What Does Agile Mean With Respect To Procurement
There is no consensus the term and practice are too new. But, heres what we believe Agile procurement should evolve to mean:
- Ensure that procurement efforts are aligned to your agencys mission and sufficient to achieve mission success.
- Break big procurement efforts into smaller tasks and pieces pieces that can be accomplished incrementally.
- Procure quickly but accommodate changes to the needs of program officials and their customers/users.
- Use a challenge model to try a free sample from several vendors , rather than simply relying upon written assertions and descriptions of what the vendors propose.
- Make it possible to add vendors to support a program, and to switch between vendors, so that the agency can adjust direction quickly as program increments are delivered.
- Collaborate with users to try the results of each increment in their real-world setting, and to provide feedback and new ideas that can help inform subsequent pieces of the effort.
- Accept the occasions when customers ask for a change it means they are paying attention, care about what youre doing, and that they plan to use the result.
- Measure success based upon outcome achieved, and upon user adoption use of goods and services purchased versus those that are rejected or discarded.
An Agile Software Development Solicitation Guide
This is Part II in a series about how to contract for agile softwaredevelopment services. See also: Prerequisites for modularcontracting.
Government solicitations to procure custom software are often long andcomplicated, include many pages of requirements, and can take months even years to write. But an agency can hire an agile softwarecontractor with a solicitation thats only a dozen pages, written in anafternoon, using our agile contract format. It can be done underexisting procurement regulations and within contracting officersexisting authority. The savings, in time and money, can be enormous.
Lets look at what goes into making a complete acquisition package usingthese methods. Beyond just the adapted format for the solicitation, itsour experience that there are a handful of additional elements requiredto make this work:
All of the above can be incorporated into a solicitation in a dozen orso pages, not including appendices like standard administrative clauses,a description of the technical environment that the contractor will beworking within, the product backlog, etc.
A solicitation like this can be put together in a few hours. In astandard, three-day 18F procurement workshop, we use only the latterhalf of the third day to lead our client through an exercise in which weput such a solicitation together. With the right training and coaching,its not hard.
If youre interested in working with 18F, get in touch at.
How Contracts Are Awarded
After evaluating bids, Procurement Services will issue a contract to the successful supplier.
The name of the successful supplier, award date, and the contracted prices will be available on the Alberta Purchasing Connection following the contract award.
Unsuccessful suppliers will be debriefed by Procurement Services, upon request.
The solicitation will specify if the award will be made to one or more suppliers.
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Services Description And Project Scope
A software development contract should clearly outline what you expect from the vendor. For example, the development of specific features, the number of allowed revisions, and what maintenance services are required. You will need to prepare detailed project specifications and attach them to the contract. Alongside, establish tools and processes, including the source code repositories, software used, and even project management style. Ensure that this section stipulates possible changes to the project scope and the procedure for making them.
Key Elements Of Software Development Contracts
More often than not, software development contracts require a high level of agility, making it harder to draft them. You need to balance between flexible general clauses and detailed clauses that better protect you from risks but limit the projectâs flexibility.
Regardless of how agile your contract is, key elements constitute a solid agreement. Letâs take a closer look at them.
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Define Your Success Metrics
What would deem the project a success for you? What are the various milestones you want met? Now, these milestones don’t have to be precise, but it has to be measurable. It helps to read up on how to write a software requirements specification document. Vague language in contracts leaves too much room for arguments and misunderstandings. One side can be sure they met the target, while the other feels they fell short of the goal. Concise, clear requirement drafting will set the base for a healthy partnership. You will even notice fewer hold-ups and more progress towards the target.
Rights In Computer Software Under Federal Goverment Contracts
Retaining Rights in Computer Software under Federal Government Contracts
If your organization contracts with the federal government for the delivery of computer software, you need to know the details of government regulations which govern what rights are granted to the government and what rights you may retain in your work product.
Contracts with federal government agencies are governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulations . Section 27 of FAR sets forth the basic rights of both the contractor and the government in various types of intellectual property, including computer software, delivered under contract. A review of the contract documents will always be necessary to determine what rights are claimed by the government.
The basic rights granted to the government in computer software come in two categories: unlimited rights and restricted rights.
Unlimited rights means the government has the right to use, disclose, reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, publicly perform and display the material in any manner and for any purpose it desires.
You also retain the right to protect the data from unauthorized disclosure, add or correct various rights granted to the government, add or correct copyright notices and to take other appropriate action, in accordance with the contract and establish claim to copyright.
All of these rights are the basic rights set out in FAR, but all can be modified pursuant to your contract with the government.
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The Supply Chain Security Guidance
Section 4 of the Cyber EO requires NIST to publish guidelines on practices for software supply security for use by U.S. government acquisition and procurement officials. Section 4 of the EO requires the Office of Management and Budget, within 30 days of the publication of this guidance , to take appropriate steps to require that agencies comply with such guidelines with respect to software procured after the date of the EO. Section 4 of the EO states that within one year of the date of the EO , the Secretary of Homeland Securityshall recommend to the FAR Council contract language requiring suppliers of software available for purchase by agencies to comply with, and attest to complying with, any requirements issued pursuant to subsections through of this section.
The Supply Chaim Security Guidance defines minimum recommendations for federal agencies as they acquire software or a product containing software:
Enhanced Software Licensing Agreements
These enhancements of existing agreements reduce the costs and complexities involved with federal acquisition of commercial software. They provide ready access to exemplary software agreements that are in-place and available for use.
Details are available on the federal side of the Acquisition Gateway.
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Software Development Outsourcing Contracts: Guide To Avoiding Gaps
Software development outsourcing has become a powerful tool for improvement for many organizations. It allows for a swift backup of experienced resources with unique skills that might not be easy to find on-site.
But how to make sure that you get what your organization really needs? The key seems to be a well-drafted contract, which secures the crucial aspects of the cooperation.
In this article, Ill guide you through the key issues that you should pay attention to in order to secure your companys interest while signing a software development agreement.
Rights To Software Or Technical Data Delivered Under A Dod Contract: Ten Useful Tipsby Jerome Gabig*
TIP #1: Even if the software or technical data is developed totally at Government expense, the contractor still owns the IP.TIP # 2: Possession Is 9/10th Of The Law. TIP #3: Take seriously solicitation clauses requiring the identification of pre-existing IP.TIP #4: IP rights typically follow the money.
- Government Unlimited Rights developed exclusively with Government funds.
- Government Purpose Rights mixed funding.
- Government Limited Rights exclusively at private expense.
- Government Restricted Rights exclusively at private expense.
TIP #5: Allocation of IP rights is generally made at the lowest segregable level.TIP #6: The Government has a duty to protect the IP of contractors.TIP #7: Software can still be commercial even if developed totally at Government expense.TIP #8: The failure to properly mark deliverables with restrictive legends could result in a contractor losing IP rights.TIP # 9: Improvements merit close attention.TIP #10: IP can be the basis for awarding a sole source contract.* Jerome Gabig has over thirty years of experience practicing federal contract law. He has been the government legal advisor for numerous major systems a partner is large Washington DC law firm a member of the Army Science Board the General Counsel for a government contractor and the CEO of a technology company. He is an NCMA Fellow the chairman of the Alabama State Bar Contracts Section.
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Moving Ahead And Signing Your New Software Contract
Now that you understand some of the critical pieces of software contracts as outlined above, youre in a good spot. Bookmark this post and reference it, and download the cheatsheet above, for the next time youve moved into contract negotiations with your software development firm of choice.
Go into those negotiations knowing that a good business relationship, and a good contract, is predicated on the ideas of fairness and risk-sharing for both sides. Get that contract in place, sign it, and then focus on building the best software you can.
Best Type Of Contract For Software Development
In most of today’s software development projects, time to market makes all the difference. Driven by this, we have seen more and more tech leaders with an internal team turning to us to fill their development capacity gaps in the past two years. It is easy to get expectations and details mixed up. A solid software development contract is crucial to how the project is delivered and your experience working with the new team. Unless you know what to look for and include, contracts can miss the mark to account for all the expectations of the parties involved. This blog should help you avoid the common pitfalls when it comes to drafting software contracts.
The software development services agreement will define the compensation your partner is going to receive after completion of the contract and the way in which the project will be delivered. The contract has to determine not just responsibility in case of any dispute but also your and your partner’s actions. Basically, the contract defines the what, the when, the how, and, particularly, the how much.
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Time & Material Software Development Contract
What contract type fits best if your project is not big enough for a Dedicated Team approach but neither does it have a clearly defined scope for Fixed Price contract? Thats when Time and Material comes into play.
If your project is between 1 and 2 months, you dont have a clear vision of the functionality of your future piece of software youre open to ideas that will improve the end result, Time and Material is your choice.
What do you get with this type of contract?
An ability to chat with the team, the right to prioritize backlog tasks in Jira, tracking hours spent on each of the tasks and weekly demos. It also gives you flexibility, which may be necessary for some projects. Lets recap.
- between 1 and 2 months
- there is no clear vision of its functionality
- you are open to altering your requirements if more beneficial ideas are suggested
- your project has a flexible budget
T& M contract is exactly what you need. Well help you create the best version of your software that you will be proud of.
Just like with the previous 2 types of contract, before we start the ball rolling, youll get a proposal.
What will you see there?
What Is A Software Development Agreement
Before we get familiarized with the agreement document, we should define what is software development first. Well, software development simply refers to the process through which programmers create or develop computer programs. It also consists of various phases that provide a way for creating products that fulfill technical criteria as well as user needs. Any other activities that can result in software products can also be classified under software development. These activities include research and development, modification, maintenance, and re-use.
A software development agreement is a legal document that refers to an agreement made between software developers and their clients or end-users. The agreement provides the important terms and conditions to abide by in the midst of the performance of the software development agreement. Having this document is handy because it serves as a stepping stone for developing a great professional relationship between the parties involved and it also protects them from any type of legal repercussions.
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Are Agencies Authorized To Shape Their It Software Acquisitions Around Agile Principles The Far Does Not Expressly Speak To Agile Concepts Such As Refining Technical Solutions After Contract Award Based On Testing And Customer Feedback Or Buying A Product With A Process Rather Than An Identified Solution
The principles of Agile software development are consistent with modular contracting, which is discussed in FAR Part 39, Acquisition of Information Technology. In addition, as a general matter, an agency may pursue acquisition practices that are not expressly endorsed in the FAR, including Agile software development, as long as they are not expressly prohibited by law.
Acquisition policies and procedures for acquiring digital services are addressed in FAR Part 39. Although Part 39 does not directly speak to Agile software development practices, it endorses modular contracting principles where information technology systems are acquired in successive, interoperable increments to reduce overall risk and support rapid delivery of incremental new functionality. See FAR 39.103. In 2012, Office of Management and Budgets Office of Federal Procurement Policy and Office of E-Government and Information Technology issued Contracting Guidance to Support Modular Development to promote greater use of modular IT development and contracting.
What To Keep In Mind When Drafting A Software Development Agreement
More often than not, youâll go for time and materials contracts and dedicated teams when thereâs a lack of understanding of the final product functionality. Your company may lack expertise in software development or need the developerâs help at the discovery stage to better evaluate end usersâ expectations and the project potential. If this is your case, be careful not to make the contract too flexible and thus too ambiguous and vague.
Here are eight of the most important legal issues you need to cover in your contract to mitigate risks.
Ensure that your contract covers all the legal issues above. If you need a more detailed overview, check out a few templates of software development agreements drafted by professional lawyers.
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Acceptance Testing And Delivery
Acceptance testing is the period during which you can access software and test whether it meets your requirements and specifications. Clearly state that delivery is possible only after successful acceptance testing and specify the acceptance duration and possible reasons for rejection. Here, you also need to describe the procedure for making corrections after failed acceptance and acceptable dates.
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Final Provisions And Personal Data Protection: Secure Data Secure Interest
Last but not least, we should remember about some final provisions. These may include contact details and the choice of applicable law and jurisdiction. The parties may also agree that any potential disputes will be resolved by way of arbitration.
With a high probability, outsourcing may also lead to personal data processing. Any access to personally identifiable information should be recognized as data processing activity, regulated in the EU by the General data protection regulation . In such cases, the outsourcing provider acts on behalf of the client as a data processor. This requires concluding a data processing agreement compliant with art. 28 of GDPR, which may form a part of the contract.
- Include contact details in the contract.
- Select applicable law and jurisdiction.
- Establish ways for resolving potential disputes .
- Recognize data processing activities, and if necessary sign a data processing agreement.