The Ominous Bill of Rights

Type: Principles
Sources: The Contractor's Bill is from Gilb, Tom. 1988. Principles of Software Engineering Management. Wokingham and Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Page 23.
The Customer's Bill is out if my head.
Note: Tom did not call it 'Contractor's Bill of Rights', but only 'Bill of Rights'. It's clear what he had in mind if you read the specific principles.


To present the Bill of Rights for a project development team (or contractor, originated by Tom Gilb), and to contrast it with a Bill from the customer / client point of view. I intend to balance Tom's view. PLEASE NOTICE, that these principles does not represent any official terms or principles used by my employer. This is, as all the other posts, a completely private matter.

Principles and Notes

Contractor's Bill of Rights:

P1: You have a right to know precisely what is expected of you.

P2: You have a right to clarify things with colleagues, anywhere in the organization.

P3: You have a right to initiate clearer definitions of objectives and strategies.

P4: You have a right to get objectives presented in measurable, quantified formats.

P5: You have a right to change your objectives and strategies, for better performance.

P6: You have a right to try out new ideas for improving communication.

P7: You have a right to fail when trying, but must kill your failures quickly.

P8: You have a right to challenge constructively higher-level objectives and strategies.

P9: You have a right to be judged objectively on your performance against measurable objectives.

P10 You have a right to offer constructive help to colleagues to improve communication.

Customer's Bill of Rights:

P11: We have a right to set the objectives for the endeavour.

P12: We have a right to change our minds about objectives at any time.

P13: We have a right to set the criteria by which we will measure your success.

P14: We have a right to be informed about exactly what you have accomplished at any time.

P15: We have a right to hear your arguments if you plan to change a decision that effects our objectives.

P16: We have a right to be informed of the consequences of a planned change, in measurable, quantified formats.

P17: We have a right to constuctively debate your planned change.

P18 We have a right to get clear documentation about any changed decision.



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