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6 minutes read

Staff Augmentation Vs. Consulting

By Tony Meazell
By Tony Meazell
6 minutes read

Many businesses compare staff augmentation vs. consulting when determining the best way to accomplish their development goals and objectives. However, the approach that is best suited for your organization depends on several different factors, including what skills your development team already has, your budget needs, and the requirements of your project, just to name a few. 

To determine which path is the right choice for your company, you must understand the differences between staff augmentation and project-based consulting. Each approach is best suited for certain situations. It is helpful to understand these situations so that your business can make the right decision and ultimately achieve its objectives. 

Understanding Staff Augmentation Vs. Consulting

Staff augmentation and project-based consulting services are not very similar. However, they are both used to achieve similar goals. It can be difficult to determine which option is the best for your organization, so let’s get to know each option in greater detail. 

What Is Staff Augmentation? 

Staff augmentation involves a company hiring an employee or multiple employees to fill out an internal team temporarily. Typically, organizations work with staffing companies to fill these positions. In most cases, staff augmentation is used for projects with clear guidelines and expectations. Augmented staff generally won’t bring anything new to a development project in terms of scope, but they will bring additional skills or labor to finish a project. 

Augmented staff can quickly be brought up to speed quickly and integrated into the internal team with a clearly defined role. It wouldn’t be wise to use staff augmentation services without a clear role, objective, or direction for the project. Staff augmentation is used to quickly fill gaps and complete defined tasks. 

The Advantages of Staff Augmentation 

The main benefit of staff augmentation is it gives businesses the ability to quickly scale internal teams with more and new technical skill sets. In addition, staff augmentation poses less risk than hiring new full-time employees. You don’t have to spend time or resources training augmented employees. The people who join your team through staff augmentation already have the specialized skills you require. 

Staff augmentation will not drastically change your workflows. Instead, augmented staff is integrated into your internal teams and existing workflows. 

The Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation 

The primary disadvantage of staff augmentation is that it can be hard to create a balanced team. On the one hand, full-time staff might resent augmented staff, and on the other hand, augmented staff might have a hard time fitting in with your internal team. Managing personnel becomes a significant concern. Still, if you take the time to find candidates that are a good fit with your existing company culture, you can mitigate most of these risks. 

Another disadvantage commonly associated with staff augmentation is the huge differences in cost and quality. Therefore, finding a staffing partner who takes the time to understand your business and project needs is critical. Remember, the best staffing services won’t necessarily be the most expensive and vice versa. 

What Is Project-Based Consulting? 

Project-based consulting services offer a wide range of different services, from project management to design. Consulting services can include whatever you need to complete your project or get it moving in the right direction. Project-based consulting services typically play a significant role in establishing the scope and vision of a development project. A consulting agency will play a large role in the supervision and feedback of a project but less of a direct hands-on role compared to staff augmentation. 

Generally, a consulting agency will have set service packages offered to clients. If you hire consulting agencies, your business needs to understand how much flexibility they offer in their services and how busy their workload is. A consulting agency generally works with multiple clients at a time, which can cause delays in getting to your project, depending on their availability. 

The Advantages of Project-Based Consulting

The primary advantage of consulting services is the wide range of specialist and generalist skills offered through a single provider. Skilled consultants can assist with the entirety of your project, from early planning and conceptualization through development and deployment. In addition, many businesses like consulting services because they unburden the internal team and allow it to focus on core business operations. 

Suppose you need strong project management and ideation skills. In that case, a consulting service offers skilled individuals who can lead your projects from start to finish and help your business develop winning ideas. 

The Disadvantages of Project-Based Consulting

There are certain disadvantages to consulting services that need to be addressed. The most significant disadvantage of consulting services is that they serve multiple clients at once. Ideally, a consulting agency wouldn’t overbook their services to the point where they are unable to provide good, timely service. However, you can’t rely on a dedicated team when you hire consulting agencies. You might find that you need more attention or dedication from your consultants than what your business is receiving. 

Additionally, consulting services generally are more expensive than staff augmentation services because of the wide range of services and expertise being offered. Plus, your business might realize that the one-size-fits-all approach of most consulting agencies is not a good fit for your company or its project. 

How to Choose Between Staff Augmentation and Project-Based Consulting 

Staff augmentation is best suited for tightly defined projects that require temporary team members, and consulting services are best suited for projects that require assistance with project management and planning and require a wide range of expertise. You also need to consider what your business can afford with its budget. However, there is no reason why your company can’t use staff augmentation and consulting services in tandem

In some cases, it will make sense to use both approaches to meet the goals and objectives of your business. Consider what option fits best with the culture of your company. The last thing you want to do is detract from your culture and alienate full-time employees.

Final Thoughts 

Staff augmentation and project-based consulting both offer a number of advantages to businesses. Choosing the right approach can be difficult, but if you work with a trusted app development partner, they can help guide you in the right direction. Staff augmentation vs. consulting is an important decision for your business to make, but hopefully, this post has made your decision-making process a little easier.

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