Companies are often unsure about the best and most cost-effective way to approach their change and project needs. One of the questions to consider is the difference between managed services, consultancy, and resource augmentation.

Managed services is where you hire a provider to handle a specific function for you according to a contract and SLAs. For example, you may want an external company to take over your full Change function or a part of it, e.g. your PMO or your graduate programme. You will set the goals and deadlines, and the supplier will commit to meeting them in line with the SLAs. This is great for streamlining your operations, reducing costs, and focusing on your core competencies.

Consultancy is where you hire a firm to advise on and run a programme or project. The supplier sets up and runs the team, which makes it accountable for its delivery. There is a wide disparity in costs depending on what supplier you select, and the outcome is not necessarily correlated with how much you pay, so it is important to select the supplier carefully. You should choose a supplier that has a specialism or significant experience in the project or programme you need delivered.

Resource augmentation is where you bring named specialists into your existing team on a temporary basis. The specialist fills a skill gap or adds extra capacity to your team, but you retain control over the project or programme. This is great for flexibility, speed, and access to a larger talent pool. Depending on the skillset required, this can often also be very cost-effective, but is only an option if you have the scale and skillsets to have your own change team running your programmes or projects. It is also good for very large or multi-national projects where it is unlikely that one provider can supply a lot of resources (sometimes 50+) with the right skills in multiple locations at the same time in a cost-effective way.

Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your situation and objectives. To make the best decision, here are some factors that we think you should consider:

  • What skills and experience do you have in-house?
  • How much resource do you need and for how long?
  • Do you want to retain the delivery responsibility in-house or move it externally?
  • What is the most cost-effective way to do it?

There are no right answers and it will depend on your specific requirements. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance exploring the options.