Great client relationships 101 – How we keep scope creep at bay

Good, solid, positive client relationships sit at the heart of every great website design project. And one of the best ways to keep a relationship positive is to banish scope creep.

As a business person yourself, you probably know how frustrating it is when one of your own clients keeps asking for just a little more, that dreaded “Can you just…”, especially when the extras they want weren’t  included in your original quote. The same goes for us.

Keeping scope creep under control

Scope creep makes web design projects drag on and on. It drags profits down, too. And it can easily breed bad feeling, which is why we think it’s best to avoid it in the first place. At the same time, we want to keep our clients happy. Here’s how we free everyone concerned from horrid scope creep nightmares.

Scope creep hates clarity – We provide a scope document

We’re always 100% clear about what’s included and what isn’t. Without clarity, it’s too easy for a project to creep its way quietly into chaos. We avoid it by building a detailed project scope document, listing exactly what we will be doing for you as well as things that aren’t included.  Then everyone knows what’s what.

Scope creep despises consistency – We stick to the scope document

Because we stick to our scope document, our clients happily do the same. Now and again we have to pull out the stops and do a bit more to  make your gorgeous new website – or redesigned site – as great as it possibly can be. That’s fine.

Going the extra mile is great, and sometijmes it’s our choice. But doing it too frequently, at every turn, as a matter of course, means people don’t respect the extra effort we’ve made. It’s a question of balance.

Scope creep fails when you factor in room to grow and change

We all want to stick to the scope. But now and again it needs to change part of the way through a project. Flexibility is key to top quality web design, since, with the best will in the world, new things can and do crop up. You might hatch a brilliant idea, or we might, and it’s something we tend to expect on big projects.

If it happens, we sit down with you to discuss what needs to change, and what the new scope will cover. You agree the extra cost in writing, to keep things tidy, and we’re ready to go. Nice and simple, nice and neat.

If your deadline is a concern, we take that into account too. Because we build a buffer between projects, extending your timeline shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand if your new scope pushes things way beyond the original deadline, there’s always the potential to create a new, separate project phase to account for it.

If scope creep starts to happen…

If scope creep starts to happen we’ll address it in a professional way, letting you know as soon as the trend becomes apparent and openly discussing the best way forward with you.  Our honest, clear approach means you have all the information you need to make a sensible decision about how to take your project forwards in the right direction, with the priorities straight.

In summary – 4 steps to kill scope creep

  1. We’re clear on what’s included and what isn’t, right from the start. This makes it easier for you, the client, to be clear too
  2. We stick to the project scope. If we go above and beyond it by choice, we don’t undervalue the extra work we do. As a result our clients don’t treat extras as a right.
  3. We build fat into timescales so low-key creep can be accounted for comfortably. If the creep is too extensive we’ll suggest creating a new phase specially to deal with the extra work
  4. If scope creep happens, we act fast to squash it before it gets out of control

Our best-loved clients hate scope creep as much as we do 

Tiny requests aren’t a problem… until they build up into a massive bucketload of tiny requests! Our best clients know the score, and they’re as keen as we are to avoid scope creep. If you like our style and you’re in the market for a new website or a redesign, let’s talk.