Effective agile software development begins with a procurement team that understands what’s important in a contract for agile development. Often, customers require fixed price proposals even though requirements are not fully defined in the RFQ. How can vendors submit fixed price proposals when requirements are unclear? Fortunately, agile allows for that.
Contract Phase 1 – Iteration Zero Planning
Provide a proposal to the prospective customer for pre-release planning using a fixed-price, fixed-scope, fixed-duration contract with the purposes of building trust, limiting risk and guiding the customer on agile collaboration practices. If this pre-release planning lasts longer than two weeks, frequent deliverables should be included for research, discovery and prototyping. The final deliverable during phase 1 should provide clarification and estimation of all identified release requirements for Iteration 1 of development.
Contract Phase 2 – Iteration One Planning
Once trust is established and the customer has experience with agile development principles, subsequent phases of the contract might be offered on a time & materials, varied scope agreement. The customer would have control over their development costs through collaboration with the supplier to receive a pre-iteration estimate, and then adjusting the velocity as needed to meet budget limitations. Additionally, the customer could have the ability to terminate their agreement at the end of any iteration in the event funding does not materialize as expected.
Contract Phase 3 – Support Phase
The final phase of an agile contract would cover the post-deployment support for minor enhancements or a maintenance phase. The contract end date could be fixed or left open for ad hoc maintenance requests.
Contracts for agile software development need to be structured to support the delivery of a successful project. Deliverables should be frequent and allow for research, discovery and prototyping to provide customers with the opportunities to provide feedback early and often.
At inQbation we embrace the agile development methodology in almost everything we do. We are certified scrum masters (CSM) and certified product owners. Contact us at [email protected] and let us know how we can earn your business.