Fix-Price Projects And Agile

Peter Bittner

  • Developer (of people, companies, code)
  • past: Capgemini, HolidayCheck, DACHCOM
  • @peterbittner,


  • Why Do Customers Ask For It?
  • What Is The Problem With It?
  • Approach 1: Classic - "Try All, Fail All"
  • Approach 2: Workshop - "Convince"
  • Approach 3: Sell Advantage - "Yes You Can"
  • How Do You Help Them Be Successful?

Why Do Customers Ask For It?

They have to. Be successful.

  • It's a planned economy (annual plan)
  • Budget known in advance
  • Target dates depend on goals + budget

Business Is Boring

reliable dimensions

  • Revenue expected from new features
  • Sums up to total profit

estimated dimensions

What Is The Problem With It?

3 things to grasp, 2 hands to hold.

Customer Project Goals

  1. Time
  2. Budget
  3. Features

One component must be loose

to be flexible enough

to welcome change

Approach 1: Classic

Try all, fail all.

Try To Do The Impossible

  • All features + fixed deadline + fixed budget
  • Must be estimated competitively
  • Buffers are never sufficient
  • Not ready for change = renegotiations

Only one thing is certain:
things will change.

Approach 2: Workshop

Let me convince you.

Good: Offer A Workshop

  • They will buy it (low risk)
  • Time to get to know them
  • Place to sell your approach
  • Room to come up with an estimation

Bad: You Try To Do It All

  • Your goal: rough estimation
  • Because you want all features (too)
  • And meet budget + time
  • "I told you at the workshop" syndrome

Approach 3: Sell Advantage

You get everything. And more.

On Time, On Budget. Period

  • Identify the (earliest) deadline
  • Identify their full budget
  • Stretch out budget over time-span + adjust
    (fit your development resources)

Free People. Happy People

  • Sell sprint-wise billing ("reduce risk")
  • Flexible partnership, freedom of choice
  • Get what you need, not what you ordered

How Do You Help Them Be Successful?

Make them look successful.

On Time: Don't Touch The Deadline

  • Ship early, ship often
  • Build first what creates most value
  • Plan a going-live party with customer

Don't *plan* to build everything!
(It will either happen, or something better will happen.) – If you do it you will fail.

On Budget: Change Plans, Not Money

  • Welcome change: Reprioritise, reorder, redo features (before sprint starts)
  • Stick to the process: No overtime, no changes in a running sprint (full concentration)
  • Bill every sprint ("when time is exhausted")
  • Fixed working hours = no renegotiation

We Are Not. We Look Like.

The image of success counts.

  • Happy people make the difference: give them software that "simply works" – tested!
  • Make them look back and see: they didn't get what they ordered, they got what they need
  • On time, on budget, working solutions

Successful partnerships are renewed

Ready For The Change?

Fix-Price Projects And Agile

By Peter Bittner

Fix-Price Projects And Agile

Still Challenging Existing Standards.

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