[thelist] Fulltime to freelance

Kevin Mulvihill kmulvihill at ca.rr.com
Tue Nov 25 13:52:51 CST 2008

Well said, Matt. That's why I like to build in some fudge factor when I
estimate a project. With some allowance built in, I'd be tempted to just go
ahead and change that part of the system that you referenced in your
example. I think it's important to do what's right for the client at ALL
times. If it's not right, who do you think they're going to blame? And we
should be blamed, in the scenario you gave, because WE didn't get the spec
right. Sometimes we have to educate our clients that users need to be
brought into the development process.


> Writing stuff down is not a panacea. Consider the following scenario.
> You are engaged by a department with a budget of $x for this project.
> You collect all requirements (or so you think) and clearly define the
> scope. In user acceptance test, a member of the client test team says
> a part of the system does not align with the way end users execute the
> related process. You go back to the requirements and it is clear that
> you built the system exactly as specified by the client project team
> (who are a part of the administrative unit and not the end users, who
> are, say, field workers). You discuss this with the administrative
> unit and explain it will cost more money to re-work the system due to
> changed requirements and potentially increased scope. The client
> understands and meets with their finance people and attempts to find
> additional funds, but cannot.
> Do you absorb the cost or do you stick to your guns and say "no
> change"? If you don't care about future work, you may stick to your
> guns. But if you care about future work, you are risking a rejection
> of your delivered system by the end users and it may be more
> beneficial for you to absorb the extra work.
> This happens all the time in larger, bureaucratic organizations. There
> are ways to defend against it, but to take a position that you will
> never deviate from the specified requirements is short-sighted and not
> optimal from a reputation-based and relationship-based sales
> perspective.
> --
> Matt Warden

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