Skip to content


Submit or approve timesheets here by selecting one of the options.

Big consultancy vs. Outcome Based On-Demand Teams: An Honest Comparison

Big consultancies are impressive outfits with a wealth and breadth of business change and transformation experience and there is plenty they can do that would make them the right choice for your change management requirements.


If you have a clear need for advisory services and high-level strategic direction and design, then a big consultancy might be right for you.


If you’re looking for an organisation that can give you a plethora of examples, tried and tested processes and insight into how they’ve delivered something and then allow you to replicate that, then a big consultancy might be right for you.


If you want a lot of examples of what your competitors are doing or what your industry is doing, then a big consultancy might be right for you.


If you want someone to give you a real outside-in view of things, then a big consultancy might be right for you.


If you want an organisation to come in to do a piece of work and then to start identifying other problems to solve, then a big consultancy might be for you.


If you want an organisation to continually bring in more resource to fix problems they’ve identified, then a big consultancy might be for you.


In short, if you want high-level support and help to shape your strategy, define what the outcome is and to help give you direction, then that’s exactly when you should use one of those bigger providers.


However, remember that big consultancies often “pitch with the A-Team and deliver with the B-Team”.


A partner or director might oversee the work and be involved on some level, but they won’t be involved in the day-to-day running of the project when it goes live and nor will they build the teams running the project.


Sometimes big consultancies will use their own permanent resource and sometimes they’ll bring contractors in and bill them out on a much higher rate card. Moreover, their resource is often made up of graduates with little commercial experience. Although the work will still get done, it will cost you a premium price and you’re not getting the same calibre of expertise that you would using a smaller, more agile consultancy with a heritage in assimilating teams and a huge network of expertise at its fingertips.


A smaller consultancy that uses outcome based, on-demand teams will build the team bespoke to your needs and will only engage with tried and tested experienced consultants.


If you want to hire low-level analysts or entry level resource, don’t use outcome-based, on demand teams.


Consultancies that use that service delivery model pitch with the A-Team and deliver with the A-team. It’s the same group of people. They tend not to roll out lower cost resource when they are delivering projects.


Another frustration people sometimes have with the big consultancies is that they’ll come in to do a piece of work and then start to identify other problems to solve and bring in more resource to fix it. This is because part of their consultants’ bonus is based on how much they grow their revenue in their customers’ portfolio.


Outcome based, on-demand teams are led by customer demand. They will make recommendations and give you actionable insights and show you where they have identified problems and challenges, but their people are not incentivised or bonused on growth or billables.


If you need people that can execute and people that can deliver, then outcome based, on-demand teams might be the right choice for your needs. Sometimes you just need doers, not strategic thinkers.


A big consultancy can give you direction and strategic thinking and if you’re happy to pay 100-200% over the market rate for resource to execute and deliver that strategic thinking, then so be it.


 If not, this is where you save money using outcome based, on-demand teams as they only charge 20-30% markup based upon an individual to a team.


Do you feel you’re spending too much on big consultancies? Are you happy with the level of service you’re getting from them? Do you have an appetite for change? These are all questions you need to ask yourself.


Big consultancies often expect you to work the way they work. Part of what you are paying for is someone to come in and take control.


Outcome based, on-demand teams don’t expect you to work the way they work. They work how you work. They attune to your methodology and working culture. This is partly because they are smaller, and so it’s easy to be more flexible. But it’s also because aggressive tends not to be their style. Instead, their focus is on getting a great success story, so that their clients go on to recommend them internally.




Considering using an outcome based, on-demand team for your change delivery needs, please request a call back here so that we can help you determine if it’s the right choice for your organisation.