Scope Changes


“I’m sorry, that’s out of scope”.

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We hear this quite a bit and it makes us cringe because it means denying someone the opportunity to succeed. We don’t want to apologize or give out negative responses. We work to effectuate the change.

When a customer requests changes, the question we ask ourselves is, “Is this out of bounds?”.

Reasonable scope changes that improve the project success should not be out of scope in our opinion. Changes happen every day due to the nature of the complex environments we work in.

If our customers could predict future changes outside their control then perhaps they should go straight to Vegas or to the closest convenience store to purchase a lottery ticket! But since they can’t we’re glad they are reading this blog post.

In this industry, the question shouldn’t be “if” changes will arise, but rather “when” will changes arise? When the moment comes, we don’t immediately give out a negative response, rather we put ourselves in our customers shoes and begin asking the right questions. What can we do to help? What other elements of the project are going to be impacted? How can we adjust the project scope to address this change? More importantly, how can make the project more impactful now?

Our world is not black and white. That’s sometimes difficult to justify and explain to those, both internal and external, who are not out on the field of our projects. Our scopes should be playing fields that include boundaries to stay inside. You should be able to call an audible in the moment when you know the current “play” is not going to work.

They should have probably changed this play …


No one understands mid-project shifts like our co-founder and avid football fan, James Bodajlo. James has become successful in our industry by mastering the art of adapting to change. He is our resident expert and consultant for both project leads and technical developers and he’s the first person we turn to when it comes to project changes.

Here are James’s answer to some questions we had about how 4th Down handles last minute changes:

“How do you think change has impacted the 4th Down culture?”  

--- it IS our culture. It’s our brand. We are all problem solvers by nature.

“Why is change management so important at 4th Down?”

---- Look at the world today. Everything is changing … if you can’t change and pivot, you’re going to lose the game.

“How do you find employees who thrive in change environments?”

--- We look for the familiar. Often times we look to our friends, family and other like-minded individuals who thrive on being able to quickly and successfully adapt to an ever-changing environment. We naturally gravitate towards team members who define changes not by the problems they cause but by the solutions they can provide.

If you have had experience with a technology partner say “no” to your changes or ideas call us.

We’ll work together to say Yes to changes, new ideas and win together.

Kristine O'Neil