DevDays Vilnius 2018


Jacopo Romei

Freelance, Italy


Jacopo wrote his first automated test in 2003 and then never stopped working on agile and lean processes. He founded two service companies and one product company. Worked as agile coach in eBay Italia and has been a member of the EODF’s board (European Organisation Design Forum) in 2015. He wrote a lot on refactoring and TDD, including a book on refactoring published by Apress. In 2017 he published “Extreme Contracts”.


Extreme Contracts: there is no point in dreaming of a good process if we keep on signing contracts that just… suck.

We are used to relying on contracts as recovery devices, made up to protect us when things go wrong: “read, this is what we said”, or “read, this is what we expect from you!”. This is definitely not enough. Knowledge work needs a way deeper level of collaboration which happens *despite* usual contracts rather than thanks to those.

We don’t know anything better than a positional negotiation style: they say 1000, we say 500 and we hope to meet somewhere around 750, losing energy, time, money(!) and, ultimately, the will to do our best.

If there are healthy negotiation principles, what happens if we take them to the extreme, by learning the purest lesson from every past project? Is there any chance to put better contracts in place, meant to help us develop and deliver more value together?

I call that chance “Extreme Contracts” and I am not afraid to tell what happened when we tried them out.