21 votes

Managing R&D projects that don't have a 100% chance of success

No project has a 100% chance of success. So there's that. For R&D, the project itself is not the product. It is research and development. It's a service-oriented project. Therefore, you would be ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.2k
10 votes

How do I convice clients that we should use Agile and how should we charge for it

This question has two levels: actual problem of contracting the work for agile team does it really matter how the work is contracted? It actually doesn't matter how the contract looks Even if you ...
Piotr Uryga's user avatar
  • 1,107
7 votes

Are Agile Project Deliverables Generally Tied To Stage Payments?

Agile Projects Generally Work Best When Billed as Time-and-Materials Do software developers operating under some sort of agile development cycle and presenting a series of 'deliverables' to their ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
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7 votes

Managing R&D projects that don't have a 100% chance of success

Good answers; I thought I might provide a different view. I'd write my project as to test one (or more) hypothesis. At the end of this project, we will verify or refute the hypothesis that it is ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 8,728
5 votes
Accepted

How a software development contract is concluded?

Customers prefer a FFP at times because of they believe it helps to control costs. In some ways it does; however, in many cases they end up paying more, either because of the contingency built in the ...
David Espina's user avatar
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5 votes

Managing R&D projects that don't have a 100% chance of success

In addition to the good answers already given (T&M is the way to go) you should also put emphasis on customer expectation management. From the beginning, make it clear that you promise knowledge ...
Hans-Martin Mosner's user avatar
4 votes

How should a project manager handle a request for contracted software to produce twice as many reports as specified in the project's requirements?

One of the four values of agile is "Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation." The first thing to ask is "what is best for the customer?". Once you've done that, then you ask "is it covered ...
Joel Bancroft-Connors's user avatar
4 votes

Business requirements and a fixed price contract

A FFP is not appropriate for your customer or you. If you pursue that you have to load it with a ton of contingency in both money and time that it would make it unfeasible for a normal customer. And ...
David Espina's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Effect of front-loading tasks on project schedule

Normally, if you reprioritize or reschedule tasks to be started immediately, you need to interrupt and postpone current activities. This inevitably incurs overhead. Your client needs to understand ...
Hans-Martin Mosner's user avatar
4 votes

Do project managers negotiate contracts with clients?

Contracts are Legal Documents, and Project Managers Aren't Usually Officers of the Company This question is likely to be closed as too subjective, but a lot depends on the size of the company. In most ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.2k
3 votes

Business requirements and a fixed price contract

Without detailed and fully agreed requirements, you have a load of assumptions. I suggest you document the assumptions as fully as possible, then structure a contract on a time and materials basis ...
Iain9688's user avatar
  • 6,858
3 votes
Accepted

How to manage consulting resources to deliver ahead of delivery dates?

Lets assume that the consultants are working in good faith and their estimates are correct. Now delays must be caused by the usual things: external task needs to be completed by someone else. extra ...
Ewan's user avatar
  • 926
3 votes

In Scrum, should we be billed for defects and unplanned activities?

TL;DR Yes. Under your current contract and within your current process, you should pay the vendor for all work completed. Unless you have a fixed-price, fixed-scope contract, all the problems you've ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.2k
3 votes

Are Agile Project Deliverables Generally Tied To Stage Payments?

Most non-trivial software development work tends to be billed as T&M. The agile approach with a T&M contract is attractive to both the customer and the vendor and generally has important ...
nvogel's user avatar
  • 6,305
3 votes
Accepted

Is Scrum applicable to projects with outcome-based pricing?

"Outcomes" Aren't Synonymous with Fully-Fixed Constraints In Scrum, the burn rate of each iteration is (relatively) fixed. The flexible sliders are scope and schedule. So, "outcome-based pricing" is ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.2k
3 votes

How a PM can manage the contract aspects for Scrum projects with outcome-based pricing?

The best software solutions are built when the software vendor and the customer that ordered that software collaborate to make it happen. "Customer collaboration over contract negotiation" says the ...
Bogdan's user avatar
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3 votes

When we offer a price to client, do we need to explain it?

You don't have to explain your price if you can write a watertight contract You don't have to explain your price to the client if you can write a watertight contract. A watertight contract is one ...
Ashok Ramachandran's user avatar
3 votes

When we offer a price to client, do we need to explain it?

Contracting with the US government, especially for CAS-compliant contract requirements, you have a requirement to exhibit your basis of estimates--labor cats, labor rates, cost build-up, justification,...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.2k
3 votes

Managing R&D projects that don't have a 100% chance of success

I would expect any research project to be done on a daily or hourly rate. It's implicitly the nature of R&D that the work is what matters and the outcome is uncertain, so the work is what you ...
nvogel's user avatar
  • 6,305
3 votes
Accepted

Time & Material project contract - how to handle blockers during project execution

This is only properly answerable in the context of any contract that exists between the parties. Without a contract that specifies what happens in the event of holdups caused by either side, you are ...
Iain9688's user avatar
  • 6,858
2 votes

How should a project manager handle a request for contracted software to produce twice as many reports as specified in the project's requirements?

TL;DR At this stage, the project manager's job is to provide a framework for the companies to address scope, and to estimate the budget and resources needed to deliver that scope. That's it! In ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.2k
2 votes

How do I convice clients that we should use Agile and how should we charge for it

Discuss it with them and get their buy-in first. Agile won't work very well if not everyone involved is on-board. Worst-case, you can still try to use Agile internally while working with external ...
Sarov's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes

How to manage consulting resources to deliver ahead of delivery dates?

Sounds like working in a more Agile-structured way would be beneficial. If you require being able to see incremental versions of the software every so often (say, every two weeks), then you will not ...
Sarov's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes

What are differences between Cost Plus Award Fee and Cost Plus Incentive Fee Contract?

FAR Definition of Incentive and Award Fees Scroll down to Section 16.4. These two types of fee structures are essentially the same thing except for the criteria of the fee. The FAR differentiates ...
David Espina's user avatar
  • 37.2k
2 votes
Accepted

Working with Freelancers

I see two broad approaches to solving this issue. One Agile, one not. The "non-Agile" approach is to hire a lawyer and have your contracts drafted in such a way that the burden of miscommunicated ...
Sarov's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes
Accepted

Are consultants paid for abandoning project?

TL;DR Since there is a distinct discovery phase in most projects, the purpose of which is to determine whether the project is to be abandoned or taken forward, do consultants get paid for ...
Todd A. Jacobs's user avatar
  • 50.2k
2 votes

Business requirements and a fixed price contract

One of the factors to consider is whether the client is sufficiently experienced at this kind of engagement. It only makes sense to take this kind of thing on if both parties are prepared to negotiate ...
nvogel's user avatar
  • 6,305
2 votes

How do I convice clients that we should use Agile and how should we charge for it

TL:DR: Always use agile, change your reporting, not your contracts. It sounds like the root problem here isn't about using agile nor the kind of contract you use, it's about managing Change ...
Joel Bancroft-Connors's user avatar
2 votes

How to Handle a Funding Overrun on a Time and Materials (T&M) Contract

What would be your course of action with the client? Ans : 1) Share the current status with client 2) Revisit the project plan and re-prioritize the scope. 3) Based on the updated scope realign the ...
Guru Raj's user avatar
2 votes

How a software development contract is concluded?

There's a difference between being a software vendor and being a service provider for bespoke applications development. You seem to be describing a service-provider kind of relationship. A fixed-price ...
nvogel's user avatar
  • 6,305

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