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Project Success with Project Agreements

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The Project Agreement is your project contract. It’s wise not to begin the work until you have a mutually approved Project Agreement in place. The binding freeform contract (which is required if you choose to bill through our SafePay service) defines the exact responsibilities of each party.

Uploading a Project Agreement will ensure specific objectives will be met on a predefined timeline, ensure proper compensation, safeguard against “scope creep,” and provide a back-up plan and protection in case problems arise.

What should be included in the Project Agreement?

The Project Agreement adheres to no strict outline, but you should consider the following when drafting yours:

Scope: Include a start and end date for the entire project, with a comprehensive description of the services to be performed.

Deliverables / Milestones: Here, break the larger scope of the project into smaller, concrete, measurable components, with a due date for each. In addition to the due dates, schedule review time, and determine how revisions will be made.

Payment: Determine whether payments will be made via SafePay or Guru Invoicing. Set a total cost for the project and a “due by” date. Specify how extraneous expenses (materials, transportation fees, etc.) will be handled. Include a provision if additional work is required due to change in project scope and the associated payment terms.

Ownership: Without contrary specification, all rights relative to the project work belong to the Freelancer by legal default. If the Employer wishes to retain ownership, include a clause in the Project Agreement transferring all rights relative to the project from the Freelancer to the Employer.

Non-Disclosure / Confidentiality Agreement: If the project pertains to proprietary or confidential information, the Project Agreement should stipulate that the Freelancer will sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure clause or agreement.

Contract Termination: Address how contract termination will occur, by written notice or email, and include what reasons will lead to termination (for example, failure to meet deliverable dates, lack of communication, and poor workmanship).

Dispute Resolution: If SafePay is used, you’re agreeing to use Guru.com’s Mediation and Arbitration Services should a dispute occur. Otherwise, the Project Agreement should outline the plan to resolve issues in a quick and easy fashion.

What do I do if the project slides off track?

A Project Agreement is best drafted using a “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst” mentality. It should be designed with the best of intentions and success in mind.

If you find that your initial timeline and project milestones are too restricting, and you mutually agree that the project plan should be modified, you can upload a Change Order. This is a helpful tool in realigning priorities as a project progresses.

It is in both your best interests to draft a solid Project Agreement. It starts you off on an auspicious note; it guides your sure and steady progress; it guarantees proper and prompt payment; and acts as your safety net in case of trouble.

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