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A Simple Way to Prevent Project Problems

Sometimes, disconnects happen between what the client wants and what the consultant thinks the client wants. The result in delivery is a big round of disappointment, followed by maybe some embarrassment. Michael W. McLaughlin writes about the steps that can be taken to prevent these disconnects before they happen.

No Problemo Projects

Like when water freezes in cracks in the street, causing the cracks to get even bigger, a small misunderstanding in a project can grow into something more severe. And once one misunderstanding has been unveiled, a feeling of dread can build between consultant and client about when the next inevitable misunderstanding might be uncovered. This is why it is so important to root out all assumptions in communication.

There are many people who have a hard time directly communicating what they need, so it is your job to unravel that ball of yarn. You especially want to ask questions about anything that might affect project outcome, or questions that make clear the priorities that govern action. It will be good to know if there are any other projects planned or underway that could impact your project, for example. Knowing how other people will be tasked to use work you create will be helpful too, so that you are better informed on how to present the work. McLaughlin goes on to say:

What’s most important is to take a little time in key discussions to be sure you’ve still got clarity about what the client expects of you, and vice versa.

I’m not suggesting that you unearth the project proposal for a line-by-line review at every meeting. I am saying that it’s easy for surprises to result from assumptions that people develop as a project goes on. And it’s easier to address those assumptions before there’s a problem.

There are no surprises and no disappointments when everyone is on the same page. You can read the original article here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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