Three failures commonly encountered during software development, and which require a rethink of the contract.

Software development requires a great deal of collaboration between developers, project managers and clients. Despite all efforts to plan the project, it is common to encounter obstacles that can slow down or even stop the development.

Here are three common difficulties for which our clients come to us.

1. The indicative schedule vs. the obligation of results

It is essential to verify whether the deadlines are indicative or whether they represent an obligation of result. This may seem obvious to you, but experience shows that very often the wording used in the contract is not read in the same way by the development company and the client. Our advice: if the deadline is essential for you, have the wording checked by a lawyer.

2. Changes in the provider’s or client’s contact persons
The development of an essential software (ERP for example) can be long, and it is frequent that over the duration of the development the interlocutors change at the provider or the customer. These changes can have important consequences on the project and can lead to delays or loss of quality. It is therefore important to include provisions in the contract that allow for additional time in case of a change of contact person, or measures to facilitate the handover (additional steering committees). This can help to ensure that the project runs smoothly, even when there are changes of contact persons.

3. Delays in acceptance
The acceptance process is crucial to verify that the software conforms to the agreed specifications. However, if clients do not validate the acceptance process in a timely manner, this can lead to significant delays: the development company has planned to launch new work, and must wait for the client to do its testing.
Among the possible solutions, software developers can include a specific time for the acceptance procedure in the contract or specify that further development will not begin until the acceptance has been validated. These provisions can help minimize delays in acceptance and ensure that the project proceeds smoothly.