To augment or consult? That is the question. In my conversations with association technology executives a question routinely comes up is “what differentiates you from traditional consulting? Both staff augmentation and consulting have their benefits, but which one is the right choice for your organization? At Elastik Team’s we believe that staff augmentation can produce better outcomes in the long run for a variety of reasons:
- Team Integration: Staff augmentation is really just an extension of your team. That means in this model team members will natively integrate into your culture and business, rather than being viewed as outsiders.
- Scope Control: Everyone’s favorite thing to do is argue about scope, right? Staff augmentation creates cost clarity by having a simple fixed price per month charged, whereas in traditional consulting projects can easily go overbudget in terms of hours or create friction and frustration by leading directly into a scope discussion.
- Focus: Staff augmentation allows team members to be fully focused on your needs and your business. In a traditional consulting relationship there are many overhead costs that are incurred like switching between clients and excess project management.
The end result is for clients where staff augmentation is a good fit, the economic can be much more attractive. That’s not to say that staff augmentation is right for everyone, or that there is no place for traditional consulting. Since Staff augmentation gives you direct control over the people working on your project, you have more of a responsibility for passing work, project management, and team oversight.
Consulting on the other hand can bring a full project team to bear much more easily, and for a discrete purpose, it generally can get the job done. Consultants can also bring outside expertise and perspective since they get spread across so many different clients, which can occasionally be helpful.
Which option is best for your organization will depend on your needs and what you are looking to accomplish. If you want total control and prefer to manage everything yourself, staff augmentation is probably the better choice; however, if you have a single discrete project you need to be completed – or a project with lots of moving pieces and parts that requires a high degree of oversight – consulting might be right for you.
What do you do at your organization?