Trapped in Scope Creep: How a Contractor Can Avoid Common Mistakes in Fixed-Price Externalized IT Projects

Dominika Chambon

Maintaining and upgrading IT infrastructure are necessities for all companies and, these days, many of them decide to hand over IT project implementation to third-party companies. In order to reduce any risk of non-anticipated costs as much as possible, they often choose fixed-price contracts. The customer and the project implementer have the same goals: finish the project on time and on budget (even if they don’t have the same measures), respecting the quality agreed on. However, there’s one subject they tend to interpret in their own way — the SCOPE. The customer tries to get more for the money he or she invested, and the provider must say “NO,” while continuing the project and maybe negotiating another deal. How can we avoid getting trapped in scope creep without conflicts?

In this article, I provide an overview of scope management in IT outsourced projects based on my own work as a project manager in an IT consulting company. I will focus specifically on mistakes that were made and on lessons learned, which transformed my negative experience into great added value knowledge for future projects.

Did You Say “Scope”?

According to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition (PMI, 2013), “the scope is a sum of products, services, and results to be provided as a …

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