It's October, so that means we’re now into the peak season for IT projects & deployments. Retailers are getting their systems and stores ready for the peak trading period. Meanwhile, others have upgrade projects that have been delayed all year and are now being squeezed into the next few months before the year-end hits.

Balancing the requirements of the core, SLA-driven business-as-usual (BAU) volume against the additional capacity required for every project can be difficult in the best of circumstances.

And what if those project opportunities require the work to be completed in the evening, overnight or weekends?

If it can be done internally without undue risk to ongoing BAU and overstretching both engineers and managers, then that is generally the best solution. If it can’t be completed internally, here’s some points on the best way to engage a resource supplier:

  • If at all possible, involve the outsourcer early
  • Get them to confirm that they have sufficient headcount and skill-sets in the locations you require
  • Ensure that the pricing supplied clearly highlights any cost uplift for evening, night and weekend deployments
  • Additional charges such overtime rates, mileage rates, logistics costs, project management costs and cancellation fees must be clearly explained and agreed prior to deployment - no nasty surprises
  • You could tighten this up further by requesting an upfront, blended rate which wraps all costs together and mitigates the possibility of additional costs building up once the project is underway
  • Giving your outsourcer control of the schedule may allow them to complete the work at a lower price and in a more efficient time-frame

If your current resource partner doesn’t fulfil all of these criteria, perhaps it’s time to reconsider how much value they are adding to your project pipeline?