I’ve been thinking about discovery contracts, used in software when implementing/integrating software for others. This site succinctly explains them as “charging for a quote”. It’s also useful to communicate these as related to “demolition and discovery agreements” from construction, where the contract covers enough demolition work to figure out what’s really there: on an old building, taking down some walls allows for discovery, to clear some of the unknowns and to allow for accurate estimating and eventual successful work.
As Library Technology at UF looks towards completing several major migrations, the next phase of work should include new systems/processes. For some of these, there are likely to be too many unknowns to be able to plan/think with the projects to develop them successfully. For that, we need frames to support the research/discovery labor/time that will be necessary. I am thankful for the concept of discovery contracts (and especially with demolition and discovery agreements) because this helps to more productively communicate what needs to be done.