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Comparing IT Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting for Enterprises

What is the Difference Between Staff Augmentation & Project-based Consulting? When considering staff augmentation vs project-based consulting for outsourcing software development services, it’s important to...

Edward Batten

By Edward Batten

EVP of Growth Edward Batten grows BairesDev globally while supporting, managing, and developing the internal structures required for strategic growth.

10 min read

What is the Difference Between Staff Augmentation & Project-based Consulting?

When considering staff augmentation vs project-based consulting for outsourcing software development services, it’s important to realize it’s not an either/or decision. The difference between these two outsourcing solutions rests on the kind of external expertise you need to complete development on time and to market standard. 

Project-based consulting is a project-specific solution for those pursuing something new. This kind of outsourcing provides a clear roadmap for maximizing time and resources.

Staff augmentation, by contrast, may be more useful for developers who know how to achieve project goals but need a little extra help. These outsourced staff members can help execute ongoing plans to scale and with knowledge of current industry best practices.

The decision to employ either form of expert partnership will boil down to whether you need a one-off consultation to get you started in a new direction, or ongoing support to maximize all your project ambitions. The good news is, with today’s outsourcing options, you can have both. 


When to Employ Project-Based Consulting

The digital transformation of the enterprise radically changes how your potential customers interact with your product. The increasing accessibility of software solutions has introduced a whole range of new potential customers across every domain. Each new endpoint presents the opportunity for new connections and new audiences.

Everyone wants to increase product success by making their product available to as large a customer base as possible. Few enterprises, however, have the broad experience necessary to execute sales efficiently across all these new platforms.

A project-based consultant solves that breadth challenge. They can guide enterprises through the tools, technologies, and industry standards—especially security and privacy requirements—that ensure efficient product delivery into new territory.

Their task is to apply industry best practices to your unique development environment in order to design a new roadmap for project delivery. A project-based consultant defines the most efficient way forward and then hands the reins to the enterprise to implement their plan themselves.

Whether the goal is to access a new consumer platform or apply your business solution to a new field, a project-based consultant helps enterprises introduce their core talents to a new challenge.

Three Advantages of Project-Based Consultation

  1. Strategic guidance in an unknown field
  2. Responsibility for industry compliance
  3. Project-specific resource commitment


When to Employ IT Staff Augmentation

Staff augmentation is for enterprises seeking flexibility. It leverages outsourced experts who have a broad range of skills that can be applied across a specific development project and relied upon time and time again across an enterprise’s product range.

IT staff augmentation is a way of increasing your team’s capabilities. These external staff members function as a part of the team, taking their guidance from your own management and sitting in alongside your developers as part of a cohesive unit. They help scale-up your productivity and meet deadlines without having to undergo a lengthy recruitment and training process every time an enterprise’s ambitions increase.

These dedicated professionals can be called on to boost output as the development cycle dictates. They bring with them knowledge of the latest industry trends and best practices that can introduce efficiencies to your existing protocols, such as deploying an agile development approach or QA testing methods.

Three Advantages of Staff Augmentation

  1. Scale-up development during new phases of maturity
  2. Rapid onboarding with minimal training
  3. Talent flexibility that recognizes peak development cycle periods


Staff Augmentation vs Project-Based Consulting: Strength in Combination

IT staff augmentation and project-based consulting are not mutually exclusive solutions. Partnerships that begin life in one form can comfortably take on the other. And if you find an external expert that value-adds to your own talents, it can be highly profitable to develop that relationship. 

Project-specific consultation can develop into a more hands-on commitment, provided the external source has the capacity for a long-term engagement. Conversely, enterprises might engage the domain and technology experience of an outsourced staff augmentation team to provide insight and direction in new areas of interest.

These two approaches used in combination can strengthen each other. An IT staff augmentation commitment adds increased product responsibility, end-to-end support, and ongoing IP advantages to the otherwise more limited consultation relationship.

By the same token, adding a consultation element to an internally focused augmentation team creates the opportunity for improving development methods, expanding technology and tool options, and keeping your enterprise at pace with the standards of your competitors.


Maximize Your External Partnerships

Whether your software development team needs the inspiration of a short-term project consultant or the dedication of ongoing staff augmentation, a good way to maximize your outsource time and resources is by looking outside the U.S. for talent. Nearshore software development is a proven way to conserve your resources without compromising on communication and workflow.

By sourcing expertise from dedicated facilities located in a region like South America—one that shares a working day with your headquarters and a close professional and cultural connection to your team—you create a highly convenient and effective way to expand your development capabilities. Such an opportunity lets you capitalize on favorable cost structures as well as state-of-the-art facilities, without putting oceans of distance between you and your newly acquired team members.

For an external consultancy or staff augmentation to provide the boost your development team needs, always try to keep things close to home.


BairesDev helps you succeed by staffing your development team with experts drawn from the Top 1% IT Talent in Latin America. Our software engineers have the knowledge to guide your expanding development efforts, and the practical skills to follow through on your project from end-to-end. Contact our team today and start realizing your full development potential.

Edward Batten

By Edward Batten

Responsible for the global growth of BairesDev, EVP of Growth Edward “E.B.” Batten uses his leadership experience to engage clients, partnerships, and international opportunities for company growth. E.B. also helps develop and manage the organizational structures required to support these endeavors.

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