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Outcome Based On-Demand Teams vs Contingent Labour vs Big Consultancies: An Honest Comparison   

Change management often requires bringing on additional skills to complete a temporary piece of work. So how can you access the bespoke knowledge you need without making full-time hires?


This blog post intends to outline three of your best options with their pros and cons and to leave the decision-making up to you.


We want to give you an unbiased overview of utilising Outcome Based On-Demand Teams, Contingent Labour, and one of the Big Consultancies for your change management needs.


Pros of Outcome Based, On-Demand Teams  


  • Fixed price, outcome-based model


  • Access to an extensive network of high calibre consultants that have been vetted and qualified through Rullion’s recruitment arm


  • Responsible for selecting, onboarding and managing the right resource on your behalf, from one person to an entire team 


  • Access to an extended non-permanent workforce that you can lean on whenever you need additional services, meaning fewer overheads, more significant cost savings and more competitive pricing


  • Complete visibility through tech platforms, integration into your internal processes and mirroring your governance 


  • Your teams retain intellectual property and can sustain the change


  • Service Delivery Managers embed into your organisation and scale teams up (and down) as per your project’s needs


  • Customer knowledge retained so that you can draw upon it in future where needed


  • Product / Vendor agnostic


  • More cost-effective than big consultancies.    


Cons of Outcome Based, On-Demand Teams


  • Needs a clear and defined outcome to work optimally


  • Requires a behavioural change if you have traditionally used contract labour


  • You cannot direct and control what people do day-to-day


  • You cannot run and supervise Rullion Change Delivery teams the way you have done with contingent labour teams in the past


  • You need to adapt to Rullion Change Delivery working practices, review cadence and approach to RAID management and change control


  • If you don’t consider hidden costs, it can appear more expensive than contingent labour.  


Pros of Contingent Labour


  • You don’t need to define an actual outcome


  • You don't need to have clarity on what you want or need


  • You can supervise, control, and manage your contingent workers day-to-day and do not have to relinquish that control to a third-party provider


  • Ideal for covering Business as Usual (BAU) tasks, such as sick leave or maternity leave


  • Ideal for specific task-related roles as opposed to project-based roles


  • Ideal if you cannot attribute a timeline, milestone or an outcome to a task


  • Most cost-efficient option with the lowest markup if procuring through an MSP.    


Cons of Contingent Labour    


  • A lot of time and effort is spent on identifying the right person/s, including reviewing CVs and interviewing


  • A lot of time and effort is spent on performance management and feedback


  • It can be costly to change/swap contingent labour if it’s not the right fit or if a requirement changes mid-project


  • A lot of time and effort is spent giving pastoral care, direction, and support


  • By nature, contingent labour is not incentivised to finish the job early; they benefit from delays and overrun.


Pros of Big Consultancies


  • Diverse service portfolios


  • Responsible for selecting, onboarding, and managing the right resource on your behalf, from one person to an entire team


  • Can provide advisory services and high-level strategic direction and design


  • Can give you a plethora of external insight


  • Their scales typically mean they can give good competitor insight


  • Can provide an accurate outside-in view of things


  • You can supervise and direct resources as the provider employs them.


Cons of Big Consultancies


  • Most costly option with the highest markup


  • Availability is often treated as a skillset


  • Often “pitch with the A-Team and deliver with the B-Team”


  • Tendency to use land and expand tactics, upselling and cross-selling throughout your organisation


  • Typically not product agnostic and can be seen to promote their partners


  • Tendency to bring in more resources to fix problems they have identified


  • Do things their way and don’t mirror your methodologies


  • Culturally, typically, there is a divide in how they behave compared to your people – creating separation rather than unity.


The option you select is often determined by how much external insight/advice you feel you need, how much the need has been defined, and how much control you are comfortable sharing with the provider. Ultimately, there is a place for all three models, and we continue to see that the most successful programmes tend to involve a blend of each.