Agile contracting: challenge accepted!

Agile development based on a contract that has been accepted by lawyers seems impossible. The nature of traditional purchasing and contracting processes does not match the Agile principles. When a project is small you can manage to find a workaround, but for a huge, high risk project the situation is different. The client wants to know what he gets for his money, while in fact he cannot really specify his needs in sufficient detail. Having adopted Agile working principles years ago, at a certain moment we had to face this challenge. And it just appeared to be like Nelson Mandela once said: “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. Let’s share our experiences with an insurance company.

An unusual situation it was

An insurance company wanted to introduce a new health insurance service to the market in about 6 months’ time. The supporting workflow and communication applications had to be developed from scratch whereas integration with the existing policy registration application was a must. Clear specifications were lacking. All in all a very ambitious and risky project. Several providers prepared a proposal, which the client did not trust because of the extreme price bandwidth. They fortunately realized an Agile approach had to be followed to have a working solution within 6 months. This was our luck, because in many other cases it took us quite a lot of effort to convince the client that an Agile approach would be best.

And believe it or not we can conclude Mandela was right.

Read the full article on InfoQ.

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Peter Horsten

VP Software Development Europe for Aspire Systems. Sociologist and electrotechnical engineer, a great combination that stimulates him to look for the best working software solutions for clients. Passionate about converting great ideas into new solutions. Married and a proud father of 3 great sons. Training for and participating in triathlons/runs to stay fit.