Izsludināta pieteikšanās trīs Rīgā gaidāmajām sacensībām
Get it right for the Project Customer
By Brad Egeland
No one wants to say "I told you so" in the world of project management or consulting. Let's say you are saying this to your client. Even if you were correct from the beginning, uttering these words to your client means that they are unhappy. They may have paid a lot of money for something they don't need. Or you may appear smart, but they will still be upset because you didn't deliver a viable solution ..... "I told you so" is not helpful. "I told you so" will not make things easier for you. Your customer won't feel at ease if you tell them so.
What can you do to prevent this from happening? What can you do to improve your relationship with your customer? How can you present yourself as a project manager or consultant in the best possible light with your client and all those you work with on the project? It is important to ask the right questions, plan well, listen to the customer and involve others in the planning stages of the project. Here are some things you should do:
Don't be blinded. Try to enter every project with no preconceived notions of the solution, the problem or the technology involved. You should start with a blank slate. No tunnel vision - no blinders. Every project is a new challenge. Treat it as a new day in life. Start fresh. Create a new project plan with fresh tasks. Use a project management tool to map tasks, resources and timeframes using what you know now. You need to forget about the past and see the new project as an entirely new project.
Ask questions about everything that doesn't make sense and question the things that make sense. Nearly all project customers come into the engagement with a solution in their mind. It is human nature to seek help before coming up with a solution. They believe they have all the information they need. They believe they know the root cause of the problem. They believe they know the solution to their problem.
You need to see beyond that as a project manager and dig deeper. You can assume they may only be able to piece together a piece of the puzzle. Ask questions. Meet with their end users, as well as subject matter experts. Discuss how the new and old solutions interact with business processes. There is often more to it than you realize and you will be making a mess for a unhappy customer later if you don’t find it right away.
Document, document, document. Document everything. This is something I cannot emphasize enough. It's impossible to detail everything, but you get what I mean. As you work with your customer to define the problem, you document the details and create a solution. Your team must document these requirements, including all assumptions, risks, and any issues encountered along the journey to develop a solution. It's not an easy task and not something that everyone can do well. You will never regret it if you and your team do this well on your project.
Always obtain the customer's approval. Once you have reached an agreement on the issue and the steps required to solve it, you should present the client with all documentation and a statement of work. Then, get their approval and official signature on the items. This is the basis from which you and your team can develop a solution.
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