Often during the construction administration period (“CA“) or after a project is installed and “finished,” the client will often find things that they want to add to the project. This can be because things aren’t working as planned, or there were items they didn’t think they needed, but now do. These might be items that you as a designer had recommended, but were not agreed upon by the client at that time. Lastly, sometimes these are items that we as designers just plain missed. We call these “additional scope.” It is best not to get into the discussion about who or why it was missed, but rather get to work and get them the items as soon as possible. The first step though – the very first step that is often ignored out of fear – is to establish a fee or hourly charge for the additional work items – This takes tact and sensitivity base on the likelihood that the client isn’t going to want to put out more money for anything – especially for items we as a designers hold the blame.
Today I worked on additional scope items for two different projects. For both of these projects, most of the items that were not apart of the program requirements, and so they were never discussed. This means I spent a good potion of the day searching for product, sketching out design solutions and being on the phone and computer emailing different suppliers/vendors for quotes. It will take a couple days to get all the quotes back and verified before I can present it to the client for purchasing approval, but today the lion share of work was completed.
I always feel great pressure or stress for this portion of the job. Even if the mistake or miss wasn’t yours to own, by now the client wants the project completed, money is tight (or gone)…and of course was needed yesterday! However, if I stay calm and get to work, the client sees my commitment to them and in the end all ends well.