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Selling (and Managing) Agile Contracts

Describes business model used by software vendor to craft contracts for professional services that are compatible with Agile methods.

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Selling (and Managing) Agile Contracts

  1. 1. Selling (and Managing) Agile Contracts ©2014 RSI Content Solutions
  2. 2. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Hello My Name is…  Paul Eisenberg, CSM  Director of Professional Services Engagements at RSI Content Solutions  Member of Agile Philly since ~2007 
  3. 3. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Non-Agenda Legalese
  4. 4. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Agenda  Let’s change the world!
  5. 5. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + A word from my sponsor… RSI Content Solutions
  6. 6. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + My Agile Journey  2005: Consulting Initiation, Inspiration & Longing!  2007: Light Experimentation, Joined Agile Philly  2009: Left RSI, Self-Study, SunGard Struggles  2010: Consulting, Pilot, More Study  2012: Rejoined RSI, Ramped Up the Intensity!  Simultaneous Adoption by Core Product & Client Project Teams  ~25 Agile Projects Sold & Executed
  7. 7. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Agile @ RSI
  8. 8. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + The Problem When everything is fixed, nothing is fixed.
  9. 9. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Remember this? Source:
  10. 10. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + and then there’s this too…  Clients want estimates based on a review of their detailed requirements…  Opportunity/time and hard dollar costs  Results are no better at best and more often worse  Sets false expectations
  11. 11. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + … and my favorites: Fixed price contracts force the vendor to assume (all) the risk Fixed price contracts are risky for clients too
  12. 12. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + But wait there’s more…  Oh the humanity!  Change Management  Code Freezes  Some risks are better addressed via methods and practices rather than contracts!
  13. 13. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Its about “Good Deals”
  14. 14. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + The Solution  Focus on MVP & Simplicity  Fixed Schedule, Fixed Budget, & Fixed Business Objectives  “The joint team will collaborate to identify and select implementation options that will enable completion of the project within the target schedule and budget while also meeting target business objectives”
  15. 15. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Example Objectives  Content Modeling, simple/medium complexity: Add support for authoring, management, and publishing of additional simple to medium complexity content  Product Information Metadata: Continued development of the current metadata feed to support the current metadata sources and GPM data. <client name> will create the feed, which will be delivered to RSuite for ingestion. This will be a one-way feed/update from <client name> systems to RSuite during this phase. Deeper XYZ integration to follow in additional phases.  Interiors Workflow: Enhance existing interior workflows based on user feedback to improve system usability along with user productivity and efficiency and better accommodate the needs of various workgroups within <client name>  Covers Workflow: Implement a baseline cover workflow that replaces a priority set of features that currently exist in <client name>’s XYZ system while supporting <client name>’s cover workflow requirements.  Reprints Workflow: Create a baseline reprints workflow for eBook and print products. The expectation is that an initial version of this workflow would be defined in this phase, with implementation, feedback and revisions to come in the following phase of the project.  Image Processing: Create a foundation and plan for custom image processing in RSuite, including minimal, baseline support in this phase.  Publishing Outputs: Enhance PDF and ePUB2 outputs to include <client name>’s highest priority publication features and <client name> specific branding and formatting
  16. 16. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + More contract language  Some additional key phrases…  “The following is list of proposed business objectives based on inputs collected from <insert client name>. RSI will focus on these and/or other objectives at the direction of the <insert client name> project team. “  “<insert vendor name here> will focus on meeting client business objectives through incremental deliveries of production quality software on time and within budget “
  17. 17. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Assumptions/Scope Limitations  You will want to include some of these…  The team will implement support for a single publication type and publishing of that content into multiple formats  The client will provide representative content samples of medium complexity  API level integration with other systems will not be in scope  Legacy content conversion, loading, and tagging will not be in scope
  18. 18. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Benefits  It actually works!  Enables earliest start to return on investment  Aligns interests  Builds confidence and trust  Internal manageability
  19. 19. + How Do We Know It Is Working? ©2014 RSI Content Solutions  It just is…  Client Feedback  Repeat Business  Business Cycle Improvements
  20. 20. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Some Interesting Stats % of Business from Existing vs. New Clients  2013 Actuals: 62% Existing; 38% New  2014 Projected (as of 10/1/14): 60% Existing; 40% New  Projects: 18% increase in number of active projects per month. 2013: 11 & 2014:13 Revenue: 12.5% increase in revenue 2014 compared to 2013  Staffing: 2013 vs. 2014 – Flat. No increase in staffing
  21. 21. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + What Others Say…  Contracts are not addressed by Agile Manifesto!  Time and materials only / Retainers  Fixed price OK provided they have a shorter duration, and allow early termination  ola/agile-contracts-21204569 (Reaktor)  Steve Handy: It is about performance… In either Fixed Price or Time and Materials the levers of control are already there, regular review points based on Releases – just use them.  Focus on Outcomes 14/09/commercial-contracts-guarantees-commitments- risks
  22. 22. + What about Government Work?  The TechFAR Handbook for Procuring Digital Services Using Agile Processes – Published 08/14  /gh-pages/_includes/  IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity) ©2014 RSI Content Solutions Contracts  Variable quantity of services over a fixed time period  Limits on minimum and maximum quantity  Other Options Permitted/Encouraged including Modular Contracting where acquisition is divided into smaller increments
  23. 23. + Execution & Key Lessons Learned ©2014 RSI Content Solutions Onboarding for New Clients  Agile Reporting Only  Switch to Kanban prior to go live target date and work to beat it Be more aggressive about WIP Limits
  24. 24. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Challenges Tradition, Brainwashing, Fear Business models  Play by the client’s rules, walk away, or change the game? Preventing breaks between iterations  “Non-standard” projects
  25. 25. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Looking Ahead Continuous Improvement Prepackaged Solutions Services Subscriptions  Discounted Monthly Fee  Three Tiers 1. Maintenance & Support Only 2. Small Initiative 3. Large Initiative
  26. 26. ©2014 RSI Content Solutions + Thank You! @pdeisenberg