How to deal with scope creep in your projects

Avoiding scope creep is always the priority, but even with your best efforts, your projects can breeze past their budgets.

We’ve got a blog on how to avoid scope creep, but sometimes even the best planning can go wrong and you find yourself working more for no extra profit. 

Have terms and conditions that deal with scope creep

One of the easiest ways to handle scope creep is to have safety nets built into your quotes and contracts. Make your policies clear around how you deal with scope creep in projects so that there aren’t any unwelcome surprises for the client. 

This is especially important when working on projects that you are uncertain about, such as bespoke work - where all sorts of unexpected changes can blow out your budget. 

Address the problem early

When issues do arise “keep calm and carry on” might not be the best mindset. By keeping an eye on your progress as you go, and uncovering issues early you can limit the damage that scope creep has on your projects. 

Rather than going way over budget and then asking the client to foot the bill, chatting it over with them early can help. That way, you can work out what the client is willing to stretch to and work out a plan that fits that budget, rather than risking working for nothing. 

Keep up to date on your projects

You can’t spot issues early if you aren’t watching over your projects. Keeping a watchful eye on how much work has been done and how long it’s taken can be a huge part of preventing scope creep, and correcting it early. If you aren’t tracking how long your projects take and the materials used vs the quote amounts, then you could be losing money on more projects than you realise. 

Investing in tools like WorkGuru.io that give you visibility over your real-time costs and work completed can make a huge difference. It helps you see when tasks have gone over time and give you the opportunity to correct the issue early. You can also track profitability all the way through the project, so you can know how well you are performing. 

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Be clear with the outcomes expected

Finally, when scope creep happens it’s important to correct your course. This means sitting down with the client and laying out what was expected initially, and what’s changed now. That’s especially important when the scoop creep has occurred on the client’s side.

When a client gets excited about the potential of the project, their imagination can sometimes get the best of them. “Just one extra thing”, and “oh, do you think we could also” can be damaging to your profit margin once the quote is signed. If a client changes their mind or wants to add extras on, it’s important to explain the extra costs these come with. If they are constantly changing their mind, causing tasks to be redone over and over, then it's especially important to sit them down and uncover exactly what they are after.

Learn more: Tips to build healthy relationships with your clients on Forbes

Learn more about scope creep

If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our other scope creep blog, or reach out to the team. We can show you how WorkGuru.io is built to give you extra visibility over your project costs to help you avoid and overcome scoop creep.

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