Seven Proven Strategies to Integrate External Contractors to Your Software Development Workflow

IT staff augmentation is the key to boosting your in-house software development team with some external help. This becomes a game-changer when there’s a sudden surge in interest in your product. When demand spikes, your in-house team, already working at full capacity, might struggle to meet the new project deadlines, making IT staff augmentation services the perfect solution.

Finding an augmentation team won’t be too much of a challenge considering the vast pool of resources available across the globe. However, integrating those external contractors into your workflow is where things can get tricky. If not done right, this integration can disrupt your team’s harmony, turning a seamless workflow into chaos.

So, how do you avoid these pitfalls and ensure everything runs smoothly? By following a few key guidelines, you can make sure your internal and external teams work together like a dream.

Here are seven proven strategies to integrate external contractors into your workflow.

Here are seven proven strategies to integrate external contractors into your workflow.

#1. Start With a Small Project First

Starting with a small project when integrating an external contractor into your workflow is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it provides an opportunity to vet the contractor’s capabilities firsthand, beyond what their portfolio may suggest. Despite thorough screening, unforeseen challenges may arise, such as unfamiliarity with your project’s unique requirements or discrepancies between advertised and actual performance. By initiating a smaller project, you can assess the contractor’s adaptability, communication, and work quality with lower risk.

Additionally, conducting a test project allows for a more organic understanding of collaboration dynamics and compatibility with your team’s workflow. This insight is invaluable when considering future engagements or scaling up to larger projects. It’s like dipping your toes in the water before diving in. Moreover, choosing a project with manageable stakes and clear success metrics ensures that any setbacks can be absorbed without significant repercussions. 

#2. Get Your Contractors Actively Involved From Day One

Getting external contractors actively involved from day one is essential for smooth integration into your workflow. When contractors start fully engaged, they quickly grasp your company’s culture, processes, and tools. This reduces the learning curve and helps them hit the ground running.

Early involvement also fosters proper collaboration between your in-house team and the external contractors. It builds a sense of unity and ensures everyone is on the same page. Open communication and trust are key. When everyone feels valued and included, teamwork thrives.

Addressing issues and aligning expectations from the start creates a cohesive team dynamic. This proactive approach boosts productivity and streamlines processes. By involving contractors from day one, you set the stage for effective collaboration and project success.

#3. Employ Proper Communication Channels

Employing proper communication channels is imperative for integrating external contractors into your existing workflow. Clear communication ensures alignment on project goals, timelines, and expectations, minimizing misunderstandings and delays.

For instance, utilizing tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams facilitates real-time communication and document sharing, fostering collaboration regardless of geographical location. Additionally, regular check-ins and status updates keep all stakeholders informed and accountable, maintaining momentum and productivity.

Effective communication also cultivates a cohesive team culture, enhancing trust and collaboration among internal and external members. Ultimately, it streamlines processes, optimizes resource utilization, and ensures project success.

 #4. Ensure Streamlined Onboarding 

A proper onboarding process is vital for seamlessly integrating external contractors into your existing workflow. Firstly, it sets the tone for their experience, making them feel welcome and valued. Secondly, it familiarizes them with your company culture, policies, and procedures, helping them adapt quickly. Thirdly, it ensures they understand their role and responsibilities within the team, reducing confusion and misunderstandings.

Additionally, it provides them with access to the necessary tools and resources, enabling them to start contributing effectively from day one. Lastly, a structured onboarding process fosters a sense of belonging and alignment with the team’s goals, increasing overall productivity and collaboration.

#5. Foster Team Collaboration

Fostering team collaboration is crucial to integrating external contractors into your workflow. It cultivates a sense of unity and cooperation among all team members, both internal and external. When everyone feels valued and included, they are more motivated to contribute their best work. Collaboration also promotes knowledge sharing and skill development, allowing external contractors to quickly understand project requirements and expectations.

This shared understanding reduces misunderstandings and enhances overall productivity. Additionally, strong team collaboration fosters innovation and problem-solving, as diverse perspectives and ideas are brought to the table. Ultimately, it creates a supportive environment where everyone can thrive and work towards common goals. 

#6. Implement a Proper System for Evaluation 

Implementing a proper system for evaluation ensures that everyone is aligned with project goals, expectations, and performance standards, leading to smoother collaboration and improved outcomes. 

For example, let’s say a software development company hires a team of external contractors to work on a new project. Without a clear evaluation system in place, there may be inconsistencies in quality, communication, and deliverables. However, by establishing regular performance reviews, milestone assessments, and feedback mechanisms, the company can track the progress of the external contractors and address any issues promptly. This proactive approach fosters accountability, transparency, and continuous improvement, enhancing the integration of external contractors into the workflow.

#7. Assign a Dedicated Point of Contact

When you’re bringing external contractors on board, having someone in your team who’s solely focused on managing their integration can make a lot of difference. This person can act as the go-to for both your team and the contractors, making sure everyone’s on the same page, addressing any concerns, and offering support along the way. 

By having this dedicated point of contact, communication flows smoother, problems get resolved faster, and everyone feels more connected. It’s like having a bridge that links both sides together, making collaboration easier and the project more likely to succeed.

Building Blocks of Success – Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Requirement 

While implementing effective strategies is crucial for integrating external contractors into your software development workflow, the most critical step is to identify the right contractor for your specific needs. This involves thorough vetting, considering factors such as expertise, communication skills, and compatibility with your team. 

To guide you through this process, we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist in our whitepaper titled “Your Checklist for Selecting IT Outsourcing Vendor.” By following this guide, you can confidently choose the best-fit contractor for your projects, ensuring success and efficiency. Additionally, our team is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to hire experienced developers who can seamlessly integrate into your workflow and contribute to your project’s success.