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What are the necessary elements to have in a job contract?

My company has just been hired to build a mobile application for an organization. They are requesting a "detailed contract" for the job. Is that just an agreement saying we will perform the tasks laid out in the proposal we gave them, or, are there specific details that must be included?

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2 answers

Your contract should include a standard set of terms and conditions that address such matters as a delivery schedule, pricing, method of payment and limitation of liability, acceptance and payment. In addition, the following matters are vital:

Without a well written Statement of Work (SOW) and specifications there is unacceptable risk in your contract.

Both you and your client must come to an understanding regarding the scope of effort to be performed. That understanding is conveyed in the SOW. A good SOW should have the following principal attributes:

  • Clear identification of the products, services, skills, materials and performance factors required to complete the contract

  • A description of the conditions under which your company will be required to perform and any related location factors

  • Specific references to product specifications that govern an acceptable product or services performance outcome and delivery acceptance

  • A schedule for the contract that identifies discrete delivery dates for products and specific start and end dates for supporting labor.

  • A precise description of what your client will furnish in the form of information, data and cooperative effort or facilities required and when it will be made available.

If your customer does not provide the above in the contract SOW, offer a draft document during negotiations that represents a version to which your company will commit.

A poorly written SOW or no SOW at all results in a difficult contract to manage and a high probability for disputes during the performance period.

Report Kenneth's answer

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I wholeheartedly echo the same message that Kenneth posted. A detailed SOW is extremely important to manage expectations not only externally with the client but also internally with your own team.

Report Jayneel's answer

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