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Legal insight: The wrong development contract

Stuart van Rij | April 23, 2014
If your project is agile, and your contract isn't, you may be signing up for a major dispute, writes Stuart van Rij of Wigley & Company..

However, be careful to tease out with the supplier as to exactly how it does agile. There can be a lot of variability in agile approaches, and it is not unusual to see a hybrid approach that has both waterfall and agile related features.

Your next software development contract

A software development contract should be designed to work with the development methodology for the project. Consider asking the following the next time a development contract hits your desk:

1. What is the development methodology?

2. What does this mean for the scope?

3. What is fixed? What is flexible?

4. What does this mean for the timetable and pricing model?

5. Where is the above reflected in the contract?

Asking these types of questions will help flush out whether the contract is a good fit. Indeed, if the wrong contract has been proposed it may signal a major gap between the expectations of the customer and the commercial model of the developer. This tends to end badly. Far better to surface these issues at the contracting stage and get a framework in place that reflects the reality of the project.


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