Working with contractors

If you need to bring in outside help to fill gaps in your team, here are some things to consider before you hire.  

 

Before you recruit anyone from outside the NSW Government, see if you have any team members who can develop these skills.  Only buy the skills you need. Don't lock your service into a long contract with a fixed cost.  

What to look out for  

  • A proven track record using Agile methods to design, build and deliver projects  
  • Willingness to pass on knowledge  
  • Commitment to work on-site  
  • Ability to share knowledge with permanent staff in the delivery team  
  • How they define, measure and maintain quality products and services  
  • How they’ll deliver in an agile way, even if your department traditionally uses Waterfall or PRINCE2 methods.   

Working with contractors  

You should treat contractors and permanent team members equally.  

Contractors should work in your office for most of their time and sit with permanent staff. It’s important for a delivery team to share a space because:  

  • There are fewer communication overheads, for example phone bills  
  • There’s more informal communication and learning  
  • It’s easier to establish a shared Agile culture  

Transferring knowledge  

Make sure you have a plan to pass knowledge from contractors to the rest of your team. This is particularly important when you move from one phase to another, or if you change supplier.  

To help knowledge transfer:  

  • Encourage pairing - you might need to adjust people’s workloads so they have time to do this  
  • Organise sessions for contractors to share their knowledge or experiences  
  • Make sure any documentation is of the highest quality. 
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