A new client contacted me and asked me to design and build a transactional stock image website that would appeal to their members.
I agreed and set-out the project scope and sent a breakdown of timings and what was going to happen each step of the way so the client would know how far we were into the project at any given time.
These were all agreed and I set to work. The project was estimated to take about 6 weeks start to finish.
TWO DAYS after I started, the client sends out this email to all 400 members:
Client: Our new stock website is almost ready to go live! We will be sending you all login details next week so you can upload your stock!
This obviously made me panic slightly so I called the client who apologized and told me that he just wanted to get his members excited about the new stock site and for me not to worry.
Then the conversation went like this:
Client: So how long do you think it will be?
Me: Well, it’s been two days since I started so going by my timeline I would estimate just over 5 and a half weeks.
Client: Oh, OK… well is there any way we can get it ready for next week?
Me: No way at all, I’m afraid. This is a complex project and I have literally only just started, it’s not even past design phase yet.
Client: OK, understood.
The first week goes by and design phase comes to an end. I send the client the designs and he absolutely loves them. I inform him that we will start the build and it will be around 5 weeks to complete and test.
Later that same day he sends out another email to all his members:
Client: New stock website to be released this week without fail! Get ready to upload your images and 4K videos!
This obviously caused me great concern. Also, we had agreed it would be images only and now he was telling members it was videos too!
So I called him again:
Me: I have just seen you have promised your members delivery this week! I told you this was a six-week project!
Client: Yeah I know! I am just so excited to get it released.
Me: Yeah I understand that but now I have this extra pressure from you to get this project released ahead of schedule.
Client: Don’t worry about that… I will let clients know that it will be ready when we agreed.
Me: Still before we agreed and I don’t think you should be giving them any firm date as these things often run slightly longer than expected.
Client: Right, sure, that makes sense.
Me: Also, videos? We agreed in the scope it was going to be images only!
Client: Oh yeah, is that easy enough to do?
Me: It requires extra considerations and will likely take XX amount of extra days
Client: Oh, I don’t have any more money I’m afraid so if you could just include it as part of the original price then that would be great!
At the start of week 3 I get a phone call:
Client: I need this released by Wednesday! Members want to know where the site is and I can’t hold them off any longer!