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Nine Things to Remember When Negotiating IT-Contracts, by Peter Lind Nielsen at Computerworld.dk

A very concise, yet also precise, overview of IT contract negotiation posted yesterday on Computerworld.dk.

Nine Things to Remember When Negotiating IT-Contracts, by Peter Lind Nielsen

Computerworld.dk, 30 March 2009

http://www.computerworld.dk/art/50754/ni-gode-raad-til-forhandling-af-it-aftaler?a=fp_1&i=0

A brief translated summary:

Issues common to all IT-contracts:
- Responsibility for undefined conditions/gaps and interfaces with other systems
- Degree of client collaboration and consequences, if the customer does not collaborate
- Placement and extent of project management responsibility
- Consequences of delays – to include fines and customers other sanctions
- How to test and what to do, if the test results cannot be approved
- Responsibility for errors and omissions in standard software.

Nine things to remember:
1. What will be delivered? Have clear product specifications
2. How will it be delivered? Will you use Waterfall or Agile/Iterative project management?
3. What is the power balance between the parties?
4. Start working on the contract early. The contents need to be specific to the project.
5. Type of contract. Ensure the contract type matches the project.
6. Can’t the lawyers just write the contract themselves? No, the technicalaspects are too important.
7. Make sure to write up a draft. Negotiate based on a draft contract.
8. Commenting on the contract. Both parties should review the contract before beginning negotiations. Have draft alternatives ready, if you want changes.
9. How the contract will be negotiated and who will participate. Take your time. Rewrite a common draft during the negotiations.

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