[LRUG] Contact Work and setting limits

Anthony Green Anthony.Green at bbc.co.uk
Thu Oct 29 08:10:55 PDT 2009

Agile (and Scrum ?) are attempts to address problems such as this.

They should at least give early visibility on projects going over

Having a backlog and a set of user stories is supposed to head off feature
creep and give more clarity of what 'done' is.

PragProg do some great books on these topics and there's plenty of Agile
articles, screencasts and blog posts if you want to learn more

> Hey guys,
> I wanted to ask for a bit of advice about contract work as I know many
> of you are contractors or have contracted. I am wrapping up a project
> with a client which has been troublesome to say the least. I initially
> quoted 13 days to make ammendments to their existing Rails application,
> and through the process this has stretched to about 32 days work. So I
> badly misjudged the length of the project, primarily because I hadn't
> realised how broken their app was and how crazy some of the code was (to
> me at least), along with requirements creeping in that I should maybe
> have said no to, and problems post re-launch which may have been there
> all along but have reared their ugly head only now.
> The problem being that the client wants a working site, some of the
> requirements fell outside of the original spec, and delivering a far
> from finished article at the end of the quoted time was not really an
> option. I can see from their point of view I quoted a time and price,
> and delivered the project be it over a longer period of time so they got
> what they wanted. But from my point of view the work I'm 19 days down
> which is far from ideal.
> How does anyone deal with the issue of estimation going horribly wrong?
> And how would you broach this with the client, obviously they thought it
> would take only the quoted amount that time, so its a tricky one. Is it
> fair to approach them and come to some compromise over the cost of the
> project or do you just pick yourself up, forget it and be more mean (and
> realistic) with your estimates next time.
> RobL

Anthony Green
Client Side Developer
Future Media & Technology for BBC Audio & Music Interactive

"You raise the level of professionalism in your company by raising yourself.
Refuse to stay where everyone else is."
- Uncle Bob Martin / @UncleBobmartin

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