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?

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    Ask your consultants to estimate the effort for creating the automated test scripts, and tell them the scope of testing that you would like. Amend the contract to include the new scope. Reasonable enough. – Nick Alexeev Nov 6 '14 at 4:44
  • @Nick-Alexeev is correct, it would be a scope change and is going to cost you money UNLESS they were touting their "Agile" or "TDD" credentials to you as part of the presales process in which case it would be reasonable to expect them to be generated. – mcottle Nov 6 '14 at 8:16
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    @mcottle: Using "Agile" does not necessarily imply that automated testing is being done, nor that it is as comprehensive as a client would like. It is possible to run an Agile project with primarily manual testing. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Nov 6 '14 at 8:41
  • Is this your consulting firm? – UldisK Nov 6 '14 at 9:12

It is reasonable to negotiate for having automated test scripts as a deliverable, but it is not reasonable to expect to get them if they were not explicitly included in the (initial) agreement.

Unless the project is explicitly being executed under a development method that implies automated testing, such as TDD, or you negotiated for delivery of the scripts up front, you can't presume that the consultancy firm is using (or even creating) scripts for automated testing.
If you realize at a later date that you would like to have such scripts as a deliverable, you must negotiate a change to the project scope with the consultancy firm and accept that this will likely have an impact on the schedule and the costs of the project.

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