Avoiding Scope Creep

By Patty J. Ayers

scope_creepThe problem often referred to as “scope creep” is all too common, and can be very destructive. This, of course, refers to the definition of the project changing during the course of the project – new features being added, features being changed. That is, it’s “scope creep” if it’s done without the changes being agreed upon and figured into the cost of the project.

The best ways to protect yourself against scope creep are:

1. Include a good, detailed website specification along with the contract that you and the client sign, describing exactly what the website will include and how it will work.

2. Use a change order when something about the specifications changes. For me, a change order is just a simple note describing what is being added or changed, and the additional cost. The main point is to make it clear to the client that she cannot simply expand the scope of the project at will without being charged more.

3. Be firm, professional and businesslike. There’s no reason you should make changes to a client’s website without being compensated for your time and expertise.

I believe in getting paid fairly for my work, and nobody else but me is going to make sure that happens. My Change Order form, included with WordPress Freelancer Forms, is very simple, but having a form makes it a whole lot easier to write one up when the time comes.