What Is the Best Way to Scale Up My Technical Team Fast?
When you need to scale up your technical team for a big software project, it can start to feel like you are taking on a recruiting job just to give your tech milestones a chance at life. It doesn’t have to be this way. With the right staffing partner, the resourcing of a software project won’t stand in the way of getting it done. In fact, done right, hiring for your software project can deliver benefits to your business long after go-live.
In 2020, we saw that economic cycles can change the way we work as much as they can shift the goals and objectives that establish our employers’ expectations about how much work we will produce and when. Nationally, our GDP shrunk by 3.5% last year, its sharpest drop since 1946. While some companies outperformed their expectations despite the pandemic, others suffered as the making of products, the delivery of services, and the completion of milestones and deliverables froze to a trickle.
We saw it too for some of our clients. One of our financial services clients contacted me last fall and explained how they had been impacted by COVID. They lost C-level people and furloughed employees. The backlog of IT work soon began growing. Then, as the US economy started to warm up again, they had to attack that backlog but found themselves lacking the engineers necessary to get the work done. They needed help determining how to prioritize the long list of work, and how to most efficiently scale up a team capable of meeting the demands of their rapidly growing customer base.
6 Questions to Ask When Scaling Up Your Tech Team
Below, we’ve assembled a list of questions to help you scale up your tech team when you’re facing an onslaught of one-time tech work, like a project backlog or software development initiative. We hope it will assist you in getting past the missed deadlines and dropped projects many of us face from time to time in our workplaces.
1. What Is the Work? What’s the Ideal Outcome?
Before you decide who to hire and how to hire them, you need to understand the work itself. To get a grasp on your project, ask:
- What is the scope of work, or where is the backlog list?
- Who are your stakeholders?
- Who will be the primary contact and champion for these tech project(s)?
- What is the ideal outcome?
- When must the work be complete?
Asking some basic questions when you start project planning helps frame what—and who—you need to accomplish your goals.
2. How Will You Find the People?
Your company has its specialty. It’s probably not recruiting teams on short notice. Find a firm that specializes in what you need. When you consider staffing firms, find a good partner for you. That firm should have the professional bench strength you need and relevant domain experience for your company.
3. Employees, Contractors, or Contract-To-Perm Workers?
Generational events like COVID change our world—and create one-time backlogs like we’ve never seen before! Climbing over this spike of work and getting back on-track will take a spike in resources, resources you may not need on the other side.
Hire full-time personnel and you may have to find homes for them when the workload decreases. It may be time to consider contractors. Contractors arrive at your doorstep experienced, knowledgeable, and ready to start on your backlog. When they finish the project, they move on to help the next client—unless you both agree that they should stay. That’s a contract-to-perm arrangement.
Many companies find that contract-to-perm workers are a great fit. They offer the flexibility of a contractor workforce while also protecting a company from the loss of talent and knowledge post-project.
4. How Do You Hit Go?
For any tech project—and especially one with a software deliverable—your project team needs a business-savvy technology lead/solution architect who can communicate across the C-level as well as design and architect the solution. They must be able to evaluate the backlog, gather, document, and prioritize the requirements, craft the solution and approach, and explain it to your company’s decision-makers.
Working with your executive sponsor, the solution architect leads by setting priorities. To find this IT lead, pick a firm that employs strong technology leaders with solution architecture capabilities.
5. How Do You Define Success?
The best success criteria get defined when people agree on what’s important, the schedule for deliverables, and project communication guidelines. Project members can trace milestones to specific deliverables and understand delivery timeframes. Leads assign team members actionable, realistic, and measurable objectives. Checkpoints get entered on calendars so everyone stays on the same page. The best project frameworks reflect strong project management methodologies.
6. What’s the Best Team Look Like?
The best teams for project-based work mix established professionals who have worked together before with new talent brought in just for the project. They also contain a mix of senior-, mid-, and junior-level resources.
Senior project members bring the project credibility, responsibility, and trust. Junior members bring new ideas and fresh perspectives. By blending the team with senior- to junior-level staff, this also helps reduce the overall project cost. Because your staffing firm assembled the team with a mix of proven team members from their organization who have already worked together with others who were recruited specifically for your project, check with them to see if they will offer a contract-to-perm option that will allow you to convert some of them to permanent employees with your company at the end of the engagement. These new employees will join you fully trained and immediately productive, providing the continuity your company needs when the project ends and the team disbands.
Recruiters Specialize in Recruiting
Companies will always face economic cycles, navigating bull markets and bear markets. While macroeconomic, social, and political events are often outside their control, how they plan and confront these challenges is not. Companies that can form the teams they need to tackle their varying workloads have the best chance at success, despite outside events.
Are you looking for a tech staffing firm that can help you find the right solution to scale up your technical team? For over 20 years, SOLTECH has helped our clients find the most qualified talent for their needs. Whatever your staffing needs, SOLTECH can help with a prompt, efficient solution customized for you. Download the guide below to learn more.