Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Honesty and Expectations - Part II

In an earlier post, I mentioned some ways in which business people, and consultants in particular, could mislead clients.

That practice can be played both ways, of course, although I believe that many clients are unaware of the way in which they can alter expectations. For example, just as consultants may switch their key players, so too may clients. The client assigns a knowledgeable and responsive representative to the project but then replaces that person with one that has less information and influence and who is much less responsive.

Some other examples: The client requests that the project be completed by a particular deadline and then fails to provide the information necessary to meet the deadline or the client engages in mission creep and slowly adds work that was not covered by the initial proposal.

Status update meetings can correct some of those problems. It can also help to identify the types of practices that both sides might inadvertently adopt so the liaison meetings or teams can more easily discuss how those problems are being avoided or are beginning to surface. If good faith is present, such checkpoints should not pose a problem.

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