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Team augmentation for an IoT solution provider

6+ years providing team augmentation services for a company that produces IoT devices and software solutions for managing them

Business context

Our collaboration with IoT Systems (name changed for NDA purposes) started in 2015 when we staffed a remote team to help the company quickly customize their software and integrate with their new customer’s warehouse management system. Since then, we have been helping IoT Systems adjust their platform to meet the demands of new customers and reduce the time to market, shifting from one customization to another and supporting the client’s software.

Throughout our collaboration, we have helped the company:

provide cost-efficient and flexible staffing solutions to reduce time to market

set up a new team to enhance functionality for new customers

effectively manage remote collaboration processes despite time zone differences and development specifics

retain IoT Systems’ corporate values, culture, and productivity within the newly formed Yalantis team

See how we provided staffing solutions, closely matched IoT Systems’ culture and development patterns, and aligned the development processes with our client’s budget and time constraints.

Covering the client’s ramp-up needs cost-effectively

Providing required experts gradually

As requested by IoT Systems, we’ve supplied 12 Yalantis engineers to deal with web, backend, and mobile development. The staffing process happened gradually. Each time IoT Systems onboarded a new customer, we added new experts with the hard and soft skills needed to adjust the platform according to the new customer’s requirements. The very first team members helped interview and onboard those who joined the team later. This way, we ensured a proper match between new team members’ skills and our client’s project.

Optimizing the onboarding process

As our team members would later be assigned for new customizations for IoT Systems, we worked to speed up the onboarding process. This was also necessary to ensure that each new team member understood their objectives and could start delivering value quickly.
For this purpose, we created a project knowledge base and constantly refined it. This allowed us to shorten the onboarding process from a month to three to five working days and to increase development efficiency.
The IoT Systems team at Yalantis currently has over 20 experts and keeps growing. The gradual approach to ramping up and efficient onboarding have allowed us to stay within our client’s budget while achieving the required development velocity.

Ensuring fast and relevant staffing and onboarding

To help our client reduce the time to market and quickly onboard new customers, we needed to rapidly provide relevant talent. That’s why we established a streamlined staffing process:
We’ve adopted our client’s internal criteria to look for engineers with IoT experience and conduct the first set of interviews. After our internal interviews, IoT Systems conducts a one-hour coding session to ensure a candidate’s code quality, communication, and problem-solving skills. Then we onboard successful candidates to the client’s development processes and corporate values.

Retaining team members

Another way to help the client retain knowledge and ensure business continuity is to ensure the long-term collaboration and motivation of project team members. For that, we rely on our retention policy, which includes:

regular staff satisfaction measurements

performance reviews and knowledge evaluation

one-on-one meetings with the HR manager

mentorship and training programs

individual development plans

custom retention plans for key players

In this way, we managed to reduce staff turnover from 25% to 15%. The main knowledge holders (the project manager, business analyst, senior designer, and senior developers) have been working on the project since its inception.

Handling remote work efficiently

To ensure the efficiency of remote communication, we needed to adjust our communication processes. For this purpose, we:

assigned a certified Agile project manager to facilitate integration of the Yalantis team into the client’s SDLC

established efficient communication processes to increase development velocity and ensure a constant feedback loop

adopted and contributed to the client’s SDLC to align processes and communication, ensure project predictability, and share core values

took part in the client’s teambuilding activities to better understand their corporate values

participated in brainstorming sessions by IoT Systems to contribute the Yalantis team’s potential for improving the company’s software

Assigning a certified Agile project manager

To make sure that our team understood the client’s goals and fully integrated into their development processes, we assigned a PMI and Scrum-certified project manager. This project manager communicates with the client and delivers his business goals to the Yalantis team, ensuring the team’s engagement on the project and the required development velocity.
The project manager also facilitates online and offline communication for standup meetings, retrospectives, invoice forecasts, etc. and holds regular management syncing sessions to align the collaboration plans of the Yalantis team with those of the client’s team. All of these project management efforts have allowed for clear documentation, proper knowledge transfer, and strong development performance.

Ensuring proper performance and convenient collaboration

To assure the client is satisfied with our team’s performance and feels comfortable working with each team member, our project manager:

collects and processes the client’s feedback

conducts regular process audits

tracks progress on a daily basis

arranges teambuilding activities

holds one-on-one meetings with team members

holds retrospective sessions

This allows us to regularly update collaboration processes and quickly eliminate any bottlenecks in the production pipeline.

Establishing efficient communication processes

To minimize the influence of time zone differences, we:

adjusted our work hours to increase the overlap in work hours of our team and the client’s team

set up Slack and other shared communication spaces

use various offline communication tools like video recordings and structured sprint meeting reports

make sure our project manager provides regular feedback

Adopting and contributing to processes of the client’s core team

Augmenting the IoT Systems team
Our engineers became the members of the IoT Systems team. This allowed them to participate alongside all other team members in planning, development, code reviews, and releases and work towards the same quarterly and yearly goals as the client’s organization. Also, by working in such a way, we got to implement parallel tasks to increase development velocity.

Engaging in the client’s brainstorming sessions and teambuilding activities

To fully utilize our experts’ knowledge to improve the product, the Yalantis team participates in our client’s internal hack weeks. These are regular brainstorming sessions to search for development process optimization opportunities and better technical solutions for product functionality.

Collaboration results

of successful partnership between IoT Systems and Yalantis
software products
that we support and upgrade together with IoT Systems
dedicated to the IoT Systems projects and following their corporate value