6 Tricks to hold clients to the scope!

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How many times has it happened when you are almost ready to test the beta version, and hold clients to the scope? How many times the client has asked to make changes? These small changes have made changes in the scope of the whole project, hence, the timeline has been extended without even knowing. As a scrum master or the project manager, it is extremely essential to make sure that the project is completed in time, so that the scope, timeline and the budget are met. 

If a rookie team takes on a project, the simplest trick to hold the client responsible and sticking to the scope may be a difficult task, however, it is the most important aspect of a project management. When a client is held responsible for the project, timeline, scope and the budget, then, the client will also think twice before making any changes. Here is how you can hold a client responsible for the scope. 

Hold clients to the scope with super detailed agreement

In the beginning of any project, make a detailed written agreement with the client. The agreement must consist of specific details of what you would do for the client. This detailed agreement specifies exactly what the company is going to do, what will the client receive and what a client will pay. The detailed agreement will include the stages, rounds, deliverables and what the company or team will offer in each project. 

As a team or a company, each clause should specify in the agreement, if there are items that are not included in the agreement, these could be considered as out of scope. The other way to rephrase can be change order or out of scope must be included in the detailed agreement. All change orders will be discussed with the client prior to incurring additional costs. 

Monitor the scope like a hawk. 

Hawkeye is one of the most important qualities that a project manager must possess. Once the detailed agreement is in place, the client must be held responsible for the scope of the project. It is essential to watch clients’ requests closely and compare them with the written agreement. Sometimes, clients make small requests because they do not know how much time a simple change might take. Especially, when a client is not technically savvy, they might not be able to understand what a small change in project could do to the full picture. Therefore, check in detail and monitor the scope like a hawk. 

Discover the scope creep

There are times when a client comes with a scope and claims that “they thought”, it was in the agreement. When a specific job is not on the written agreement, then it can be considered as out of scope. Make sure that client has been communicated with the out of scope items. Hold clients to the scope by discovering the scope creep. These out of scope requests may also be considered as the scope creep. Some of the common scope creep include:

Extra round of changes, new features, enhanced features, more quantity, adding pages, panels etc. 

Tell the client it is “out of scope” 

Just like how communication is the key to a successful relationship. When you start a project, you do not just finish a project, you get to know your client as well. It is essential to communicate with them and make them understand it is not in the original scope and mention that you would be happy to provide a price and a timeline for the new scope. Communication is essential with the client and without being rude or authoritative, email or talk to the client about what is in the scope, what is out of scope and the scope creep. Hold clients to the scope by telling them something is out of scope.

Navigate the clients’ “Freak out”

Staying calm and meaning business with the client could lead a company to run successfully for a long haul. Once the client is done freaking out, stay calm, show no emotion so that they know you mean business. Hold clients to the scope when they freak out about the project whey they add more to the project. Without being rude, mention to the client that the following things are not included in the agreement. A detailed agreement is required throughout the project and even after the project is finished. 

Send a written addendum 

Once the client is calm and stops freaking out about the scope and scope creep, send a written addendum with the new details of the added scope. As a company make sure that new scope, new deliverable and prices are included in the new addendum. 

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