[LRUG] Contact Work and setting limits

Vahagn Hayrapetyan vahagnh at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 08:18:18 PDT 2009

Hi Rob,-

having been in a similar situation here's my perspective:

1) Communicating clearly the scope of the problem is the client's
responsibility. On the other hand, it is your responsibility to inquire the
scope in-depth. If you stretched the time limit because of they were bad at
adequately communicating scope to you, in my opinion you should require full
payment for the extra work. If on the other hand the miscalculation is
largely on your part, a discount to the client from your side would be

2) How to deal with estimations is the really tricky part. For myself, I
have decided that next time I will try to solve the problem in (really)
small chunks. At every step / completion of each chunk the client has the
option to terminate the relationship with me. So once it becomes apparent
that the project is going to stretch, a mutual decision will be made as to
whether to proceed or not. This I guess is a defensive application of the
Agile philosophy.

Best of luck,

On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 4:04 PM, Rob Lacey <contact at robl.me> wrote:

> 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
> _______________________________________________
> Chat mailing list
> Chat at lists.lrug.org
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