[LRUG] Contact Work and setting limits

Jason Green jason.green at nogeek.org
Thu Oct 29 08:17:12 PDT 2009

I think the best way to deal with this would to be to chat to them and  
be upfront about how much time it has taken. Explain the difficulties  
you have faced and the reasons why the time has gone far beyond what  
you originally quoted.

If you have not yet finished I would recommend stopping the work now  
and sorting this before finishing off, otherwise you have nothing to  
play with.
Also point out the feature creep and try and charge extra for this.

It depends on how strong your agreement with them is really, whether  
you have defined the features specifically in the agreement, if the  
original spec is pretty tight you should be able to recup some money  
through the additional features.

Best of luck with this!


Jason Green

Mob: +44 (0)7850 732812


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On 29 Oct 2009, at 15:10, Anthony Green wrote:

> Agile (and Scrum ?) are attempts to address problems such as this.
> They should at least give early visibility on projects going over
> time/budget.
> 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
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