Strategic Technical Resource Augmentation Procurement (STRAP) is not about cutting the cost of technical resources. Well, actually, it IS about cutting costs. It’s just not about cutting the cost per hour. It’s about cutting the cost of keeping the organization competitive through maintaining effective staff capability.
STRAP means getting the best people, when you need them, at great rates from a supplier who understands that the real challenge is not staffing, it’s ‘capability timing’, that is having the right capabilities at the right cost at the right time.
That mission goes way beyond just providing individual resources at an hourly rate. It means working with the customer to improve the organization’s overall capability, including the capability of the customer’s employees and perhaps even competitors who serve the customer, too.
STRAP vendors understand their customer’s strategic staffing needs – even if the customers don’t themselves – and provide the kinds of services that willstrengthen their customer’s future capability. For example, CAI (a major provider of staff augmentation services to commercial and public sector clients) realizes that clients need to keep their employees’ technical and management knowledge current. Many organizations don’t have the budgets or the time for training, so CAI offers clients free access to hundreds of just-in-time web-based seminars (webinars) available to client employees 24/7. As an additional incentive for client employees to take the webinars to improve their capabilities, the CAI provided webinars earn Project Management Institute PDU credits.
Beyond providing qualified staff, and the education needed to bring client employees up-to-speed, STRAP vendors should provide clients with services that reduce the need for resources, or reduce the number of hours that staff is needed. CAI provides clients with access to Automated Project Office, a sophisticated project management tool that makes the life of an experienced PM much easier by automating the critical conditions monitoring tasks that successful PMs spend most of their time on. APO also enables clients to take relatively inexperienced PMs and provide them with APO, the ‘automated mentor’, to make sure they are monitoring, and reacting to, the conditions that drive project outcomes. Based on client feedback, APO has saved millions in rework (staff) costs and cut project management oversight time by 90%.
STRAP vendors realize that 2016 will be the year of the “value add”. Not random, sometimes irrelevant offers of ‘value add’, but offers that are focused on the real workforce capability challenges of the IT executive.