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  1. Service manual
  2. The team
  3. Working with contractors or third parties

You need to have a range of specific service delivery team roles in place to design, build and run your digital service.

If you don’t have these in your team (or available to it), you may need to hire third parties or contractors.

You should only work with contractors or suppliers who are prepared to pass on their expertise.

Meeting the Digital Service Standard

To pass point 3 (have a multidisciplinary team) in your service assessments, you must have a plan to transfer knowledge from contractors to your team.

This is so a contractor or supplier leaves the team with the ability to function on its own.

Identify the skills you need

When you have an idea of the service you’re going to create, talk to your team about the skills you need.

Before you recruit anyone from outside the Civil Service, see if you have any team members who can develop these skills.

Choosing contractors or third parties

It’s important to only buy the skills you need and not to lock your service into a long contract with a fixed cost.

When you’re considering a person or company to work with, look for evidence of:

  • a proven track record of using agile methodologies to design, build and deliver projects
  • their commitment to work on-site with civil servants
  • the ability to share knowledge with permanent staff in the delivery team
  • how they’ll deliver in an agile way, even if your department traditionally uses waterfall or PRINCE2 delivery methods
  • how they define, measure and maintain good quality products and services

You can use the Digital Marketplace to buy a service or find a skill. The Digital Marketplace buyers’ guide explains how to do this.

You can also use the digital training and support frameworkif you need to buy a service or find a skill to help you provide assisted digital support.

After you recruit 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

You may also find the following guides useful:

Published by:
Agile delivery community
Last update:

Updated link

Link to new Digital Marketplace buyer's guide added to page.