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How to build an IT department on a budget

Boston-based Veritude offers five steps to staffing an IT project on a budget.

Boston-based Veritude offers five steps to staffing an IT project on a budget through "savvy sourcing and recruiting":1. Don't overlook talent you already have in-house.

In addition to considering skill set and expertise, also consider availability. What projects are people working on, how close are they to completion? Will they be available to dedicate the necessary time and talent to your initiative?

"Make sure to also consider workers outside your own geographical location," says Veritude . "The software developer you need in Raleigh, N.C. may be coming off contract in another region. Think about offering to temporarily relocate someone or allow them to work virtually to help meet your project goals."

2. Create a staffing rate card to analyze and compare costs.

A rate card should include your existing IT contractor base to provide insight on current spend, as well as information on specific positions so that you can forecast pay rates within the development team, according to Veritude.

"One thing to keep in mind is that different skill sets are more readily available in different pockets of the world - and the price for and availability of quality talent varies even within pockets of the U.S," the vendor says. Regions with major universities, such as Boston, are also often hubs of innovation and produce top talent, Veritude adds.

3. Think "Outside the Box"

Just because your project manager is based in Dallas, doesn't mean that other members of the team can't be in Chicago, New York or Boston - or across the world in India. Collaborative technologies such as Web conferencing, Wikis, SharePoints and IM applications help bridge the distance gap.

Also consider retirees seeking part-time work. "They can provide a wealth of experience in legacy applications at an affordable price while meeting their lifestyle requirements," says Veritude.

4. Set Realistic Expectations

One reason projects fail is because solid expectations weren't established at the onset. Once you know your budget, be realistic in what you are trying to do and have clarity on timelines, deliverables and expectations.

"Many projects are born out of a critical need but when a new crisis arises, resources are shifted from one project to another," adds Veritude.

A project manager with a successful track record may be in high demand, but if he is unable to commit for the life of the project, he may cause more harm than help.

5. Recognize when you can't go it alone.

Engage a staffing partner where you need the help. A staffing partner can understand the nuances of what is going on competitively in the local markets and can help find talent.Boston-based Veritude offers five steps to staffing an IT project on a budget. Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in April 2007, Melanie lived in Paris, where she worked for the International Herald ... View Full Bio

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