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Poll: How do you deal with a client changing requirements after the start of a project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
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SITE STAFF
Apr 9, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How do you deal with a client changing requirements after the start of a project?".

This poll was originally submitted by Helene Olsen Richards. View the poll results »



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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:18
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Cancel Apr 9, 2013

All contractual details should be dealt with and cleared before a project is started. (They generally are if you've signed a service agreement with the customer.)

Chopping and changing after a project is started is a big red flashing light.

In my book, it also nullifies all the other contractual details. If the customer is going to do it once, you can more or less expect the customer to be a repeat offender and do it again and again and again.

P.S.
It happened to me recently even though I'd received a PO. I blew the proverbial gasket.


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 00:18
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Too vague Apr 9, 2013

The question is much too vague, it's impossible to answer this, as "changing the requirements" can mean so much.

[Bijgewerkt op 2013-04-09 08:21 GMT]


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:18
French to German
+ ...
Other Apr 9, 2013

Depends on which requirements the client changes after the start of a project, doesn't it?

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Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 02:18
English to Russian
+ ...
Depends Apr 9, 2013

It depends entirely on the extent of change.

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Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:18
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
More time Apr 9, 2013

as a general rule, depending of course on the kind of change requested.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:18
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Apr 9, 2013

As others said before me, it depends entirely on the extent of the change... and on the client. It happened to me recently with a change in the deadline by an excellent client (interesting jobs, high rate, good payer), which I was happy to accomodate as I had chosen to work during the weekend.

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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:18
Member (2008)
English to Italian
what kind of changes? Apr 9, 2013

According to the changes I can ask for more time, more money, or simply to consider it as a new project, obviously I'll be paid for the part already done.
In case the changes do not affect the job done until the communication is received, no problem.


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:18
German to English
+ ...
Depends Apr 9, 2013

It really does depend on whether the changes are material, and what the new requirements are.
Whatever the changes or requirements are, however, one does have to deal with the client.

This question brings to mind a rather flippant saying, "The lack of planning and organisation on your part does not constitute the need for urgency on mine".

I have never said this to anyone, but one does have to weigh up changing the goalposts against the "fairness" barometer, and act accordingly.


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Nigel Greenwood  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:18
Member (2008)
Spanish to English
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I fully agree with Allison Apr 9, 2013

Allison Wright wrote:

It really does depend on whether the changes are material, and what the new requirements are.
Whatever the changes or requirements are, however, one does have to deal with the client.

This question brings to mind a rather flippant saying, "The lack of planning and organisation on your part does not constitute the need for urgency on mine".

I have never said this to anyone, but one does have to weigh up changing the goalposts against the "fairness" barometer, and act accordingly.


When this happens I always contact the client and re-negotiate everyting, time, money, etc.

All of you enjoy your day.

Nigel.

[Edited at 2013-04-09 09:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-04-09 09:39 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree Apr 9, 2013

Joeri Van Liefferinge wrote:

The question is much too vague, it's impossible to answer this, as "changing the requirements" can mean so much.

[Bijgewerkt op 2013-04-09 08:21 GMT]


I usually try to fit in with my clients needs and requests, however haphazard and scatty they may be. If the changes require more work more time, obviously I will charge a correspondingly higher fee

NB: I hardly ever work under a formal or signed contract, and when I do it is always because the other party/parties insist.

I prefer this modus operandi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentlemen's_agreement


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:18
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It depends Apr 9, 2013

IMHO there is no "simple" answer to this question.

It all depends on the changes. If, for example, the client decides that certain sentences are not required, no problem. If the changes are pertaining to a few sentences towards the end of the project, no problem, either.

Should a "free" translation, e. g. for more marketing efficency, be required rather than a "standard" translation, then I'd ask for more time and/or a higher rate.

A language change might be cause for a cancellation. Should other changes be required, then my reaction... depends on the changes.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 00:18
German to English
+ ...
Cope Apr 9, 2013

It's very very rarely if ever that such a change has caused serious problems. I can't really imagine what could, in fact. A new deadline, a rewritten text, a different language? In any event, I've never had a change that meant that it couldn't be coped with.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 00:18
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Same here Apr 9, 2013

David Wright wrote:
Cope
It's very very rarely if ever that such a change has caused serious problems. I can't really imagine what could, in fact. A new deadline, a rewritten text, a different language? In any event, I've never had a change that meant that it couldn't be coped with.


End clients live in the real world, and in my experience at least, a plan is something you have until reality catches up with you...

Of course I renegotiate as appropriate.
I expect to be paid for work done, but cancelled sections often mean better time for the rest of the job, or more time for a breather.

If one of the usual good clients runs into a problem, then we solve it together the best way we can.

Otherwise I would soon run out of clients!


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:18
French to English
Odd choice of options Apr 9, 2013

I think the choice of options is odd given that the nature of the "changing requirements" has not been specified.

Negotiate for a higher rate = for less work?
Cancel the project = if asking me to do 10 times more for helf the price.
Ask for more time = not if the project has been shortened
Contact a colleague for help = not necessarily
Other - N/A = in the circumstances, how is any other answer possible?

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