When making a request for changes mid-project, a client who’s a non-designer/non-developer sees a very fine line (if any) between a “minor change” and serious scope creep. As project manager, I have collected a few tips and tricks to minimize scope creep with our clients:
- Provide a clear and concise write-up of what the site will include as well as what it will not include. Think about design AND functionality when you do this.
- Have the client and your team sign the write-up, treating it as a contract and guide to the project’s scope and limitations.
- When providing the client with wireframes or a mockup, describe the functionality and options available for each piece of the website (i.e. rss feeds, banner movement, etc.)
- On the project timeline, clearly note a deadline for your clients to sign off on the project design and details.
There are time when scope creep gets out of hand where you have to take a step back and analyze what your options are. Rather than revise the entire scope when changes are made, break the project into phases, each with their own timeline and cost estimate.
Finally, if there isn’t a hard launch deadline in place (i.e. opening of a college or upcoming accreditation), suggest a stall on the redesign until all necessary changes are gathered and discussed. If you are able to reschedule the site launch and adjust the project timeline, do it. Clients usually feel better about presenting a polished product than they do about a rushed and unfinished one.
Rarely will a website design or redesign happen without some changes being made to the original plan. The good news is that you can avoid major hiccups if you learn to plan well and make the details of the project explicit.
FIU Web Communications is a full service web team that provides support and consulting for departments at FIU. If you need help in implementing any of your web needs, please contact us.
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