Taming Scope on Freebies

Where is a big job declared to be too big? Or a small job said to be large for that matter? Scope is the creeping enemy that can and will sink the smallest software projects right up to the multi-million dollar ones. So its important before ever a line of code, or agreement to sell your soul, that you and the client come to a signed agreement of what you are willing to do for the money that they’re willing to pay. Its as simple as that in its most basic form. Anything bigger than the original plan means scope creep and you’ll have it written into the contract this is work to be billed on top of your original quote.

I mention scope because I’m reading some documents sent to me by a client who I’m about to do some free work for. The usual situation would be to use the contract and monetary means to try to keep the project in scope, but what do you do for free? And a high end programmer I’m definately not so there are also limits to my ability to bring things in at all let alone on time.

Well perhaps ‘keep it simple stupid’ (KISS) is the philosophy that comes to mind here. I can see that every extra bell and whistle could possibly become the solution. But does it have to? Wouldn’t a more usable and simple solution be more viable than making a complex one simply because you can? The right solution is the one that fits the problem like a glove not a giant Ugg boot (don’t sue me for using the Ugg word either).

So it makes me wonder what in the living life of Mulder (off the X-Files) can a guy do to pull this one into some kind of manageable scope?

In the meantime I’m having fun playing with Virtual Stan.

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