Victorian Society for Computers & the Law  

Agile Software Development - An introduction for lawyers

  • 15 Sep 2011
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Level 27, Allens Arthur Robinson, 530 Collins Street Melbourne

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If you are a lawyer working in the IT sector, you'll undoubtedly have heard about "Agile" approaches to software development by now. 


You know, it's that newfangled "tree-hugging" method for writing software; the one where there's no documentation, no plan, and the developers just write what they want when they feel like it based on the phase of the moon....  The one that exposes YOUR clients to risk by making that good old-fashioned tried-and-true legal stalwart of the "waterfall" stage-gated contract (spec, design, project plan) a thing of the past....


Well, that's what you likely thought when you first heard about it; at least if you were like me.


However, there's no doubt that Agile approaches to software development are rapidly becoming the mainstream. And it's not just for the small guys anymore either.  Heard about Google?  SalesForce.com?  Amazon?  Flickr?  What about some examples from closer to home - perhaps your clients - like say Telstra, Suncorp, Macquarie Bank, ANZ, MYOB, NBN Co, BankWest, SEEK, Allianz, Lonely Planet, Jetstar or even the Queensland Government?

It's understandable why too, if you listen to them; improved time to benefit, increased responsiveness to change, enhanced software quality, reduced cost, and an improved relationship between IT and business staff.

However, successfully adopting Agile within an organisation is not something you just "turn on"; there are significant expectation and implementation gaps between conceptually buying the idea and delivering on the promised benefits which you, and your clients, should be aware of.  Adopting Agile also means engaging with stakeholders in an entirely new way; including, of course, legally and contractually. 

 

In this presentation, provides a brief overview of Agile software approaches, discusses some of the pitfalls Chris has seen (as well as many of the advantages), and gives an overview of some of the approaches he has seen to building contracts around Agile approaches to software development.  

 

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Presenter Biography
Chris Murphy,
 Managing Director, ThoughtWorks AsiaPacific

Chris is Managing Director, AsiaPac, for global IT consultancy ThoughtWorks, best known for its technology leadership and it’s pioneering application of Agile and Lean software development techniques to the enterprise. ThoughtWorks employs just under 2000 people across 22 offices throughout Australia, India, China, the US, Brazil, Canada, the UK and Germany.

Chris has 15 years experience in the ICT industry, in a diverse variety of technical and business roles including as a software developer, an IP/IT lawyer (both in Australia and in the UK), and in senior commercial and operations positions within the IT industry. He holds Bachelor degrees in Science and Law from the University of Melbourne, Master degrees in Information Technology and Law (Intellectual Property) from Monash University, and is qualified as a solicitor in Australia and England.  

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