RE: How to handle when the scope changes?

Subject: RE: How to handle when the scope changes?
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 11:54:03 -0400

It seems you didn't define the scope as well as you should have. That's
spilt milk.

First, determine if this is a new job being tied onto the first to get the
rate or if it scope-creep, where the same project is being expanded.

Was your scope "Document application XWZ, Rev A" or was it "Document the

Second, determine if the increased workload is possible. If not, the point
is must turn it down or increase the time period.

With all considered, decide which is more important...the money or your
position relative to the scope.

Don't get me wrong. If you can afford to walk away, do so. However, you
cannot blame a company for wanting to get as much as possible for as little
as possible.

I guess you can see the long-term problem, which is affecting our whole
field. If you tell the account "I'll lower the rate for this project only,
they stop listening to every word after "I'll lower the rate." The rest is
just background noise and it becomes the new delta. It is now the going
rate...for you and everyone who follows after you.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
NY: 212-414-6656
Dayton: 732-438-3372
"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream
of things that never were, and ask why not?"
-----Robert Francis Kennedy, 1968 presidential campaign

> 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?


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