Daily Archives: April 28, 2009

Do Your Contracts Enhance Trust or Destroy Trust?

A recent article in the Harvard Business Review notes that good contracts are designed to reinforce trust and reduce risk but that there can be a fine line between a good contract and a bad contract which destroys trust and, ultimately, increases risk. A contract that is too detailed or rigid, or one that sends mixed signals, can exacerbate the problems it was intended to preclude as it can restrict creativity and even prevent the display of good intentions.

For example, if the contract specifies a rigid resolution process that requires that all issue reports need to be reviewed by a team before being classified as either errors or enhancement requests, at which point they will be placed a queue for resolution, and the bug is actually preventing the client from getting work done, instead of insuring that the client’s requests are addressed in a fair and equitable manner, the contract is preventing development from making what might be a quick fix. Instead of engendering goodwill by attempting to insure every request from a client is considered, you’ve created ire by preventing a developer from getting a client running again quickly.

The reality is that most negotiators want to overestimate the level of certainty and underestimate the likelihood of future divergences from the situation they perceive during negotiations. As a result, fewer contingencies are included and terms are finalized sooner than they should be. A good contract defines a good dispute resolution process and leaves room for renegotiation later if circumstances change. Something to think about before being too hasty to dot every i and cross every t in your next negotiation.

Technology and My Hobby

Over on New Florence, New Renaissance, Vinnie Mirchandani has reach his goal of fifty guest author submissions to his Technology and My Hobby series. For those of you looking for something different, but yet interesting, to read … you might want to check this out. To help you find the guest posts related to your hobby, I’ve indexed them by category.

Category Author Company
Archaeology (Armchair) Michael Lamoureux (of Sourcing Innovation)
Baseball (Little League) Mike O’Brien (of Appirio)
Basketball Coaching Dan Dal Degan (of Salesforce)
BBQ Floyd Teter (of Jet Propulsion Labs)
Beagles Peanuts
Blood Donation Tom Foydel (of SightLines)
Brewmastering (Home) Dennis Howlett (of ZDNet)
Bridge David Dobrin (of B2B Analysts)
Cars (Tinkering) Brian Sommer (of TechVentive)
Cartoons (Tech Toons) Alvaro “Blag” Tejada Galindo (of SAP)
Cats Rusty Weston (of Third Set Media)
Chess Rita Mirchandani
Cycling Paul Wiest (of Siemens Enterprise Communications)
Fishing Mike Prosceno (of SAP)
Flying Ameed Taylor (of Applation)
Gardening Erik Keller (of Wapiti LLC)
Gastronomy William Mougayar (of Eqentia)
Golf Jim Rafferty (of Market Shapers)
Green Living Timothy Chou (an Author)
Home Design Josh Snowhorn (of Terremark)
Home Improvement (Global) Helmuth Guembel (of Strategy Partners)
Home Movies Tom Wailgum (of CIO Magazine)
Model Planes Anil Wats (of DP World)
Musical Discoveries Mike Laven (of Traiana)
Jazz (Big Band) Joe Thornton (of Lawson Software)
Organ Playing Gerlinde Gniewosz
Reading Francine McKenna (an Author)
Restoring Antiquarian Books Jason Busch (of Spend Matters)
Rifles (Target) Tom Ryan (of Gartner)
Rock (Guitar) Devan Sabaratnam (of Business on Software fame)
RVs Tom Chimera (of Overpayment Recovery Services)
Running Eric Dirst (of DeVry)
Sailing Curtis Beebe (of PwC)
Side-Tripping Kimberly McDonald Baker (of Project Partners)
Photography Michael Krigsman (of Asuret)
Skiing Sig Rinde (of Thigamy fame)
Snorkeling Louis Columbus (of Cincom)
Soccer Coaching Christian Schuh (of Siemens Enterprise Communications)
Squash Nick Dembla (of Capsilon)
Super Momming Joy Wald (of ADT)
Technology Impact Bob Warfield (of SmoothSpan)
Technology Luddism Josh Greenbaum (an Industry Analyst)
Tennis Karen Beaman (of Jeitosa)
Theatre Marilyn Pratt (of SAP Labs)
Travel (International) Harish Malani
Vinyl DJs Ray Wang (of Forrester)
Wine John Dean (of ex-Steelcase fame)
Working Out Larry Dignan (of ZDNet)
Writing (Adventure) Rein Krevald (an Author)
Youth Science Mentoring Charlie Bess (of EDs)