Risk Management

5 Client Red Flags on a Project and How to Deal with Them

More often than not, your client will not be well versed in IT terminology. To them, agile is what you say about a gymnast and plugin is what you do to a toaster to help make breakfast. Despite these differences though, you and your client are just people trying to make it in the world. Sometimes there are hiccups and problems that occur that can be easily solved. In a post for the Digital Project Manager, Michelle Martin identifies five red flags to address:

  • “The scope creeper”
  • Clients not meeting their deadlines
  • No changes
  • Too many changes
  • “Last-Minute Larry”

Flagging Issues

Here is how to tackle a client that keeps trying to ask for items that are out of your project scope:

Don’t save scope discussions just for your kickoff meeting. While you should absolutely review scope at the kickoff, mention it throughout your project too. It’s easy to forget about the kickoff months later. Offer to estimate out of scope work, but be clear why it’s not within scope, not just saying that it’s not, and you need more money.

Full transparency fosters absolute trust.

What’s important is that trust is fostered between you and your client in your working relationship. That said, the important part of that relationship is that they meet their deadlines and that they understand the importance these play in the project. Some work might not be able to begin until they turn in their work, so expressing that is crucial.

It should also be noted that the amount of changes, or lack thereof, should be discussed with the client. If they’re giving way too few changes, make sure you give them every opportunity to voice their opinions and give honest feedback. They might be a little skittish on giving you negative feedback. On the flipside, if they’re asking for too many changes it may be time to ask some serious questions. They may have changed their goals, and determining that may require some bluntness to get to the point.

Finally, there’s dealing with last-minute changes that may throw your project completely off course, but the client doesn’t want to alter the original timeline. Let them know that these changes may have a huge impact on the project as a whole and that these will need to be accommodated for.

You can view the original post here: http://www.thedigitalprojectmanager.com/project-red-flags-how-to-build-trust-client-relationship/

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