Penalities and Agile/ SCRUM – Part II

In the follow up articles to the original article on Penalities and Agile/ SCRUM, I discuss some clauses that can be added to contracts to make it reasonable for both the sides.

  • The first thing you would want to do is commit to as less as possible – possibly even just a sprint or a release. Hence, if you do incur a penalty, it is not for much. So draft something like “This deadline would be applicable for only Release 1 and deadline for Release 2 would be provided after Release 1.”
  • Approval of all artifacts [including wireframes/ UI and any sprint backlog but not any UML diagrams or architecture] must be done by these dates from the client. To facilitate rapid approval a limit would be kept on the number of revisions for each wireframe and UI. The clients like to add another clause here “If wireframe or UI is rejected, it should not be counted as revision.” This is reasonable as long as the rejections happens in first draft. Any change from xth revision [what so ever you keep] or so – record kept, might be billable at end of project as additional item but not at the end of sprint. Similarly, for any change in approval UI/ Wireframe/ Flow/ Requirement of already delivered/ developed functionality – record kept, might be billable at end of project but not at the end of sprint
  • Offer for co-location: It might be useful to bring on this offer [a central Agile principle] to ask the client to depute someone to sit with the team 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and see if we are doing well enough. This is especially useful for large projects with quick deadline.
  • You can try committing to the deadline as late as possible. This is useful but rarely practical. However, all contracts are negotiation points and you can bring it to at least Sprint 3 or 4 if not second last sprint. You will have better idea of where the project is going in this case.
  • A cap on story points – we will deliver working software by December end as long as total story points for stories remain plus minus 5 percent of 400 story points.

In case anyone has any more ideas, please fire them. We are all ears.

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