Best and Worst Practices for Work Agreements from both side of the fence
Rose bud thorn - something thats worked well, something thats been ok, something that I'd like to try
Using boilerplate contracts, plain language agreements - project based billing without well defined scope. How to balance hourly rate - semi fixed budget. Doing a range of hours. Getting paid for the entire project up front at a discount.
Discovery process - better than having a work agreement that covers everything. The RFP and estimation process isn't based on reality and is usually a disaster.
There are consultants who help organisations find consultants, so they help find the skilled people and also do project management.
The discovery process includes a deliverable - which is a project planning document - that then a work agreement can be built off of - this would include a budget estimate that then can be revised based on budget.
Do small work agreements as possible. The discovery process helps put consultants in the driver seat, it shows what you know. You need to prove that you are going to give the most efficient project for the money. High level of collaboration.
Discovery process - two to three meetings - 10 hours - writing a draft of the project scope then rewriting the final.
In the final budget you should build in 10-20% contingency for unknown stuff. This can be problematic if there's not a good amount of trust. Its best if this comes up early in the process - you need to prove that you are trying to assure success of the project that you are thinking of.
Doing budgets where you show market costs and then showing your costs as a discount. This instills good will and can be interpreted as an inkind donation. It's also a way of valuing your labour, even though they get paid with less money.
You have to value your time so you don't get burnt out also to make sure you have success.
Openflows had an experience where they presented a 'discount' invoice and the client was so happy with the work that they paid the non-discount group. Its always helpful to show the true value of the labour.
Agreements should define a period for feedback and response. There's often cases where clients take a long time to get feedback back.
Agreements should also delineate roles, who is doing what. This can be part of the project phase. This can also help identify that you need to hire someone else.
Licensing is important to do in Agreement. Open flows always have a GPL. Tactical Tech puts a clause in their contract that all materials need to have a creative commons license - Attribution Non-commercial Share 3.0.
Coming up with Maintenance terms are good. You can then negotiate maintenance time later.
A readiness phase would come in a first meeting - making an assessment in a first meeting of whether or not you would work with them. You can think about having an Asshole premium, where if you have a bad feeling, you just jack up your price.
You need to know who you get sign off from. Who is the project manager - the identification of roles. They need to have their roles OR pay you to do the roles.