3 Ways Staff Aug Can Save You Time and Money
Posted: August 30, 2017
In my last blog, I talked about three different scenarios you could find yourself in and how staff aug might be the right solution. I’ve already dispelled some myths about staff augmentation resourcing, but I wanted to take it one step further by sharing some real-life staff aug success stories.
No Budget? Let’s Get Creative!
Betsy, an instructional designer, was put on bed rest two months ahead of her expected maternity leave. Betsy was on three critical projects that were planned to be finished before she left. Each project included highly analytical tasks: a job/task analysis, gathering data and results for a Level 3 assessment, and a system simulation build. She was a strong instructional designer and her key strengths included attention to detail, consistency, and precision. This made her a great match for her assigned projects.
As the instructional design manager, Marc was trying to determine how to continue her work without pause. He considered rearranging work assignments for the rest of team to try to fill the gap. However, he quickly realized that would really strain his team’s capacity, and he would have some VERY unhappy business partners.
Marc felt like he needed someone to brainstorm with about his dilemma. Luckily, Marc and I had worked together in the past, and he thought I might have some ideas up my sleeve.
Once he finished describing his situation, all sorts of resourcing ideas popped up in my mind. I knew that several of our ttcInnovations learning professionals (AKA our Innovators on Demand™) possessed similar work styles and skill sets as Betsy, and many had even worked on a project in another area of Marc’s learning organization, so they were familiar with the company and environment.
As thrilled as he was, the next question was cost. I could almost hear Marc slump a bit in his chair. He told me he had no idea where he was going to get the budget to pay for this additional resource. He certainly couldn’t use his salary dollars, and the projects Betsy was working on were not being funded by the business. Marc and I did a bit more talking, and he took back some ideas to discuss with his director.
The Happy Ending
In the end, Marc did find the money he needed for this staffing resource. As it turned out, another project was being sponsored by the business, but they had chosen to use internal resources instead of outsourcing, thus leaving dollars in their budget to cover a staffing resource for Betsy.
Two points to make in this example:
- Marc was already working with a learning vendor (ttcInnovations) that had a group of learning professionals who were familiar with his company. This made it easier for Marc to gain approval for staff augmentation because the resource already knew the business environment and had similar skills to Betsy.
- Although funds may be short in the event of an emergency, by thinking creatively, you can find a way to support this type of solution.
Need Help? Phone a Friend!
Sonya, a training manager, had just learned that her best learning project manager, Camille, got a great job offer with another company and decided to take it. The previous month, Sonya’s company had put all departments on a hiring freeze, so she was unable to fill Camille’s job until January of the next year. It was August, and Camille was leading eight projects that would run into the next year.
Sonya had also just lost another project manager the previous month and decided not to replace her since she could easily split up that person’s work between the other project managers, thus providing budget savings — a big plus in her favor.
Now Sonya had a problem, though. The remaining project managers were each operating at capacity and she had no one to take over Camille’s projects. Since the overall learning team size had decreased over the last five years, no one on the team had extra capacity. She resigned herself to the fact that she would have to take on Camille’s projects, which would push her work week to 80 hours.
During lunch the next day, her friend suggested the possibility of using a staff augmentation resource to fill in until a replacement for Camille could be hired. Sonya wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do. Would that actually work in her environment? Would her clients be open to working with someone they didn’t know, who wasn’t a fellow employee?
Sonya didn’t think it was going to fly with her manager either, but she figured she would at least look into the costs and hopefully come up with a brilliant plan.
After a recommendation from a peer, Sonya called me. I explained to her that our project management resources were accustomed to coming into similar situations and skilled at gaining trust and respect very quickly. Each resource had years of project management experience leading learning projects and working with a variety of people, personalities, and work styles. I provided her with a few resumes and the cost.
Sonya worked on a plan to present to her manager. She determined that she could give three of the eight projects to other team members based on the size of the work effort. And Sonya herself took one project, which left four. With just four projects in need, the weekly work effort was about 25 hours. She called me back to see if she could contract her selected resource for 25 hours a week for four months. I said, “Of course!”
Sonya worked with her manager to secure the funds from the original project manager position she didn’t fill the previous month and used those funds to pay for the staff augmentation resource.
Two points to make in this example:
- You most likely already know someone who can recommend a learning vendor partner to assist with a staffing need.
- By thinking outside the box and looking for all possible funding options, you can get creative in what is available to you.
No Time? We Have You Covered!
Within the last two weeks, one of my favorite clients (a large financial bank) called with an urgent request:
“We just received some new regulatory requirements that must be in place by 12/31. We need a strong project manager to keep us all straight and on time, a super extraordinary senior ID who can help with figuring out what each business line needs, and a down-and-dirty ID who can crank out the necessary deliverables and enjoy rewriting the content several times before it’s approved.”
Okay, we can do that!!!
The following week, I received another call — this time from the project manager we just put in place. They needed two more resources: one to handle all reporting needs for the project and another to complete and track all the compliance-required documentation at the deliverable and audience levels. These resources required specific skills, experience, and the ability to be excellent communicators.
✅ Check, check!
The Happy Ending
In this story, the funding for these resources came directly out of the budget for the entire initiative at the division level — not the learning organization budget. This client has built strong relationships with their business partners, and each line of business knows the value of the learning organization. This keeps learning top of mind when creating project budgets that support the strong tie between the division’s success and learning support.
Ready to Take the Next Step With Staff Aug?
Today’s environment changes quickly and we can NEVER fully anticipate what any given year will bring to us. I strongly suggest that you find a staff augmentation vendor you feel comfortable with, who can partner with your learning organization and support you when LIFE HAPPENS.
If you’re interested in getting more information, we welcome you to reach out to Contact Debbie for all your staffing needs!
About the Author
Teresa’s passion for performance improvement started in her first management role. The ability to play a part in helping others improve and achieve has been her lifelong passion. She has worked with a variety of industries to analyze and solve performance issues and improve individual performance through development of innovative learning solutions. Most recently, Teresa has added certified professional coach to her repertoire with a focus on inspiring and guiding women to take on new challenges, find their joy and live a life full of possibilities. Teresa has two beautiful daughters and lives in Jacksonville, FL.