As new ideas and features emerge, it’s all too easy for the initial project boundaries to expand far beyond their intended limits. In this episode, I discussed nine key strategies that I have tested in the field to effectively prevent scope creep.
0:43 Scope creep or out-of-scope work is defined as performing tasks not outlined in the client agreement. While it may seem straightforward to avoid these extras, it often sneaks up, leading to unpaid extra effort.
2:48 Start by incorporating an “Unanticipated Services” section in your engagement letter. This upfront statement manages client expectations, clarifying that any beyond-scope tasks will incur separate charges.
3:10 Precisely outline your service terms in the engagement letter. Define the inclusions and exclusions for each service to eliminate misunderstandings regarding your work scope.
3:28 With your service terms established, train your team. Familiarize them with standard inclusions to help spot emerging scope creep concerns.
3:40 Establish a routine of arranging a knowledge transfer session with your team. Review the scope of client engagement to ensure alignment from the start.
3:52 Leverage your project management system fully. Detail tasks and scope per client within the system, including work scope in task descriptions for easy reference.
4:08 Regularly review your clients. I recommend an annual check, but more frequent ones provide better control.
4:25 Scope creep can’t be entirely eliminated, but it’s a chance to learn. Update service terms after each occurrence, reinforcing what’s covered and what’s not.
4:43 If the client’s request feels like beyond what you agreed to, check your engagement letter. Use it as a guidebook that helps you see what you should and shouldn’t do.
4:54 Never do any work that isn’t in the engagement letter. Only proceed after discussing, pricing, and agreeing on changes with the client in an updated letter.