How to handle when the scope changes?

Subject: How to handle when the scope changes?
From: Kirsten Zerbinis <salmonzerbinis -at- rogers -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 11:40:45 -0400

I am a freelance tech writer, working as the sole writer on an 8-week project. I accepted the contract I was offered at the low end of my pay range, with the caveat that I would do only the one contract for this customer at that rate. The next job, if they offered it to me, would be at a higher rate. I gave reasons (typical salary range for this position in this area) why this was so, and while they didn't agree to it, they didn't disagree. (I didn't really make it sound like a question.)

Anyway, the twist is this. Now, two weeks into my eight-week project, they are talking about increasing the scope, adding a third piece of software to the pile of things to be documented within 8 weeks. They would make one of their employees available to me to help me accomplish the work within the timeframe.

I would feel taken advantage of if I do the new job at the same rate as the old job. However, the old job isn't up yet. Also, I don't think I could separate work on one from work on the other, so billing separately isn't an option. Have you come across this situation? How do you generally handle a change of scope like this?

Thanks for any insight.

Kirsten Salmon Zerbinis
Technical and Business Communications


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