Scope creep happens when clients change their minds or begin to request extra items once a support contract or IT project is already underway. Needless to say, it can be a bit of a nightmare for IT consultants.
Scope creep can be caused by new equipment appearing on site without notice, or when clients start to use new software packages without prior arrangement, causing extra work for their service provider that may not have been factored into a support quote.
It is possible to mitigate the effects of scope creep and make sure that clients always play fair (and PAY fair) when the goalposts move. All it takes is foresight and careful relationship management.
The Importance of Contracts
Informal client arrangements will only encourage scope creep. Well-considered contracts will help to keep it under control.
By making sure that support contracts contain clear details as to what is and is not supported, IT companies can give themselves an opportunity to increase their fees to accommodate new responsibilities and elements of the infrastructure.
Communication and Expectation Management
Good client communication ensures that everyone knows what to expect of the agreement between client and support provider.
IT companies should take the time to ensure that clients understand the benefits of a well-controlled infrastructure and realize that two-way communication is essential. When it comes to implementations and projects, clear objectives and milestones can help with expectation management and make clients aware that unforeseen changes can result in extra costs.
Scope creep can be avoided if everyone talks openly and respect exists between client and provider.
Do you experience scope creep with your clients? Share your horror stories in the Comments below.
And to follow-through on this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on IT Service Contract Secrets for Getting More Repeat Clients and Recurring Service Revenue.
Wikimedia Commons Image Source: Angel Schatz
Topics:- Managed Service Provider MSP