Monday 19 January 2009

Clarity of Outcome

It always helps to know exactly what the client wants.  But if the client doesn't actually know at the start of the project, then it is helpful to work together to an agreed policy.
On one of my current projects, I'm struggling with mixed messages, which often eventually conclude that the starting point was in fact correct but which involve quite a lot of "urgent" correspondence and discussion to get back to where we started.
This takes time, energy, and emotional energy.  On a fixed price contract, it's the supplier who ends up paying, though a prolongued period of uncertainty can also cause timescales to slip.  As the conclusion is all-too-often the same, it is difficult to get the client to agree to changes to the costs.
The difficulty is that I specialise in new areas of service improvement, where the client often hasn't thought the requirement through.  Many clients are extremely pleased with my work, including one who says "I know I can come to you even though I'm not really sure what I want, because you will help me clarify it and then deliver something wonderful".
I believe that clients need to recognise their own limitations and trust suppliers to be professional.  This means making a clear choice and setting a protocol:
  1. Involve the supplier in exploring the findings and implications, and genuinely working together to find the best solution
  2. accepting the supplier's direction of travel
the third option, deciding a direction or change of scope without discussion with the supplier, is difficult - the supplier is often far closer to he work than you are and there are often implications which aren't immediately apparent.
Trust your supplier, they have as much to lose as you have and may know more about the immediate problem.

1 comment:

Donald said...

Thanks for sharing information. its really nice and mean full. I want to write more but these days I am doing preparation of different online certifications and I found microsoft tests is the best helping source which is providing 100% authentic material. I also spend my extra time in surfing internet, listening music and playing games. After my exams I would like to join your group.