team augmentation

3 reasons why team augmentation fails

Whenever someone mentions that team augmentation has many advantages, one immediately thinks of cost-cutting. But let’s be real; how much cost-cutting should an entrepreneur realistically expect, and what other aspects should they be aware of before diving into it? Here are three reasons why team augmentation might encounter roadblocks.

1. Lack of local expertise

Talking about the lack of local expertise isn’t just about North Americans not knowing how things work in other countries – it’s also the other way around. It becomes a problem when people from different places try to work together without understanding each other’s cultural and work differences. Both sides need to understand these loops to collaborate well and make global teamwork smoother.

A> Offshore companies often lack an understanding of the North American business perspective.

For example, clients can get frustrated spending weeks onboarding and explaining simple business processes and reworking work from offshore partners, mostly due to a lack of understanding of different work cultures. Every country has a common set of cultures, and so does North America. Everyone expects that the outsourcing talent they are hiring should gel with them like bread and butter. But it doesn’t work like that. Offshore companies need to spend upfront time and have experience in the industry to understand, document, and train according to client requirements. Partner with a company that acknowledges work culture differences and has the potential to solve that. Only then can you have a long-term effective partnership with a mutual understanding of industry best practices.

B> Clients often lack an understanding of offshore country’s business practices and norms.

Indian work culture is highly hierarchical and indirect in communicating. It is not common to speak out in front of managers. Whereas Western work cultures often expect Indian/offshore employees to speak up and bring forth new ideas. As a result, Indian employees can sometimes be seen as passive or not engaged. Whereas this is a common misunderstanding. Training and cultural education on both sides. Indian employees need to be encouraged to speak up and bring forth new ideas and issues. In addition, Western managers need to spend extra effort to tease out ideas and raise issues. By doing so, you can engage employees and build an effective team.

2. Poor Talent Management

When it comes to talent management, there are many loopholes that people often forget about. Most agencies often prioritize the lowest-cost labor over people development, and this approach leads to a significant downfall. In India, it is difficult to assess individual skill sets based on designation, work experience, and company. The workforce is vast; however, skill sets within a job title vary greatly, as does compensation and experience. i.e., Shopify Developers’ salary ranges can vary from 8k CAD/year to 40k CAD /year, as with the actual skillset and competency. Reference and background forgery are common in many fields, especially in IT. As such, testing, and stringent interviews with comprehensive background checks are mandatory. 

These actions result in higher levels of qualification and skillset and a seamless onboarding & integration phase. However, Western managers are often surprised that the elevated skills and qualifications often are accompanied by higher than the average salary (with respect to the average Indian salary). Despite this, Western companies can still recognize significant cost savings. Partner with a company that directly manages all areas of background checks, testing, etc. Partnering with individuals or agencies that have a proper recruitment process is crucial. This involves managing recruitment, testing, reference checks, and onboarding. 

3. Tailored Solutions: Big Agencies Don’t Always Fit 

Typical offshore agency & outsource models incorporate a vast workforce, where a single employee can be assigned to several accounts conducting very specialized tasks. This model causes inconsistency in work quality and these agencies are disorganized. Agencies rely on strict SOPs and KPIs to validate their work efforts, often placing blame on the client for not adhering to SOPs and hide behind ticketing systems to validate efforts. This causes frustration and misalignment in priorities between the agency and the client. 

Producing a customized approach between client and agency takes more upfront time and effort but will result in consistent employees who understand in intimate detail the operations of the client and the people in the organization. The offshore agency needs to be a close extension to the client team.

Contrary to popular belief, a big agency or consultancy doesn’t necessarily mean a perfect fit. In retail, every business is unique with distinct needs; some may require a team of one, while others need a team of a thousand. It’s crucial that the agency you partner with offers tailored solutions because one size doesn’t fit all.

In conclusion, team augmentation offers significant advantages, notably cost-cutting. However, it’s crucial to approach it with realistic expectations and an understanding of potential pitfalls. Ensuring local expertise, efficient setup, talent management, tailored solutions, and a harmonized understanding of processes are vital for success. By staying informed and making strategic decisions, entrepreneurs can navigate team augmentation successfully and reap its benefits.

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