Managing contractors

Contractors should have everything they need to know in the bugtracker. Here is the template which should live on one page. See also how to use Redmine for team development as an example of using a bugtracker.

Case process

  • Project manager creates a new case in the bugtracker with the status 'Quote'.
  • Each contractor receives an email notifying them about this new case.
  • Contractors provide quotes to project manager by email.
  • Project manager selects a contractor and assigns the case to them with the status 'New' and fills the 'Estimated hours' and 'End date' form.
  • Contractor undertakes the task and changes the status to 'In progress'.
  • At job completion, contractor changes the status of the case to 'Dev complete'.
  • Project manager tests the development in UAT.
  • If it needs to go back and forth between project manager and developer, project manager changes the status to 'In progress' and adds a comment describing the problem. Contractor will fix it and change the case to 'Dev complete' again.
  • Project manager changes the case status to 'OK production' when the development is ready.
  • Project manager pushes the code in production, tests and changes the status to 'Resolved'. The case is closed.

Invoicing process

Every month contractors should send their invoices to project manager or CFO. In any case, project manger needs to approve them before payment. You should use a unique project number across all your software to be able to track the project. Contractor invoices must include this unique project number allowing CFO to allocate the expense to the correct project.

Each contractor needs to track his time against a task. Sometimes it can be a quick modification without any tasks. For this, create a generic case called 'Generic development'.

For each case, project manager will decide the type of invoicing method, which can be either 'Fixed quote' or 'Hourly basis'. This method should be a field in your bugtracker.

Fixed quote

It is preferable to work with a fixed quote when possible. Contractors are more likely to deliver in the defined time frames and deadlines.
The time spent (and so the cost) will be entered into the 'Estimated hours' field for each bugtracker issue. The deadline will be entered in the 'Due Date' field.
If contractor does not succeed in delivering at the due date, penalties will apply on the defined amount at the following rates:

  • 10% - if over time between 1-2 weeks,
  • 20% - if over time between 2-3 weeks,
  • 30% - if over time for more than 3 weeks.

Hourly rate basis

When it's too complicated to work on a fixed quote, you may want to work based on hourly rate (for example when solving a bug). In this case a maximum time spent and a deadline will be fixed.
Estimated time for completion will be put in the 'Estimated time' field. If contractor does not succeed in solving the issue in the given time, then he will add a comment to the issue explaining how he has used his time, his progress status and an estimate how long it will take for him to solve the problem. The project manager will reply.


The contractor contract should include the following elements:

  • revision
  • don't allow contractor/company to use {COMPANY} and especially his clients as references
  • get them to have an insurance
  • not working full time for the same company (for some countries)
  • If necessary, agree on a deadline and a number of hours in the contract and apply penalties for the case of the contractor failing - 10% per week, 20% per 2 weeks, 30% per 3 weeks.

See: Contract template.

Page last modified on Tuesday 10 of August, 2010 15:42:29 UCT

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