Services management in NA was recently informed that no more Staff Augmentation contracts would be issued without approval of CA upper management. I was delighted to hear this. I have been on too many Staff Augs that should have been managed projects and either suffered because we didn't have a formal PM, or wasted Architect hours on PM tasks that needed to be done in order to make the project successful. Other Staff Augs have essentially ended up as Services staff being treated like paid support, where the customer would come to Services rather than Support with issues and questions. And, of course, there is the dreaded never-ending Staff Aug, in which a customer literally engages us for less than 1 hour a week, sometimes less than 1 hour a month. I've seen Staff Augs like this drag on for years. This is not the intent of a Staff Aug project, and certainly does not help Services to transform into a more consultative organization.
I do understand that there is an appropriate time and place for Staff Augmentation projects, but too often they are just an easy way to get Services hours sold to a customer. This causes projects to start with a much lower likelihood of success, places the burden on Architects and Consultants to manage a project that should have a Project Manager, and, in many cases, requires a reset of customer expectations. Part of being a trusted adviser and transforming to a more consultative role for our customers includes making sure the projects we do engage them on are properly scoped and managed. We cannot allow the customer to drive how we define and scope a project, as they are not the experts on our software, how it is best used, or what effort a new feature or configuration change will entail.
Taking the easy way out is rarely the right way of doing things. The right way requires effort and work, but always leads to the best possible outcome.