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Scope Creep

Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
1 of 6

Just started a project to design one poster, but now client says there will be two sizes, one vertical I knew about and a second horizontal. That's more work, not quite as much as double because the same concept should work for both, but I don't think I should just throw the second one in for free. I'm thinking half as much for the second one, and say we can set up an additional milestone to cover it now. Does that seem reasonable?


I hate dealing with these things but I'm really determined to protect my interests, enough to work through the discomfort and just do it.  

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 6

There is no "reasonable" scope creep.


If it was not written down in the original agreement, then it is not part of the requirements.


I would not put up with that. I would politely inform the client that anything that was not written in the original agreement would need to be done as part of a separate contract. Or would she like to release payment and close out the current contract and set up an hourly contract, which will allowe her to ask any additional requests.

Give her those choices:


New milestone or hourly contract.


Remember: These are NOT YOUR RULES. These are Upwork's rules. You don't have any choice in this.

Community Guru
Jacqueline P Member Since: Dec 28, 2015
3 of 6

Love that, thank you. If they were my rules, I'd be embarrassed about it (stupid but my nature). But they're Upwork's, so I'm not. 

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 6

I dislike the negotiation stage, too. It is one of those tasks that has to be done but I'd rather just focus on the work. 

Active Member
Parisa S Member Since: Dec 27, 2018
5 of 6

But what if they give you a negative review or fewer stars? 

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
6 of 6

Parisa S wrote:

But what if they give you a negative review or fewer stars? 

There is always the threat of a bad review. If you let the risk of a bad review dictate how you do business, you will always be a slave to clients and never be the one in charge of your business. People recover from bad reviews. If you are professional, managing scope creep isn't really that big of a problem. It's human nature to ask if someone can do XYZ in addition to what they are doing. I simply let the client know if that's within the scope or if we need to add a milestone for it, and let them decide if they want to do it. If it's hourly, I say sure and it will take longer, are you okay with that? They can decide then. 


The way to avoid negative reviews or fewer stars is to be very clear about the scope of a project, not just the deliverables, but the time estimate, and deadline, and vet the client very carefully. Even if you do that, you could still get a bad review. They could just have a crappy day and leave a terrible review. You can't let reviews call the shots. Do good work, follow your business model, and let the chips fall where they may. I think you'll be surprised that the outcome isn't usually negative.