Creating software using an agile software development (“ASD”) methodology is not a new concept, but it is rapidly gaining popularity. Software developers believe that ASD yields workable code sooner and in a more efficient manner. However, clients and their legal teams may be uncomfortable from a contracting perspective with an approach that is often light on up-front specifications and relies more on collaboration and trust between the client and developer. While cumbersome and arguably inefficient, the traditional waterfall approach is easy to memorialize in contractual language due to its linear nature. Nonetheless, there are contractual mechanisms that clients can implement to reduce the uncertainty under the ASD approach while still reaping the benefits of this collaborative methodology. Please join Mayer Brown attorneys Dan Masur and Derek Schaffner as they discuss contractual concepts that clients should strive to include in a software development agreement using the ASD methodology, including the following:
- Financial models to align interests for ASD projects;
- The benefits and drawbacks of termination rights under ASD;
- How clients can ensure project completion under ASD;
- The use of warranties despite the lack of upfront specifications; and
- Other contractual protections to capture benefits akin to the waterfall approach.
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