Saturday, March 24th, 2012
Documentation is important in all industries, particularly in the service industry where the understanding of what you require and what you receive can sometimes be blurred. A case in the UK has highlighted the importance of documentation in the software industry. In this case, a disagreement has occurred over the defining point at which the client has officially accepted a piece of software as fit for purpose. This particular case ended up in the courts; however due diligence earlier on in the engagement between a software vendor and client can prevent such drastic and costly measures from taking place.

It is essential to document all agreements and communication between a supplier and client to ensure that all parties have an equal level of understanding. Processes will differ between organisations, particularly between larger and smaller companies. Some smaller organisations may accept agreements through email as written evidence; however larger companies usually have procurement processes that need to be adhered to before a project is approved.

“It is imperative that both parties aim to really understand the viewpoint of the other party,” advised Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software. “This involves understanding their motivations, their priorities and their objectives. Before this can be understood, a foundation of a good relationship built on strong, synchronous and regular communication is required. In such a relationship, the chances of failure are greatly reduced.”

When engaging as a vendor or client, both parties need to take a certain level of responsibility. A client can expect their vendor to have expertise in delivering the software, but a vendor will not be able to fully understand every aspect of a client as the client does. Therefore, a client also needs to take responsibility in having a clear understanding of their needs before entering into contract negotiations with a vendor. If this is not possible, procedures need to be put in place to capture these needs after the contract has been signed.

Open communication, documentation and a mutual relationship between both parties will ensure project success and a strong working relationship.

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Solentive Software

Solentive Software specialises in custom software development and systems integration. You'll benefit from our real-world expertise in software built in .Net and Java that is task-matched for affordability and designed to grow with your business.
Kareem Tawansi
P: 1300 55 30 50


documentation, importance of documentation, contract negotiation, vendor and client relationship, Kareem Tawansi, Solentive Software CEO



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