Legal Review - Program

44 prog-legal-review

The Program Legal Review allows organizations to review liability and licensing concerns for User Stories and their related Acceptance Criteria within the Program Kanban process prior to Program Increment planning.

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User Stories with Acceptance Criteria


Updated User Stories and Acceptance Criteria that include necessary work to focus on identified legal issues

Evaluation of legal requirements for functionality occurs at multiple levels in the Digital Continuum.

This element should serve as a validation of the approach identified within the Portfolio Legal Review. Since this review will occur at a more granular level, it will only cover areas in which concerns were identified within the Portfolio.

Some of the items which might be covered within the Program legal review would include:

  • Licensing of Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Acceptance and adherence to open source software licenses
  • Protecting and preserving organizational Intellectual Property
  • Reviewing existing licenses and contracts for existing products and services

As an example, it was identified that a part of the overall solution for a user story would require the use of an open source software solution whose license does not yet appear in the accepted licenses for the organization. The legal review would provide a review of the license to determine if it acceptable for this situation and possibly for the organization as a whole.

The documentation contained within this element is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

Common Pitfalls

While the specifics of the legal review will be different for each instance, there are general pitfalls which must be avoided:

  • Extensive Lead Time for Legal Reviews - Since the legal review element exists as a part of the Program Kanban process, it is important that the flow of functionality through the process is preserved. If there is extensive lead time, additional legal resources may be needed to improve flow through the process.
  • Lack of Legal Standards - Some aspects of development can benefit from clearly defined standards. The most common case for this is the acceptance of open source software licenses. By having an organizational standard, the number of legal reviews are reduced.