A week rarely passes at Infusion where we haven’t spoken to a valued client who is experiencing frustration with an existing project that they are undertaking.

Very often the reasons behind these frustrations lie in the fact that one or more of the below issues have been/are being experienced.

So before you sign up for your next project we would urge you to considered the below.

1. Scope Creep is a Killer:

Truth: Without a well-defined scope, projects can easily fall victim to scope creep, where additional features and requirements gradually seep into the deliverables, expanding the project beyond its original intent.

Impact: Scope creep leads to delays, increased costs, and frustrated clients. It diverts resources and attention from your core objectives, derailing the project’s success.

Solution: Establish a clear and concise scope before starting any project, ensuring all stakeholders are aligned on the objectives and deliverables. Regularly communicate with clients to address any potential changes and manage expectations.

Also ensure that you have a clear process established so that and changes to scope can be carefully managed and controlled so that there are no nasty surprises when it comes to final invoicing.

2. Unclear Deliverables Invite Disputes:

Truth: Lack of clarity in the scope can lead to misunderstandings between you and your clients regarding what constitutes a successful delivery.

Impact: Conflicts and disputes arise when clients expected something different from what you delivered. This damages your reputation and erodes client trust.

Solution: Use detailed written agreements and contracts to outline the scope of work, milestones, and deliverables. Involve your clients in the process and obtain their buy-in to prevent misunderstandings. Having a clear list that details the various ‘measures of success’ enable you to collectively have a shared vision around what good looks like at the end.

3. Time and Resource Drain:

Truth: Failing to agree on scope upfront means valuable time and resources get wasted on work that might not align with your clients’ expectations.

Impact: You’ll find your team overburdened with unnecessary tasks, diverting their focus from more critical projects.

Solution: Conduct a thorough scoping process with your team and clients, outlining the project’s timeline and resource requirements. Regularly assess progress against the scope to ensure alignment.

The above is really critical as often we see businesses who regret not having spent enough time carefully considering the work involved and locking in a suitable margin of safety or contingency plan.

4. Missed Opportunities for Upselling:

Truth: When scope is ambiguous, you miss the chance to upsell additional services that could provide more value to your clients.

Impact: Your clients may not be aware of the full range of services you offer, leaving untapped potential for business growth.

Solution: Leverage the scoping process to identify upselling opportunities and present them to your clients, demonstrating the added benefits they can enjoy.

By asking your clients enough quality questions at the outset you can really get under the covers of what they are ultimately seeking. Once you have all of this data to hand you can then consider what other products and services you can offer to help add even more value to the client.

5. Spiralling Project Costs:

Truth: A lack of defined scope makes it challenging to estimate project costs accurately, leading to unexpected financial strain.

Impact: As project costs soar, you risk damaging your profit margins and ability to deliver value.

Solution: Develop a comprehensive project plan during the scoping phase, accounting for all relevant costs and resources. Revisit and update the plan as needed to ensure financial feasibility.

Project costs are often the single biggest reasons why projects ultimately fail. Put the time and effort in to carefully consider all costs that are likely to be incurred and then ensure you have baked in an adequate margin. This margin should be varied based upon the risks associated with the project and your level of confidence in being able to deliver every that is required on time and within budget.

6. Impact on Team Morale:

Truth: An unclear scope can create confusion among your team, leaving them uncertain about their roles and responsibilities.

Impact:Reduced morale and productivity result from employees feeling lost and directionless, compromising overall project success.

Solution: Empower your team with a well-defined scope, providing clarity and purpose. Encourage open communication and feedback to maintain a positive and productive work environment.

Make sure that you set up regular meetings for you to discuss progress against plan rather than just hoping and/or expecting everything to go as planned. It is far better to know you are 5% behind plan after week 2 of a project lasting 10 weeks than it is to recover the situation at the end.

7. Reputation at Stake:

Truth: Word travels fast, especially when projects go awry due to a lack of scope agreement.

Impact: Failing to deliver on promises damages your reputation, making it difficult to attract new clients and retain existing ones.

Solution: Prioritise clear scope agreements to deliver on your promises and build a solid reputation for excellence and reliability.

The world of social media and online reviews means that you cannot hide from a poorly delivered project. Just one bad delivery can seriously impact your future opportunities. Treat you reputation and brand as your golden asset that must be protected at all times.

In Summary:

Agreeing on the scope of delivery before starting any new service or project is crucial for your business’s success. The brutal truths exposed in this article highlight the severe consequences of overlooking this vital step.

By scoping your future projects correctly, you can set yourself up for consistent opportunities and sustainable growth and profitability.

Don’t cut corners in the scoping of key projects – there will be no hiding place once the results from your delivery being evident for everyone to see.

If you would like to find out more, we would love to hear from you.

Get in touch at ghardy@infusion-group.co.uk