Despite everyone’s best efforts to stick to the plan, a lot of work has piled up during these months of uncertainty. It’s simply not possible to just “pick up where we left off” – the world has changed, quickly and dramatically. Release cycles and project plans have had to change more drastically and more quickly than anyone anticipated when setting the goals for the year.

And yet, for most enterprises, those quarterly and fiscal year commitments don’t just go away.

The good news is, the looming workload doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle. Bringing a resource – a contractor or two with experience in your field and the ability to ramp up quickly — may be just the thing to support your team through the crunch.

Finding Expert Help Quickly

One common obstacle to finding help quickly is that the hiring manager does not fully understand what they need. They just know their team needs help.

The more clearly you can define your needs and priorities, the more quickly we can match the right resource to your project. To streamline this process, I’ve developed a checklist of things to think about so you can be sure you know what you need, when you need it by, and where your resource gaps are. This checklist is adapted from my eBook, Successful Outsourcing: A Guide to When, Why, and How to Hire a Content Development Agency.

Checklist of Things to Think About Before You Call an Agency

  1. Describe the project deliverables.
  2. What background should the consultant have? (Technology, marketing, etc.)
  3. What tools and technologies does the consultant need to know?
  4. What is your management style? Do you prefer daily updates from the contractor or can they contact you with questions / issues / deliverables?
  5. Describe the people working on the project:
      • Other writers
      • Editors
      • Graphic artists
      • Programmers
      • Subject-matter experts (SMEs)
      • Reviewers
  6. Are the deliverables brand-new or based on existing content?
  7. What source material is available?
  8. Will the SMEs be available for consultation?
  9. How long do you expect the project to take?
  10. How much of the project time do you think needs to be spent onsite at your office?
  11. Can the resource be remote?
  12. Will you be supplying a computer? Network access? A badge?
  13. Do you have a vendor approval process?
  14. What are your payment terms?
  15. Ideally, when would you like the project to begin?
  16. When are your deliverables due?

Make sure you know what your top priorities are and the order in which the priorities need to be addressed.

Reasons to Hire Expert Help

By far the most common reason for managers to bring on contractors is that the workload temporarily exceeds the capacity of the team. There’s no need (or no budget) to hire a full-time employee, but without some help, the work won’t get done and the goals can’t be met. Many companies are in that situation these days.

Other reasons to hire an outside expert include a need for specialized knowledge (such as a new API protocol), specialized skills (such as eLearning course development), or an unusually fast turnaround time (dividing a large workload across more people for a shorter amount of time).

We’re the Content Experts

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know that Content Rules is the leading company in content development services. Our network of contractors is second to none. And every single one of them has years of experience working remotely.

If you’d like more information – or if you already know you’re in need of expert writers, editors, illustrators, graphic artists, instructional designers, DITA specialists, or even a complete content team – contact us and let’s set up a time to talk.

Val Swisher
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