Why contracting manifesto

Thriving needs for an Agile Contracting Manifesto

Agile Transformation is already the new normal across the globe. Many organisations have either adapted their way of working to meet & sustain the transformational needs or in the journey of adapting. The aforesaid trend is getting further accelerated due to the COVID pandemic triggered Digital transformation journey.

The contracting world is also rapidly changing in response to the Digital/Agile transformation. The sourcing community is actively exploring the different ways & fit for purpose Agile contracting models.

Inspite of the best intentions to support the Agile transformation, we observe – two key anti-patterns in the market, that slows down or impairs the progress of the shift towards the Agile contracting models.

–  « Old wine is a new bottle » or the contracting model is a mere adaptation/change of names but a replica of the old model

–   New jargons introduced but no mind set change

Three prominent reasons for these anti-patterns are :

  • Vast experiences & successes in the past with the traditional contracting models. This in many instances instead of best practices reuse becomes more of carrying a heavy back pack .
  • This is new and with the fear of unknown, getting perceived as not done & dusted yet, so not for me thinking
  • Organisations are in the mid of the transformation journey with some of the ideas might seem or perceived as not practical, due to which often good ideas percieved as « Not for Us »

To successfuly overcome these anti-patterns and to tackle these reasons, the new way of contracting has to involve not only the focus on contractual clauses, risk mitigation, follow up of the contract etc, but an important factor to interleave in the day to day thinking & working – the mindset change.

While there are many very good artifacts/articles & contracting models available, we strongly believe that in a world where the change is the only constant thing & rapid adaptation to change is the key to succeed, an Agile contracting manifesto, can be one of the key connecting the dots or the GLUE.

The Agile contracting manifesto has been drafted with the aim of serving the global Sourcing community (CXOs, Head of Procurement/Vendor Management, delivery teams, service providers, Agile coaches….) as a light house. The purpose is to co-build it by the community for the community.

The manifesto aims to define the core Identity of any agile contracting along with key value and principles.  In this document, we are refering the Value, Identity, Principles trio as VIP.

The Agile contracting manifesto would enable the global community to validate if their contracting model is aligned with the VIP trio for Agile contracting.

A good analogy can be the scrum framework and agile manifesto.  The Agile manifesto doesn’t talk about any process, practices, role, or ceremonies, rather it has key values and principles that enable an agile mindset.   All the practices, roles, ceremonies of the scrum framework are well aligned with these principles; and that makes scrum an agile framework.  Any framework that adheres to the agile manifesto is an agile framework.  The same may apply to agile contracting frameworks OR any contract for the agile delivery; if it is aligned with the Agile contracting manifesto, it is an agile contracting, else it may look like one, but in reality, it’s not. During the pre-contracting inception phase itself, the Agile contracting manifesto can be referred and would act as an enabler to foster the agile mindset in contracting.

You can visit our the MVP version of the Agile contracting manifesto at here

How this manifesto came to existence

It just happened, as the saying goes « no one can stop an idea, whose time has come ». A few like-minded people, active in the agile sourcing-related work came together and start to give shape to this idea, and it eventually gave birth to this manifesto. 

The co-creators of this include

  • Enterprise Agile coaches
  • Head of procurement/CPOs
  • Head of Vendor Management
  • Delivery head/Tribe leads
  • Sourcing & Contract managers….

It has been co-created by people with vast experience in different areas, working for different organizations, across geography & cultural background. The diversity and experience have enriched the manifesto further. However, we believe it’s a journey and it can improve further as we go along.

What we have today is the smaller community contribution to co-create the first MVP for the Agile contracting manifesto with the aforesaid members in terms inputs/feedback on the content.

It’s a good enough to start/use. We believe it will further evolve & improve with the contribution of a larger community and till then we call it a final draft 🙂

To join this community to contribute, please contact Meenakshi or Vivek or any of the 10 co-creators


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