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Fixed Price Projects and Agile, or The Scariest Nightmare

Good insights on how to deal with fixed price/scope/time projects. Fixed-price, fixed-scope, fixed time contracts and projects tend toward lose-lose situations for both the customer and supplier; customers often do not get what they really need, and suppliers can easily lose money. [Agile contracts primer].

I’ve found these resources useful to learn more about the contracting:

“Agile contracts primer” by Tom Arbogast, Craig Larman, and Bas Vodde. Quite extensive and lots of advice.

10 Contracts for your next Agile Software Project (by Peter Stevens)



Fixed price contract is by itself the greatest nightmare in the project manager’s life. But when it is combined with agile development frameworks – scrum/kanban/etc – it becomes also a tricky nightmare.

Usually, when clients ask you for “fix price” they mean: fixed money, fixed scope, fixed time. Some of the most reasonable clients I worked with on fixed price projects told me “We are not crazy! Let’s not fix the time! But we should be live till the 1st of June, we have this marketing campaign, you know…”

Even if you work in the “so agile” software development company there is the day when the sales manager comes to you and says: “Hi! We have a new project. I have a bad and a good news for you. The bad one is that it is fixed price, I know how you hate it. But the great one is that…

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