Agile Software Development Brings New Contracting Issues

Law360, New York (June 27, 2016, 11:10 PM EDT) -- Creating software using an agile software development ("ASD") methodology is not a new concept, but it is rapidly gaining popularity among software developers based on the notion that ASD yields workable code sooner and in a more efficient manner. However, traditional "waterfall" software development approaches do not easily lend themselves to contracting under an ASD approach. In fact, clients and their legal teams may feel very uncomfortable contracting under an ASD approach that is often light on up-front specifications and relies more on collaboration and trust between client and developer. However, there are contractual mechanisms that clients can implement to reduce the uncertainty under ASD while still reaping the benefits of this collaborative development method. This article explores some of the issues to consider and offers suggestions on the contractual protections a client should strive to include in a software development agreement using ASD....

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