Outsourced Software Development at Fixed Price with a variable scope is recipe for disaster for both owners and the software developer.
Potential Problems Associated with Fixed Priced Projects.
- Out Sourced developers often do not speak up and expose issues simply because it complicates the work they are already doing thus avoiding immediate pain (human nature).
- Tight deadlines lead to coder hacks – lazy coding tricks to tick the done box. Typically such solutions do not withstand rigorous testing thus storing up problems for later.
- In reality tight deadlines reduce flexibility, – reduce the ability to adapt to the unexpected, since coders and testers tend to code to meet the bare minimum of product expectations often neglecting coding best practices that might well take longer in the short term, but are necessary to embed flexibility.
- A fixed price project without restrictions gives the product owner free reign to change their minds on the details without the burden of additional cost. Nice for them but terrible for the developer, introducing huge element of risk.
Mitigating Outsourced Agile Development Risk – a matter of contractual precision.
Confusion reigns when it comes to the term fixed price contracts in the context of Agile development. For the customer a fixed price might mean that they may wish to specify not only the overall cost, but also the timeframe and scope of the development project. For the development team fixed price usually means fixed price per iteration.
- It is vital that the contract specifies what will be fixed in detail.
- Specify a Primary (core) and Secondary (nice to have) feature sets AND a criteria by which features are allocated.
- Specify an ALM Software Solution that enables the prioritization through collaborative ranking of feature demands (Demand Management) and provides a fully integrated Requirements Management tool. These Agile tools should provide access to the owner and all project stakeholders and provide complete transparency and traceability throughout the application development lifecycle.
Demand Management: Predict Project Scope
codeBeamer ALM – Demand Management feature meets all the requirements for outsourced development projects. It provides an enhanced ability to predict project scope through collaborative rating of feature demands across all departments. It provides a simple, clear way for managers to contribute feature requirements as well as determining the nice to have features and therefore accounts for all necessary use cases up-front therefore better defining project scope.
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