Staff augmentation is the go-to solution for businesses that either took on a project which later on has proven to be more complex than it seemed, that are in need of an extra hand for a limited time, or that lack specialists with specific skill sets. But whatever the reason for which companies resort to this outsourcing strategy, businesses have enjoyed the benefits that it brought them, but have also experienced some bumps on the road.
Learning from your own mistakes, although important in the evolution of every business, can leave a mark, so why not learn from other companies that have already tackled the difficulties that you’re also likely to be faced with? To help you do this, we have comprised a list of the most frequently encountered challenges that companies had to face along the road of staff augmentation and explained how to overcome each one of them.
- Communication and culture-related difficulties
By far the most common challenge that can arise when choosing the staff augmentation model, the communication-related difficulty can cause some serious trouble. Any misunderstandings when it comes to remote employees’ responsibilities, what they should be focusing on, or how the final product should look like, can lead to delays, extra costs, and failure to meet project requirements. And cultural differences can make it even worse; these dissimilarities complicate matters even more and can make it even more difficult for internal employees to interact with distant specialists, and get their messages across.
How to overcome them: A clear communication plan is essential for a successful collaboration, when choosing the staff augmentation strategy. Establishing regular video meetings, a specific time frame, in the event of time zone differences, when all emails or messages are answered, and agreeing upon which digital channels will be used for communication, are crucial in order for internal and remote specialists to interact efficiently. Special attention to cultural differences must also be given, and in-house employees should be encouraged to work on their soft skills, as well as their technical ones.
2. Misunderstood or unrealistic expectations
Hiring companies might find out, after months of collaborating with their staff augmentation partner, that their project is nowhere close to what they had in mind. And this can happen for various reasons: either the contracting business did not state its needs and requirements clearly and detailed enough, the augmented team did not ask the right questions, or the hiring party had unrealistic expectations regarding the project’s progress. Whatever the reason, such clashing expectations may result in missed deadlines, and ultimately, to the project’s failure. But luckily, these too can be avoided.
How to do it: Right from the very beginning, contracting companies must be clear about what their expectations are, and what they wish to achieve through staff augmentation. Everything from the final product’s quality, to deadlines and steps that need to be taken along the way, all of these project requirements must be specified, preferably in writing, before specialists start to play their part. Setting realistic deadlines is also important, along with a close supervision of the project’s development and immediate feedback in the case of encountered issues.
3. Security-related risks
Once they have decided to go with the staff augmentation solution, companies must realize that their data becomes exposed to security-related risks. Contracting parties can become a real target for cyber-attacks, and since these threats are becoming more advanced as time passes, hiring companies must take precautionary measures in order to avoid potential disasters. Furthermore, data leaks must be eluded at all costs and so do any breaches of security.
How to dodge the bullet: The majority of security risks can be avoided by drawing up a contract that includes clear data protection stipulations. Going further, before signing anything, make sure the document also contains terms regarding repercussions, should one of the two parties breach the contract.
4. Vendor’s lack of expertise
Hiring businesses may discover that the specialized company that they have turned to, for staff augmentation services, is not at all what they have imagined, or what they actually need. And this incompatibility can mean that the project is condemned to failure, before it even properly starts. Whether the decision was taken under time pressure or if they simply did not pay enough attention to the supplier selection process, contracting parties will have to face the consequences of partnering up with the wrong company.
Evade this by: doing your homework. Selecting your staff augmentation partner is a process that should not be rushed and should not be taken lightly. Companies should do a thorough research on their potential partners, read every review they can find, and speak to previous clients. Moreover, when provided with the needed specialists, hiring businesses should take their time and go through each of the candidates’ resumes, in order to see if they would fit in with the project.
Staff augmentation is one of the most preferred outsourcing strategies among experienced companies and businesses that have just sprung up, alike. However, quite a few challenges have been known to arise along the staff augmentation journey, challenges that, if not handled properly, can change the course of the project’s progress. Choosing the wrong vendor, having unrealistic expectations or not paying enough attention to the contract’s terms, are just some of the challenges that hiring companies can be faced with along the way.
Staff Augmentation with TechTaclent
Backed by 350+ IT consultants, over 250 delivered Agile projects, and over 10 years of creating successful project teams for customers in various industries, TechTalent is the go-to company when deciding to resort to staff augmentation.