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Which problems do you find in a software development contract?

1 New Member
Hi everyone,

I’m currently writing a PhD about software (tailored made) development contracts.
As a lawyer, I’m trying to understand an engineer’s point of view in a contractual relationship, and particularly, what developers/engineers struggle with during a software development project. The aim of my research is to find the best solution in case of litigation or even to prevent such litigation from happening between the customers and the developers in a tailored made software contract. To understand the real experience of developers, I’ve a bunch of questions, and it would be really helpful to have your point of view and (possibly) examples from experiences you had in various projects:
  1. Which kind of process do you use for a software development project (for example, agile, cycle, waterfall, etc.)?
  2. How do you define a software's failure?
  3. Which are the most common failures that you can find?
  4. How do you detect a failure?
  5. Which is the procedure to repair a failure that you usually use and why do you use this specific procedure?
  6. Which problems do you usually find in a software project regarding the client’s needs and communication?
  7. During a project, have you already experienced a problem that has rendered the software development (technically) impossible and/or extremely hard to develop (for instance due to the development taking too much time, or becoming too expensive)?
  8. How do you determine (or define) this impossibility or a piece of software that is “really hard” to develop?
  9. How do you usually solve this kind of issue?
  10. Do you have any other problems while developing software for a client (before, during or after the contract being concluded and/or performed, for example failed installation)?

Your answers will be extremely precious for my PhD thesis. Thanks a lot, in advance for your help and please feel free to also share these questions with your colleagues.
Feb 20 '22 #1
2 2780
AlinaBell
1 New Member
Your research sounds fascinating! As a developer, I've navigated through various project hurdles. Happy to share insights and experiences. Let's chat!
3 Weeks Ago #2
developercat
13 New Member
Ander,

Did your research lead to a paper that's available to read? Can you share it?


Here are my answers. Might be late, but glad to share.

Which kind of process do you use for a software development project (for example, agile, cycle, waterfall, etc.)?
Depends on the client's needs and also their current processes. Being flexible has paid dividends for us.

How do you define a software's failure?
In ability to meet the needs of the client. A lot of times it has been cost over runs and the project gets held up and shut down.

Which are the most common failures that you can find?
Cost over runs and bad projections which comes from a failure of bad requirements. The technicals stuff is almost always fixable. People, time and resources are the biggest constraints.

How do you detect a failure?
Lot of meetings, not enough work getting done.

Which is the procedure to repair a failure that you usually use and why do you use this specific procedure?
Honest conversations with the PM on the clients side. What are the actual resources and what needs to be done.

Which problems do you usually find in a software project regarding the client’s needs and communication?
In ability to estimate total project costs. Including maintenance and upkeep costs long term. Some projects once going live can last a decade.

During a project, have you already experienced a problem that has rendered the software development (technically) impossible and/or extremely hard to develop (for instance due to the development taking too much time, or becoming too expensive)?
Under staffed, resourced. Under budgeted. Short turnaround times. Last minute chances. Very common.

How do you determine (or define) this impossibility or a piece of software that is “really hard” to develop?
Anything can be built. Do you have the time and the resources.

How do you usually solve this kind of issue?
Have honest conversations. What are the long term costs of this project and do we have the resources to get it done.

Do you have any other problems while developing software for a client (before, during or after the contract being concluded and/or performed, for example failed installation)?
DOCUMENTATION! Hopeful here. As long as everyone is recording something into a repo somewhere. AI should help figure it out!


DC😼
3 Weeks Ago #3

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