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Our company is currently halfway through a software project with a consulting firm. As someone who will be taking ownership of the project after the consultants finish, is it reasonable for our company to ask the consultants to write automated test scripts and pass them on to us?

  • As the client, you can ask for anything you want. However, if the contractor will agree is another story. Did you discuss automated scripts as part of the deliverable upfront? – user152 Nov 6 '14 at 5:48
  • It depends on you(the client). Generally, such issues are decided at the start of the project in a document. But, if you and your consulting firm have a good rapport, you can ask them even now and they might oblige. If not, you may be asked to pay extra. – prat1kk Nov 6 '14 at 6:32
  • It's perfectly reasonable, assuming that that's what you've paid for. – Xavier J Nov 6 '14 at 17:45
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Usually the project deliverables are established at the start of the project in the project scope. The contractor uses this scope to establish the cost of the project.

If you didn't mention automated test scripts at the beginning in the scope, then the cost of the project didn't include those as deliverables.*

Asking for extra deliverables after the scope has been established is called scope creep. You can ask the contractor if they could include these, and the additional cost of doing so, however the contractor is not obligated to agree to your new terms.

* Unless the contractor can read minds. In which case, keep them!

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Always and always, check in the scope document.

But in general, tests are NOT part of the regular development as they are a story on its own. I never offer them and from 10 clients I mention tests, maybe 1 to zero will tell me to code them.

But just in case for the future, always mention tests and ask the client if he wants them.

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