CommunicationDecision-MakingRisk ManagementSocial Interactions

5 Risks You Can Avoid to Improve Client Relationship

Risks are a daily part of projects. When clients and you are not on the same page, you can be running into several. In this article at the Digital Project Manager, Michelle Martin discusses 5 unseen risks to avoid to improve client relations.

De-Risking Risks

The best way to avoid risks is through clear communications, on a regular basis. The project nuances and terms are common for you but not for the clients. You must talk in their language to help them understand what you are getting at. As the author says, ‘project management is people management.’ To keep a positive relationship, be transparent with the clients. Following are the 5 unseen risks to avoid while improving your client relationship:

  1. Out-of-scope Work: During an ongoing project, clients can come up with several suggestions. They might not be aware that some of those are out of scope. Instead of limiting scope talks only for the kickoff meetings, bring that up frequently during the project lifecycle. Explain why you have marked those as out of scope and calculate the estimate for the extended work.
  2. Delayed Approval: The clients are busy people. Everyone marks them in high-priority emails. If you want to get approvals on time, explain how their approvals matter for your project. Show them the risks their delayed responses would create in the project.
  3. No Change Suggestions: Are you sure your clients do not want to tweak the web design a little? Is it possible that they want to suggest some change but not sure about your reaction to the feedback? Ask them if they are fine with the current work or want something more. This will let them know that you are open to feedback and will improve the relationship between both the parties.
  4. Deviations Too Many: If they are making too many changes, sit with them and discuss how these suggestions increase project risks. Explain how the changes are gradually deviating the project from its original goals. The risks of such deviatory changes can lead to the extended timeline and increased budget. Ask them the real reason behind those suggestions and give solutions for those first.
  5. Eleventh Hour: Right when you are ready to deliver the project, a suggested change comes in. You realize that it is a significant feature of the product. If you can do it within the timeline, just do it. However, keep your clients informed about your extra efforts. Request them to suggest as early as possible next time around.

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