Understanding and Meeting Client Expectations

Understanding and Meeting Client Expectations

  1. Including the Client
    1. Educate the client from the beginning
      1. the client needs to understand what the team does to appreciate it.
      2. A client who is inexperienced with projects may not understand the sift of focus through the phases
    2. Include the client on selected project teams
      1. the more complex a project is the more time and effort it will take to ensure you understand the client’s expectations
      2. Pros and Cons of involving the client
        1. Pros: gain client investment in the plan, help the client understand the problems the project encounters, involve the client in problem solving. Client may have specific useful knowledge.
        2. Con – the client may influence the direction of the project too much
  2. Understanding values and expectations – unmet values and expectations cause cause dissatisfaction
    1. Clarify Expectations
      1. meetings, documents (scope of work, purpose etc)
      2. Even if expectations change focus on the original goal
    2. Clarify values (desirable principles or qualities)
    3. Deal fairly with the client – the PM often has access to more information than the client, and should not use that advantage against the client.
  3. Dealing with Problems
    1. Establish standards and procedures for decisions
      1. Responsibility matrix – who should weigh in on different decisions
      2. Decisions that delay the project or increase costs often involve the client. Each client will have a different decision making preference regarding the process and their involvement.
      3. on smaller projects decisions can be handled more informally (short meetings, phone calls)
    2. Inform client of difficult issues early
      1. Even if you feel you have the problem under control things that could dealay the project or that raise costs should be shared with the client early.
      2. Keeping the client informed builds trust
    3. Revisiting major decisions and issues –¬†Sometimes early decisions need to be revisited as new information becomes available. They should not be revisited simply because someone doesn’t like the decision.
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