requirements agreement

Subject: requirements agreement
From: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 08:49:01 -0400


I have often heard business management types complain that independent
programmers fail to deliver the programming functionality they expected.
In the majority of cases I have observed, it turned out that the problem
was caused by a failure on the part of management to provide accurate
and adequate functional specifications. I can also place equal blame on
the programmers, for failing to ask the proper questions, or for failing
to make proper use
of a business analyst, when they were not as familiar with the business
needs as they should be. (Too often their egos get in the way.) In
short there is a serious communication failure.

In a recent conversation with the comptroller of one company I suggested
use of an independent business analyst, who was familiar with accounting
principals as applied to that business and able to communicate same to
the programmers and test the results. I then drew an analogy to a
construction contract, where the contractor is paid as the work
progresses, based upon clearly specified goals. These goals of course
are to be written. If the program does not meet the specifications, the
developer is not paid. (It is not hard to guess who the analyst would

My questions:

Is this done?

Is it likely that I can find a reputable developer to work with that
type of agreement?

What points should be included in the agreement.

I have a meeting scheduled on this topic and would appreciate any
feedback. Including any business problems that may arise, such as
dealing with the sometimes unavoidable changes in specifications.


Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig
you soon realize they both like it
mailto:peternew -at- home -dot- com


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