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How to evaluate a contract for your Agile project

Commercial contracts can take many forms. What are the contract alternatives that are suitable for agile development projects?

Beware of traps in contracts you didn't write.
Gopher Traps courtesy of  El Cajon Yacht Club


For any contract, I would look at:
  • What are the intended benefits?
  • How is the contract structured? What are the basic rules for delivering scope and invoicing revenue?
  • How does it apportion Risk and Reward between customer and supplier? 
  • How does it handle decision making and changes in requirements? 
  • What model of customer relationship does it foster: competitive (my win is your loss), cooperative (win-win), indifferent (I don’t care-you lose) or dependent (heads-I-win-tails-you lose)? 
If I did not draft the contract, I would also look for traps - contract negotiation can be a competitive game. One place to look for traps is language that you do not understand. Another place is references to laws that you may not be familiar with. The question is what do you do if you find a trap? Try to get it taken out, or accept it and move on? Let's just call this a 'business decision'.



The text is excerpted from Ten Contracts For Your Next Agile Project, by Peter Stevens. 
You can get the whole book now, or you can read it a chapter at a time as I publish it here under the label ten contracts. To download the e-book or pre-order the physical book visit https://saat-network.ch/ten

EDIT: 190602 added picture

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