structured with resource interchangeability in mind. This means that an overall team of resources will retain a detailed knowledge of your systems and projects, which ensures that there is continuity of capability and avoids key-man dependencies, where one person holds too much of the knowledge required to successfully complete a project or support a system. This approach also ensures that there is always good documentation and handover processes in place as they become a fundamental part of delivering a consistent service and meeting Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Outsourced HR Administration – From a HR perspective, resources are managed by the contracted company. A resources’ salary payments, holiday entitlements, training, and general management are outsourced. Companies using outsourced resources can therefore focus on project delivery and simply escalate any dissatisfactions with team members to the contracted organisation to resolve.
When looking to resource your project, a number of different resourcing models are available to suit your requirement. The most common resourcing models are:
- Project Delivery – The consultancy will take full ownership of management, development, and technical delivery of a project. The contracting organisation will maintain product ownership, but will be less involved in the day-to-day project work, being called upon only to set milestones and objectives, review progress, and set direction.
- Retained Team – The consultancy will provide an individual, or group of individuals, with the relevant skills required, to work as part of your team to deliver a project. This may include overall ownership of project delivery, but differs from the Project Delivery approach in that the consultancy’s commitment is to providing the right resources for a period of time, rather than complete delivery of the project (even though this is the expected and natural outcome with the right resources). This approach is best suited to organisations looking to augment their own resources whilst retaining control of the project. It is similar to directly hiring contractors, but comes with many benefits (as described in the previous section).
- Fractional Resourcing – Some customers require support with more strategic leadership. They may have their own delivery teams, but lack some of the more senior resources that can help shape their technical vision. For these customers, a consultancy can make their senior leadership team available to fulfil roles such as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Technical Director. This approach is suited to an organisation undergoing digital transformation, where their core business is not technology or software development and where they are not yet ready to invest in a director-level internal resource.
If you are struggling to find the right resources for your project, consider the approaches above such as augmenting your capabilities with skilled resources or completely outsourcing delivery to an external but trusted and capable team. Whatever your requirements, feel free to get in touch with Priocept. We have resourcing models to suit any project and would be glad to share our insights based on over 20 years’ of experience.