Are you comfortable sharing your project schedule with your clients? If not, here are three simple tips on how to make it more reliable, so that you and your clients can work together better.
Today’s word of the day is ‘Schedule’.
Why is it whenever i speak to a it provider and i ask to see the schedule i get this blank look of horror? It’s like I’ve asked to see their underwear or something like that!
It is actually quite amazing to see this sort of response. Because we can’t work together if we don’t share the same schedule. We really all have to know what’s on it to get the job done.
So how do we do it? How do we make it really easy for you to develop a good schedule that you can share with your clients?
My tip number one: start with a task list.
Keep it really simple. Be honest about what tasks have to be complete in order for this project to go live.
Tip number two: resources.
Take the time to spell out what’s the client is accountable for, and what you are accountable for. So when push comes to shove, and schedules looks different to what the client expects. At least you will be able to clearly explain to them, what they need to do to get the project back on track. As well as what your responsibility is to fix it
Tip number three: build in some buffer
A good buffer is essential! It needs to contain space for all the sign off and approval processes that your client needs to undertake to ensure you are building what they expect.
It also needs to contain some contingencies. To cover for any slight misalignment in understanding what the client’s requirements are, versus what you’ve taken them to mean.
Make sure the public holidays are accounted for. And that the final schedule really feels like it’s a realistic, and not overly ambitious, schedule.
Remember, the best schedules and the perceived best projects, are the ones that come in early rather than late.
So take some time, and pull together a great schedule for your clients. Put a smile on their face before your projects ever started.
Have a great day!