So, you enter into a contract with a customer for a project and at the time they know exactly what they want. It may be wise to consider change control.

Scope creep!

But as with all things people change their minds, have new ideas or parameters change. As a result it may be necessary to change the scope or requirements.
It’s important for both customers and suppliers that the contract allows for this and has a procedure in place to manage this.

Contract solution

A good contract will have a change control process in place.
Without an effective change control procedure in place it can lead to:
• you carrying out extra work outside any fixed price quoted without getting paid (or having an awkward conversation)
• the customer being hit by a bill or delays which it isn’t expecting which can irreversibly damage relationships
A change control procedure provides a way to document, assess and prioritise changes to the services. It ensures that all parties are aware of the impact of the change requested and that appropriate people can approve the decision on whether or not to implement the change.
Whilst it may seem over the top to follow a change control procedure for small changes, it’s important to remember that numerous small changes can have a big overall impact on timescales and fees.

Scoping and price

It is also important that the contract clearly sets out what is included within the price and any assumptions/parameters on which the price is given.

To find out what else is important to set out in your contract why not check out our other blawgs [http://www.law-point.co.uk/blawg-blog-lawpoint/] – such as our blawg on intellectual property rights [http://www.law-point.co.uk/intellectual-property/silence-is-golden-or-is-it/]
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