Terrible Tale #3 – Easy Come, Easy Go
Because of job cuts, a freeze on hiring and budgets, Workforce Adjustment (WFA) and the Deficit Reduction Action Plan (DRAP), my Department has seen an increase in the number of contracted workers. In a recent large project to develop new functionality for a widely-used IT system, much of the coding was done by contract workers. Our Department had no budget to permanently hire or train for this particular skill; therefore it was forced to look externally to fill the need. However, the minute the system went live, these contract workers left for a new project, with the indeterminate employees tasked to maintain operations.
During the development phase there had been no knowledge transfer, training, and system documentation. Maintaining and stabilizing the new system was thus difficult and time-consuming. We were left to deal with all the problems, without adequate training! As a result, the learning curve was steep, and our services were delayed. If effective knowledge transfer, training, and transition provisions had been in place, time wouldn’t have been wasted, and Canadians would have had better services more quickly. Contractors come in – do the work – then leave with all of the experience. How is that sustainable?