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How to Stem Scope Creep and Stay on Track With Your Project Budget

As a business owner focused on improving client experience, you don’t shy from giving them some little extras when handling projects or fulfilling orders. You do it because you need the work and know that if you keep your clients happy, they won’t gravitate towards your competitors. This giving trend progresses a little slowly at first when client requests begin to come in.

“Hey, I thought of this brilliant plan that we could incorporate….”
“Could you please just add…”
“I was wondering if you could include…”

None of these things were part of the original project, but you oblige and do them anyway. You think that you are just being nice by not refusing and allowing it to slide. However, the fact is that your response is nothing but a passive affirmation that can easily drive your business and you to bankruptcy, both financially and emotionally.

It won’t take long for you to start hating your business and your clients. The two things that you are focused on for so long and loved, will be the very things that wreck you eventually. Let’s take a look at how to stem scope creep and keep it from affecting your productivity, your client relationships, and your business.

How to prevent scope creep

The most effective defence against scope creep is to have a clear scope of work. In fact, you need to have a formal scope of work template that you should email to your clients for their signatures. This should have the following sections:

  • Project overview
  • Project details
  • Payment terms
  • Signature

The art of saying yes, even though you’re subtly saying no

Clients often don’t realize when they’re requesting for something that oversteps the agreed-upon scope of the project. You can give them the benefit of the doubt, and not just assume that they are looking for some freebies. It’s true that some clients do this as a habit, always attempting to get more for less.

If you find a client asking for things that aren’t in the scope of the project, there are a number of ways in which you can make it seem like you’re saying yes when you are actually saying no:

  • Thank the client for the ideas on adding some things to the project.
  • Tell them that you are happy with the way the work is progressing.
  • State that you appreciate the fact they trust you to get more involved in the brand’s success.
  • Tell them that they are happy to add the new requests to the overall project and that you will send a revised scope for their approval.
  • You also need to tell them that once you receive the approval, you will send them the estimated delivery times and the cost of the additional work will be added to the final billing installment of that project.

In effect, you have said yes, but have also informed them that they need to pay for it. You haven’t refused. Instead, you have put the ball in the client’s court and they need to decide whether they want to pay for it and get the additional work done.

Learn when to make an exception

Having said that, it isn’t always necessary for you to charge for additional work. Sometimes, you can do an act of kindness for a very good client and include small requests at no added cost. It’s a pleasure to add a little something extra for clients that make you love your work even more. A business relationship is, after all, built on give and take.

Scope creep can affect your business, interrupt productivity and impact profitability. Playing it smart is the best way to kill two birds with a single stone so to speak.

For effective and sustainable cost reduction solutions and efficiencies that will increase your bottom line, contact the experts at Benchmark Cost Solutions at this number – 02 9525 0777. If you prefer, write to us at this email address, and we will revert quickly.

Thanks for reading,
Benchmark Cost Solutions Team
02 9525 0777