How to reject new requirement in project?



  • I am a PM for a waterfall methadology project. And I am going to ask a question that every PM faced I believe, but it is my first time to face such situation and would need your support and guidance.

    Usually project is working as following:

    1. Phase 1: We do analysis meeting with customer based on a predefined scope in the contract. In that we gather info and get all needed data for a solution design preparation.
    2. Phase 2: We send solution design for customer approval based on info gathered in phase 1.
    3. Phase 3: Once I get approval from phase 2, Development execution shall start.

    Now, my case is I am suffering in phase 2. This phase was planned as 1 week. But now we consumed 2 weeks and customer keeps asking for new things or modifying old things (not discussed in phase 1). I did my best and tried to accept few things that I can afford to move one and rejected any thing extra would take much effort.

    And everything by end of week 2, looked okay but suddenly they send me one more document (a new recommendation from audit/mgmnt) with over 60 requirement mentioning that they want to understand my project covers these points by what percent. Then I got a promise that once I send my feedback I will get approval.

    I did my analysis and we are covering 70%. I sent my feedback. And I got a feedback that solution design is approved but under one condition!! That to add 3 points from the last document I did analysis for.

    If we are going that direction it is a pure scope creep. And don't know what to do. So I am expecting if I will reply no, they will say it is a business need. But it is not in the scope? So what can I do in such cases, as this loop should be ended.

    I already raised flags that we are delayed and we need to move forward.. but now it is management requirement!! This is the justification



  • Why do you want to reject what the customer is asking? If your contract or your way of working obliges you to turn away work that the customer wants and is presumably willing to pay for then perhaps your business model is broken and that is not the customer's fault.

    The second thing to think about is that on any project (I'm assuming software development) whatever contractual terms are in effect, it is essential to have an agreed method for managing change. With very few exceptions it isn't realistic to expect everything to be defined perfectly at some early stage (or at any stage). Effective change control is in your company's best interests and in your customer's essential interests.

    What I suggest is that you agree with the customer how these and future requests should be dealt with throughout the work. I'm sure there will be future requests, so prepare for that. Customer engagement and feedback is a positive thing. Communicate with your customers regularly, get their feedback and act on it is the way to make successful projects and satisfied customers.

    Regarding the commercial side, there are two common scenarios: either T&M or fixed-price (FFP). If it's a FFP contract then that means both sides have accepted that the scope is a matter for commercial negotiation. Your company's account manager or leadership team must be ready to discuss with the customer what is to be included in the price and what is an additional cost item. You shouldn't expect the customer on their own initiative to make the decisions on scope. In any case, I suggest you allow the requirements drive the plan rather than the plan limiting the requirements.

    If T&M, then just treat everything on the backlog as a change and avoid those tricky scoping discussions.




Suggested Topics

  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2