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Staff Augmentation: The CPM Perspective

Read Time 3 mins | Written by: James Sowder

In October 2022, ConcertIDC started a new project with a large firm in Chattanooga, TN. The Vincit Group, a vertically integrated supplier of chemicals and cleaning services for food processors, was looking to grow its development team. But when they started looking, they ran into the same problems that everyone faces:  

  • Experienced developers are hard to find and expensive ($100k +).  
  • Inexperienced developers are easier to find and less expensive, but still not cheap ($70k+). They also take longer to onboard and make meaningful contributions to the team.

The Vincit Group needed two senior developers to join quickly. We were able to staff their project with senior resources (8 and 20 years of experience) at a fraction of the cost of onshore developers. Their leadership was ecstatic. Over a year later, I can confidently say this is one of our best partnerships to date. But what made it so special?

Without a doubt, the individuals involved are primarily responsible for the success of this partnership. Brian Lehman, Vincit’s Software Development Manager and Lead Architect, could not have been more pleasant to work with. In addition, Surya and Nasrin (our Senior .NET Developers) spared no effort in integrating with the Vincit Group’s team and bought into their mission from day one.

Systematically, though, both the Vincit Group and ConcertIDC remained dedicated to processes that would ensure success.

As the client product manager for this project, it was a priority to ensure effective and transparent communication through every step. The project began with an in-person kickoff, where I joined Brian at their headquarters to introduce Surya and Nasrin via video conference. Both parties agreed to constant communication and set clear expectations for the engagement. Time zone overlap was also addressed in that kickoff meeting; Surya and Nasrin shared 8 am to 12 pm with the US team for most of the year, and they were always willing to extend hours in case of an emergency.

We set up their environment access, ensured they were invited to regular stand-up meetings, and addressed all the standard onboarding items. The team was off to the races.  

But Brian and I hung back and addressed his questions about cultural fit — uncommon phrases he could expect, holiday schedules, different perceptions around work/leadership, etc. It was a huge concern for him because he wanted Surya and Nasrin to feel like they were part of the team. I was able to address most of his questions then and there, but keeping with our commitment to open communication, we set up a weekly 15-minute call to check in and address questions as they arose.  

Those 15-minute calls were extremely valuable for the first few months. We used that time to discuss how well our developers were integrating with the team, address any specific cultural questions Brian had, and figure out what either side could do better to make everyone comfortable. Pretty soon, though, there wasn’t much to talk about. Things were running smoothly, and we knew there was always a line of communication open should anything come up.   

We kept the call on our calendars to make sure there was always a chance to talk. But Brian did a truly excellent job onboarding two developers across the globe, and Surya and Nasrin did a great job becoming part of his team. ConcertIDC is very fortunate to have worked with such an excellent client, and I’m thankful that I could play a small part in it. 

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James Sowder