Do you promptly inform clients about initial estimate overruns?

Last updated by Asher Paris SSW 6 months ago.See history

Do not wait until you have started to exceed your estimate before you notify the client that the release is running late.

An oversized invoice with no warning is never a good experience. A client will always prefer to be told ahead of time if a piece of functionality is going to take longer than anticipated. It gives them more control of what is going on.

Never keep the client in the dark when you exceed your estimates, it will only arouse suspicion and mistrust when they see the project deadline woosh past. It's best to tell the client as soon as the risk is identified to inform them of what's going on and ask "Do you want us to continue?".

For this reason, blowouts should be reported in the Daily Scrum, as well as any major delays being told to the client as soon as possible, so that they don't get a big surprise in the Sprint Review. This will ensure that the client is fully aware of any problems and has a chance to decide an alternative action.

Keep clients informed and avoid conflict by informing them ASAP and documenting estimates overrun in an 'as per our conversation' email:

Good example - A sample of an email that informs the client that the estimate will be exceeded in time and cost

Note: For Scrum projects, you should keep an eye on your burndown chart during your daily standups to see if you are on track to finish all the work in a Sprint.

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Figure: When communicating to clients - talk at 80% not 110%!

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