Archive for category Customer Service

Beyond Scope Creep

Every account/project manager knows that one of their greatest challenges is to balance client desires with budgets.  We always endeavor to beat client expectations while maintaining profitability. 

Of course, in any project things can get out of control very quickly and profits can fly out of the window faster than a stock broker during the great Depression.

A certain expectation for scope creep should be built into any project.  A 5% budget allotment is not uncommon to cope with creep. 

We can then help a bit by being sure we set expectations, limits and best practices that tie directly to profitability such as:

  • Limit changes in staff assigned to the effort.
  • Avoid the temptation to add features not specified in the architecture but available in a CMS.
  • Do not let page counts increasing beyond those specified in the contract or approved site map. This is one of the most common paths to overages.
  • Avoid having a Web site that is not completely integrated to the CMS forcing changes by tech or design resources that could otherwise be performed by a producer.
  • Do not perform content entry, editing and formatting of text or images when originally assumed to be performed by the client.
  • Limit additional rounds of design, content or site reviews that can each be expected to add 5% to the cost of a project.
  • Manage delays in schedules, approvals, reviews and other deliverables.

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Newer is not always better

For years I used the Gillette Trac II and was happy with the shave. Of course, when the three blade systems came out I blindly upgraded to the Sensor / Sensor Excel. Sensor ExcelWell, recently I figured why am I paying close to $1.25 per cartridge just for an extra little blade that might not do anything.

So, a few months back I picked up some no name brand Trac II cartridges. At less than $0.25 per cartidge this works out to be a deal. Of course, when I looked I found I had thrown out those three or four Trac II handles I had been holding onto. Then no matter what store I went to I could not find a handle. They are not even for sale on the P&G store. They are clearly off the market to prevent what I am attempting to do.

Finally, I found a handle now marketed under specialty packaging for “African-amercan sensitive skin.” The blades are some strange design, but the handle matches that for the Trac II blade.

Trac IIEnd result — the Trac II actually provdes a closer and smooter shave than the three balde Sensor Excel. Not only am I getting a better shave, but I am saving some $50 a year. Not much you say, but it is enough to pay for my Web hosting.

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