How Do You Size in a Staff Augmentation Environment?

Live webinars are always interesting because you get to field questions from the audience in real-time, promoting discussion and hopefully offering valuable advice. At my last webinar, Estimation Maturity, Methods and Metrics, I got a lot of questions from attendees. However, time ran out and not all the questions were answered. I will be answering these questions in a series of blog posts, starting with, “How do you size in a staff augmentation environment?” Staff augmentation relationships mean the client is responsible to manage the plans, schedule and estimate of the staff, even if the staff is vendor-supplied and they are not employees. For vendors who provide staff augmentation services, this can be a double-edged sword. If your client is not adept at sizing and estimating work, regardless of how good your people are, vendor staff often get blamed (fair or not) for not getting projects done on time. The key to managing this type of situation is to bring techniques, such as statistical sizing and better estimation, to your clients as a value add. This can be tricky because you often may have to tell your client difficult truths, like that they aren’t estimating very well, which requires careful forethought, planning and relationship management skills. One way to handle such a situation is to be proactive. For example, we have had IT vendors pay, out of their own pocket, to bring DCG in to teach a one- or two-day class to both the client and vendor staff. While the cost per student is minimal, the client will see that as a value-add contribution. Bringing positive change to your client’s engineering practices will always augment your value! Register to attend this webinar here. Have questions? Need more information? Let me know in the comments! Tony Timbol Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Written by Michael D. Harris at 07:30
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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
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