Resolution of "Implicit Right to Doc" Issue

Subject: Resolution of "Implicit Right to Doc" Issue
From: "Joe" <jsokohl -at- eudoramail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L digest" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 05:46:01 -0800

Hi all,
Many thanks to the many folks that sent me interesting comments, advice, suggestions, and even's all welcome.
Recap (for new readers):
1. Custom software job--NOT off-the-shelf soft- or hardware project.
2. Client didn't specify doc as a delvierable--neither did we.
3. Client wanted to hold us to software modules deliverables that were mentioned in the contract--we felt that either we pay them back fo those items or we mutually agree that the lack of detail in those modules meant we shouldn't deliver them.
4. Client wanted specific doc deliverables, even though nothing indicated they should get 'em.

1. Client agrees that contract is fulfilled as delivered last week (that is, without software modules and without doc).
2. Client wants us to prepare new proposal that includes time for doc, extra software modules, and proper requirements planning (usability test of delivered version, pilot deployment, etc.).

I agree with Eric--the automobilie analogy is false. Custom software is just that--custom. It's up to both parties to propose solutions htat meet all needs. If the client doesn't request something in the beginning of the project, it's not right that the customer says at the end, "Oh, but we MEANT to ask for it."
If I buy a copy of Canvas 7 from Deneba, is it fair that I assume that it comes with a Getting Started guide, an API reference, a User's Guide, a workbook and training guide, a video course, an integrated CBT course, quick-ref guides for each module, and a detailed comand and menu reference? I think not...and that's a commercial product. Indeed, marketing materials exist for most commercial products....and in these materials one can find info about the type of help and other information deliverables the product comes with.
Custom software is different--it requires close participation by both the customer and the developer. We were prepared to pay back" the undelivered items. Still, the customer would not have een obligated to pay us for those items, push coming to shove.
Thanks once again for the input and debate--it's been most helpful!
Our fears are like dragons, guarding our most precious treasures.
___Rainer Marie Rilke

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