by Mike Sharp
At Kenway, we firmly believe our staffing model sets us apart from some of our competitors in the industry. Instead of following traditional staff augmentation or some consulting models, which is often defined by one employee working a set number of hours per week, we seek to provide our clients with the maximum value by blending our skill sets, services, and levels of capacity throughout the entire project lifecycle. We often say that we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the right skills, at the right time, in the right volume for the right duration. No more and no less. We understand that no two engagements, scenarios, or problems are alike, and believe our dynamic approach to staffing allows us to meet changing client demand and expectations at any point in time.
Often times, we find that new clients can be hesitant to adopt our approach, as they are accustomed to a traditional staff augmentation model, where a person sits in a seat and performs what is asked of them. It is our job to show the value of our model by bringing it to life firsthand. This scenario occurred recently at one of our large Healthcare clients. To be compliant with the client’s procurement mandated processes, Kenway agreed to start supporting them under a traditional staff augmentation model, with the understanding that they would allow us to prove the benefits of our more consultative approach by piloting it to arrive at a place where we could most effectively support them.
Proving Our Approach
We began with four fully-allocated resources on the ground in a standard 40-hour per week staff augmentation model. After gaining trust in the quality of our resources, we worked with the client to onboard a fifth resource to act as floating support for the various projects. The team was able to reallocate some of their responsibilities to the added resource, thereby reducing key person risk (when one person holds the majority of knowledge for a project and will put the project at risk if unavailable). As we demonstrated with our model, this additional resource did not increase the cost to the client, but actually decreased the overall cost. The same number of hours was split amongst more resources, lightening their overall workload and increasing productivity due to better alignment of skills to demand. At one point during the engagement, the client experienced an unexpected need on a different project that required a specific area of expertise. By having a floating resource already on-site and familiar with the various programs, we were able to provide seamless support for the client by managing this temporary work stream without any disruptions.
After seeing the success of our model firsthand, the client moved into a Statement of Work-based model with Kenway. Since this agreement went into effect, we have been providing an average of 80 hours of capacity per week split amongst five different team members, each bringing different areas of expertise to the project. While it is often hard for new clients to fully grasp the benefits of the Kenway model, we are confident that given time, trust, and a few pilot programs, the true value will become apparent.
Visualizing the Kenway Model
To put this in perspective, imagine you are building a house. To complete the build, it will require 4,000 hours of work and you are working with a fixed budget. One contracting company uses a traditional staff augmentation model. They tell you that to complete this work, they will provide you with two resources, and the project will take approximately one year. On the other hand, the other contracting company uses the Kenway model. They tell you that they will use up to 15 resources over the course of the project, as they recognize there will be times when very particular skill sets are needed, and times when only 1-5 team members may be required. This example demonstrates how the Kenway model provides a higher quality end result due to the use of specialized skill sets at the right time, in the right quantity and for the right duration of time. It also highlights Kenway’s ability to support the natural ebb and flow of resource needs throughout a project and deliver solutions in a quicker, more efficient manner.
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