Karl Gorman
IT Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting

How To Make the Best Choice Between IT Staff Augmentation and Project-Based Consulting

The IT industry is struggling to find skilled employees, according to a 2023 survey by ManPower Group. The survey found that 77% of employers worldwide find it challenging to find the skilled talent they need, with 78% of that number being in the IT industry.

With this kind of growth, it’s clear that more and more companies are turning to IT staff augmentation and project-based consulting to supplement their in-house teams and complete critical projects. In this document, we will explore the differences between these two options and provide a step-by-step guide to help you choose the best approach for your outsourcing software development.

IT Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting

What Is an IT Staff Augmentation?

IT staff augmentation is a type of outsourcing strategy that involves hiring contractors or temporary workers to supplement an existing in-house IT team. This strategy can be useful for organizations that have a short-term need for additional IT staff, such as during a major project or during peak periods of activity.

For example, a company might hire a team of developers to help build a new application, or a cybersecurity expert to help shore up their defenses during a critical period. By using IT staff augmentation, organizations can quickly and easily access the skills and expertise they need without having to invest in full-time employees or take on the risks associated with permanent hiring.

Another example of IT staff augmentation is when an organization has a small in-house IT team with limited skills and expertise. In this case, the organization may use staff augmentation to bring in specialists for specific projects or to provide ongoing support in areas where their internal team is deficient. This can be especially useful for small and mid-sized businesses that may not have the budget or resources to maintain a large, full-time IT staff.

What Is Project-Based Consulting?

Project-based consulting is an approach to consulting where consultants are hired to work on specific projects for a set period of time. The scope of the project can vary depending on the needs of the client, but the consultant’s role is to provide their expertise to help complete the project successfully.

For example, a company may hire a project-based consultant to help them implement a new software system. The consultant would work with the company’s IT team to design and implement the system, train employees on how to use it, and troubleshoot any issues that arise during the implementation process.

Another example of project-based consulting is when a non-profit organization hires a consultant to help them with a fundraising campaign. The consultant would work with the organization’s development team to create a strategy for the campaign, develop fundraising materials, and provide guidance on how to execute the campaign effectively.

Overall, project-based consulting is a flexible approach to consulting that allows companies and organizations to hire consultants for specific projects and benefit from their expertise and experience.

IT Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting

Benefits of Increasing Staff

IT staff augmentation refers to hiring outside resources to work alongside an existing team for a specific project or period of time. This approach offers several benefits, including:

  1. Flexibility in staffing and resources

Staff augmentation allows enterprises to scale their team up or down quickly based on project needs. This flexibility is particularly helpful when dealing with projects that have fluctuating demands.

  1. Access to a larger talent pool

By hiring outside resources, organizations gain access to a larger talent pool than they would if they only hired full-time employees. This allows them to find people with specialized skills and expertise that may not be available in-house.

  1. Cost savings compared to hiring full-time employees

Hiring full-time employees can be expensive, particularly when considering the costs of recruitment, training, benefits, and salaries. Staff augmentation allows organizations to save money by hiring resources for specific projects or periods of time.

  1. Increased productivity and efficiency

By augmenting their team with outside resources, organizations can increase their overall productivity and efficiency. This is particularly true when the resources being brought in have specialized skills or experience.

  1. Reduced risk and liability for the organization:

When hiring outside resources, the risk and liability associated with the work being done is often shifted to the staffing agency or resource provider. This can help reduce the organization’s exposure to risk and liability.

Overall, IT staff augmentation can be a powerful tool for organizations looking to quickly and cost-effectively scale their team to meet project demands while minimizing risk and maximizing efficiency.

IT Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting

Advantages of Project-Based Consulting

Project-based consulting has several advantages over other consulting models. Here are some of the benefits of taking a project-based approach to consulting:

  1. Flexibility

Project-based consulting provides flexibility to clients, who can choose the projects they want to work on. This allows clients to prioritize their needs and focus on the areas that matter most to them.

  1. Focused and intensive problem-solving

Project-based consulting for outsourcing allows consultants to take a more focused and intensive approach to problem-solving. By working on a specific project, consultants can dedicate all their attention and expertise to finding the best possible solution.

  1. Building long-term relationships

Project-based consulting helps build long-term relationships with clients, who may return for future projects. By delivering high-quality work and building trust, consultants can establish themselves as valuable partners for their clients.

  1. Specialized expertise

Project-based consulting enables consultants to develop specialized expertise in specific industries or types of projects. By working on a variety of projects within a specific industry, consultants can gain a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing that industry.

Overall, project-based consulting for outsourcing is a great way to provide customized solutions to clients, build long-term relationships, and develop specialized expertise.

Main Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to IT consulting, businesses have two options: staff augmentation and project-based consulting. Staff augmentation involves hiring additional staff to work under the direction of the company. On the other hand, project-based consulting involves hiring a consultant to work on a specific project.

The main difference between these two options is the duration of the engagement. Staff augmentation is flexible and can be used for long-term engagements, while project-based consulting is typically fixed for the duration of the project.

Another difference is the responsibility for managing the work. With staff augmentation, the company is responsible for managing the staff, while with project-based consulting, the consultant is responsible for delivering the project on time and within budget.

One of the major benefits of project-based consulting is that it brings specialized expertise to the project. A project-based consultant can bring a fresh perspective and a specialized skill set to a project that the company may not have in-house.

However, project-based consulting can be more expensive than staff augmentation. Staff augmentation is typically lower in cost because the company is responsible for managing the staff. Project-based consulting is typically higher in cost because the consultant is responsible for delivering the project on time and within budget.

IT Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting

Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based in Table

Staff AugmentationProject-Based Consulting
DefinitionHiring of additional staff to work under the direction of the company.Hiring of a consultant to work on a specific project.
DurationFlexible for long-term engagements.Typically fixed for the duration of the project.
ResponsibilityThe company is responsible for managing the staff.The consultant is responsible for delivering the project on time and within budget.
ExpertiseThe company must have the expertise to manage the staff.The consultant brings specialized expertise to the project.
CostThe cost is typically lower than project-based consulting.The cost is typically higher than staff augmentation.

Step-by-Step Guide to Choose Between Staff Augmentation vs Consulting

When it comes to hiring outside help for your business, you may be faced with a choice between staffing and project consulting. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to carefully consider your specific needs before making a decision.

Define your project requirements

The first step in choosing between staffing and project consulting is to determine the requirements of your project. What specific tasks or projects do you need help with? Are these one-time projects or ongoing tasks that require constant attention? How rational will it be to use software outsourcing?

For example, if you need help with a long-term project that requires constant attention and expertise, staffing may be better suited to your needs. On the other hand, if you have a one-time project that requires specialized knowledge, project consulting may be the best option.

Review your timeline

Another important factor to consider is your timeline. How fast do you need to get the job done? Will it be a long-term or short-term interaction?

If you need to get the job done quickly or have a tight deadline, project consulting at development services may be your best bet. However, if you have a long-term project that requires constant attention, staffing may be the best option.

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Estimate your budget

The budget is also an important factor to consider. How much can and are you willing to spend on external assistance?

Staffing can be more costly than project consulting because it provides access to qualified people who can work locally. However, project consulting can be less flexible and more expensive in the long run.

Assess your internal resources

Do you have your own experience to complete the project, or do you need outside help? If you have the necessary experience within the company, it may be more cost effective to complete the project yourself. However, if you don’t have the necessary in-house experience, hiring an additional development partner may be your best bet.

Determine your preferred level of control

Do you want to keep full control over the project, or are you ready to outsourcing software development services to an external partner?

Increasing staff provides more control over the project, as specialists work on site and can be controlled by your team. Project-based consultations may be less flexible, but they provide specialized expertise and tight deadlines.

Weigh the pros and cons of staff augmentation vs project-based consulting

Finally, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of increasing staff versus project consulting. Staff expansion provides access to skilled professionals who can work on site, but may require more management and control from your team. Project-based consulting provides specialized expertise and tight deadlines, but can be more expensive and less flexible than staffing.


In conclusion, choosing between IT staff augmentation vs project-based consulting is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Both approaches can be highly effective in different circumstances and can offer unique benefits to organizations. Staff augmentation provides flexibility and access to a larger talent pool, while project-based consulting offers specialized expertise and a focused, intensive approach to problem-solving.

When making a decision, it’s important to carefully consider your specific needs and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. By doing so, you can choose the option that best fits your organization and helps you achieve your goals.


In order to comparing IT staff augmentation and project-based consulting, it is important to understand all the nuances. During the reading of the text, questions may have arisen, which is why the answers to some of them will help you decide what suits you best.

How do I know which option is the best for my company?

The best option depends on your company’s specific needs. If you require long-term, ongoing support, IT Staff Augmentation may be the best option. If you need specialized expertise for a specific project, Project-Based Consulting may be the better choice.

How do I ensure I am hiring the right IT professionals for my team?

When hiring IT professionals, it is important to clearly define your company’s needs and goals. Be sure to thoroughly vet candidates and check references before making a hiring decision.

As my needs change, can I switch between IT staff augmentation and project-based consulting?

Yes, you can switch between IT professional development and project consulting as your needs change. Both options provide flexibility and the ability to scale up or down your team based on your current needs.

How do I measure the success of it staff augmentation or project-based consulting?

The success of IT staffing or project consulting can be measured in a variety of ways, including project completion, cost savings, efficiency gains, and positive feedback from employees and customers.

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