Re: How to handle when the scope changes?

Subject: Re: How to handle when the scope changes?
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 09:02:33 -0700 (PDT)

"Kirsten Zerbinis" <salmonzerbinis -at- rogers -dot- com> wrote in message
news:198507 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> 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?

If you didn't want a job at the lower rate, you shouldn't have accepted it. If
you expected a pay raise at the end of 8 weeks, you should have clearly stated
this and documented it. Don't assume anything. Document everything.

If they have not agreed to it (ie its not in your contract), then they don't
owe it to you.

You could ask to rescope the project, claiming that it wasn't what you
originally signed up to do. You run the risk of angering them and losing the
job entirely. Or you could tough it out to the end and then negotiate a higher
rate for the next job. Whatever you do, you have to do it diplomatically.

Andrew Plato

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