Terrible Tale #1: The Case of the Missing Budget
Every year, about 6 months before the fiscal year ends, our Department panics and rushes to hire contractors in order to ensure our “deliverables” are delivered on time.
When these contracts begin, my team dedicates significant time to bring aboard, train and support these new contracted workers. This takes valuable time out of our work week that should be spent on projects.
These contractors are new and their understanding of the Department’s needs, priorities and daily activities doesn't match a permanent employee’s understanding. That's why their results are always full of mistakes and their work is rushed. Permanent team members spend their time fixing these problems, rather than using their technical expertise effectively. At the end of the day, the contractor leaves. And all the lessons learned from their experience leave with them.
We've suggested to management that they should consider hiring a small number of permanent employees, instead of many contractors. This would enable a more even distribution of work across the whole team and alleviate the cyclical resourcing panic. The results would be consistently better. And we would create good jobs rather than temporary contracted ones.
Management’s answer is always the same: there is no salary budget available. If there's no money for salaries, how are the contractors being paid? If the money is already being spent, shouldn’t management use it in a more sustainable way?