David Loughnane; Henrik Oskarsson MSE-2004-25, pp. 84. TEK/avd. för programvaruteknik, 2004.
In order to survive in today’s business world it is necessary to win contracts. If companies fail to do this then their existence is threatened. Therefore, the manner in which companies conduct their contract winning activities become of paramount importance. Much focus in software engineering research and academic literature centres around the post-contract winning activities, such as project planning, costing and scheduling. The emphasis on the contract winning process, though not neglected, is quite small in comparison. There exists a need for more research in this interesting area and this thesis aims to partly address this need. Consequently, the main focus of this research is the contract winning process. The approach used to investigate this area consisted of a theoretical study followed by an empirical study, where eight small development companies were interviewed. The findings show that a uniform formal process does not exist for winning and negotiating contracts. As a result of these findings, from both the theoretical and empirical studies, a contract winning process model for small development companies was formulated. The proposed model consists of five sequential stages with recommended activities for each stage. The model is intended for small software engineering development companies but because the model is generic it could also be used by non-software companies.