One of our PMs on her project has a scrum team from Vendor A. She needed another developer. So she added one from another vendor. I like this idea because it keeps Vendor A honest.

I'd like to do the same but the project is currently at design stage so I can't use the resourcing excuse.

How can I:

  1. introduce the idea to the vendor (overcome resistance)?


  1. structure the commercials (e.g. SOW for main vendor and T&M for the single contractor)?

I suppose another option is to introduce 2 competing scrum teams but we don't have much budget and I think handling the code merges could be difficult.

  • For the code merges I suggest you use pull requests: atlassian.com/git/tutorials/making-a-pull-request . Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 22:47
  • 4
    Projects being in a "design stage" is usually a scrum/agile anti-pattern. Can you explain what being in the design stage means for you?
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 11:08
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    Thanks Eric Its a hybrid wrapper. Most of the vendors here work as capped T&M on a sprint resourcing cost with contingency. So effectively we'll buy as many sprints as we can e.g. 8 x 2 week sprints. There is a MVP for a website that will probably remain fairly static. The agile bit is that the business can re-prioritise as they go and add more requirements as long as they swap out or top up the resourcing budget. I've used this approach for my CRM project and it worked fine.
    – ausadmin
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 22:12
  • I've also worked in pure agile environments which is my preference. But most of the vendors here are still in that old school spec to build and transfer requirements risk to the client mindset. Even this is a big step forward for them.
    – ausadmin
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 22:19
  • My issue is not how the work is structured. I need suggestions on questions 1, 2 above. The vendor is based in another city so I need them to have some incentives to manage the delivery properly. CRM was different because I could get co location.
    – ausadmin
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


This seems like an over-complicated solution which will likely not work or backfire.

If your goal is to keep your vendor team honest (presumably in terms of estimates or similar), the best approach IMO is to be involved with them. Be an active part of the sprint planning sessions and the daily stand-ups, and I doubt you'll have many issues.

That said, if you really want to try this approach:

  1. Just impose a team member on them. Tell them you want to hire another developer to keep them honest. If they don't like it, too bad, they're the vendor.

  2. SOW and T&M sounds about right. This will probably have more to do with how consulting governance is done in your org though.

But, still, there are probably better ways around this.

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