Many jobs that start out profitably rapidly lose their value as clients change the brief

Managing cost blow-outs

How big is this problem in the firm?

If you only have a few clients, it will be simplest to contact each one and individually deal with their unique situation. If you have many clients, your business is in need of an improvement to your systems.

Scope creep can be managed in at least 3 ways

1. Sack the client

You need to know when to walk away from a problematic customer. Everyone will thank you…

2. Cost-in the expected cost blow-out

Try to learn from previous experiences and make sure you share your experiences with the rest of your team so next time you are all more prepared.

3. Obtain agreement to changes in scope

This method involves defining the new scope, tightly managing and promptly communicating. There is nothing wrong with over-communicating at this point so everyone know’s for certain what is going on, what is being added / changed and that there is firm agreeance.

Identifying and communicating out of scope work

Agree escalation process in team

Once you have identified the issue and confirmed it is actually out of scope, work out the costs for some options.

Timeliness

Be sure to raise with the client when the out of scope issue has been identified as soon as possible.

Discuss with client relevant value/ risk and costed options

This may require two conversations, the first one to highlight the issue and the second to discuss the options.

Client agreement and documentation

Be sure to confirm everything in writing, preferably via email.

So we hope these tips will help you navigate the “fun times” we sometimes have when clients like to keep changing things…