“Hey Doc, I need a triple heart bypass and some pills, possibly red. How much would that cost, and can you do that by Monday?”
Most people would not dream of scoping the solution to their own heart problems, as that seems risky. However. in most cases clients don’t realize just how much it can hurt them to order the wrong scope, so they feel justified in insisting on their opinions about what should be or should not be done in the project.
A logo? Can you choose a good font style in 10 minutes and be done?
A coaching session? Couldn’t you just send me the hard questions?
An app? If you can do it in three weeks, I bet you and two colleagues can do it in one.
Although the client will always have the final on what should be the goal and the budget for achieving it, their input into what exactly should be done to achieve that (aka” the scope”) should always be kept to a minimum.
Don’t get me wrong – they are not supposed to know better. That’s our job. Let them be clear on their part, and you be clear on what it takes to achieve that, and how long that will take.
If they insist, warn them of possible consequences in advance. If they persist, and you have a good reason to continue working with them, make sure that they will know enough to blame themselves when (__not if) things go wrong. And then next time, they will leave scoping to you.