If the project scope must be reduced, make sure that the customer is a direct participant. A customer who is part of the process will own the result. A customer who is excluded from the process will be unhappy with the result and will naturally tend to blame the developers for not trying hard enough.
Engaging the customer in this dialogue helps lay the problems of scope management ever so gently on the customer's doorstep. With the philosophy we've described in the previous chapter, smart customers will make commitments to their external marketplaces only for the critical items included in the baseline. The embarrassment of missed schedules and missing features is avoided. Any extra features accomplished beyond the baseline will be perceived positively as exceeding expectations.
Sometimes, the discovery of the scope management problem occurs outside of the customer engagement process; then, in all likelihood , some bad news is about to be delivered. Delivering this message to our customers and/or management is a delicate process requiring both negotiation skills and a total commitment to the schedule and scope that results. After we deliver the bad news, we cannot afford to fail to deliver on the new promise lest all credibility be lost.