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PM : Strategy / Approach to Handle Client Seeking More Information
Network:22



Hi,
I would like to seek your expertise view to handle the below situations

Case 1 .Though we provide solution [after team's brainstorming] for a requirement, client seeks more detailed level information on solution while we propose a solution though some of technical questions can be discussed during design, provided client is ready to implement the requirement. Challenges faced by us
a.Team's effort of detailing for requirement can become obsolete since requirement might be de-prioritized by the client
b.Actual implementation date of the solution is pro-longed

Case 2 : Project Manager has shared complete solution for a product requirement however client insist to speak directly to Product Manager on solution in spite of the fact that Product Manager will also communicate same solution. One of reason being historically, client was in touch with Product Manager to seek clarification and off-late role of Project Manager is introduced to streamline project / requirement request from client.

a. PM is diluted due to above context
b. As PM, how should we handle this situation
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Sharath -

What is the underlying cause for the client's request? Is it a lack of trust in the team's delivery capabilities or fear of their making a wrong decision. I'd suggest starting to find out why first...

Kiron
Network:1552



In both situations, the PM has nothing to do. Both situations are related to product requirements not to project requirements. Then Business Analyst is accountable for both situations.
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Facilitate communication between the key stakeholders on this topic.
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Sharat,
I have been in similar situations (Case:1 & Case:2) a lot many times - specifically in product based companies, in situations wherein recurring or incremental projects are awarded by customer on base platforms (in high end technology domains - Telecom, VAS or Digital transformation services)

Kiron,
You asked what is the underlying cause of client request ?

i feel their are several reasons :
(a) Sometime customer want to have better understanding of product/solution (new/incremental)
(b) Sometime it is his strategy to understand new technology and do better price negotiation and getting maximum number of features in multi vendors competitive environment.
(c) Sometime it also happens customer (might be intentionally) keep his requirement in RFI/RFP state and just keep on garbing information (technology understanding). In latter stage initial RFI or RFP got scrapped and in later stage new RFI/RFP came with improvised set of requirements.
(b) Some time it also happens due to lack of trust on deliver capabilities of team.

(a) to (c) generally encounters in product based requirement wherein PM role overlapped on product management, business analyst or KAM by delivery organizations.

Sergio,
Agree with you their is nothing for PM role. However i feel in a few very competitive markets (specifically ICT) role boundaries are at the verge of dilution. Instead multi roles are owned by a single person (Project Management, Product Manager, Group Manager or Even architect) or single person is having that level of understanding. In such a competitive environment even customer raises his bar's of expectation and plays in his own ways w.r.t expectations !!!

Here onward many combinations of expectations and delivery modes evolve. This is also pressing for new innovations in management leadership !!!

Rajeev
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jan 22, 2018 12:25 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Totally agree with you. In fact, I am still facing this type of situations.
Network:22



Hi Rajeev,

Thanks. You have articulated my experience at work and PM role.
How did you dealt with those clients ? Can you please advice.

Sergio, Kiron, Sante : Can you please advice me on dealing with these kind of situation.

I'm trying best to disengage this practice since most of time it will lead to commitment by individual folks within company on feature development and these individuals are not responsible for project delivery. This will lead to tricky situation for PM to negotiate later on scope of project, timelines etc and PM also cannot hold these folks responsible in front of client.
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Jan 22, 2018 12:32 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
This is a typical case you faced when you worked on service oriented or any other type of orientation where some people sell things and some other people must turn those things into reality. I was there lot of times. Is difficult to say you how to deal because it fully depends on the environment. I used quit different methods in different environments. But at the end, the basement is to make them accountable for things that could happed and those things must be recorded as risks. So, record the risk, make a meeting with them and people above of them in the organizational pyramid and do not transform it into a war. Transform it into a work session where you are sharing your estimations, your risks, etc what means an objective way to show things and make them accountable.
Network:1552



Jan 21, 2018 7:26 AM
Replying to Rajeev Sharma
...
Sharat,
I have been in similar situations (Case:1 & Case:2) a lot many times - specifically in product based companies, in situations wherein recurring or incremental projects are awarded by customer on base platforms (in high end technology domains - Telecom, VAS or Digital transformation services)

Kiron,
You asked what is the underlying cause of client request ?

i feel their are several reasons :
(a) Sometime customer want to have better understanding of product/solution (new/incremental)
(b) Sometime it is his strategy to understand new technology and do better price negotiation and getting maximum number of features in multi vendors competitive environment.
(c) Sometime it also happens customer (might be intentionally) keep his requirement in RFI/RFP state and just keep on garbing information (technology understanding). In latter stage initial RFI or RFP got scrapped and in later stage new RFI/RFP came with improvised set of requirements.
(b) Some time it also happens due to lack of trust on deliver capabilities of team.

(a) to (c) generally encounters in product based requirement wherein PM role overlapped on product management, business analyst or KAM by delivery organizations.

Sergio,
Agree with you their is nothing for PM role. However i feel in a few very competitive markets (specifically ICT) role boundaries are at the verge of dilution. Instead multi roles are owned by a single person (Project Management, Product Manager, Group Manager or Even architect) or single person is having that level of understanding. In such a competitive environment even customer raises his bar's of expectation and plays in his own ways w.r.t expectations !!!

Here onward many combinations of expectations and delivery modes evolve. This is also pressing for new innovations in management leadership !!!

Rajeev
Totally agree with you. In fact, I am still facing this type of situations.
Network:1552



Jan 22, 2018 12:07 PM
Replying to SHARATH BHAT
...
Hi Rajeev,

Thanks. You have articulated my experience at work and PM role.
How did you dealt with those clients ? Can you please advice.

Sergio, Kiron, Sante : Can you please advice me on dealing with these kind of situation.

I'm trying best to disengage this practice since most of time it will lead to commitment by individual folks within company on feature development and these individuals are not responsible for project delivery. This will lead to tricky situation for PM to negotiate later on scope of project, timelines etc and PM also cannot hold these folks responsible in front of client.
This is a typical case you faced when you worked on service oriented or any other type of orientation where some people sell things and some other people must turn those things into reality. I was there lot of times. Is difficult to say you how to deal because it fully depends on the environment. I used quit different methods in different environments. But at the end, the basement is to make them accountable for things that could happed and those things must be recorded as risks. So, record the risk, make a meeting with them and people above of them in the organizational pyramid and do not transform it into a war. Transform it into a work session where you are sharing your estimations, your risks, etc what means an objective way to show things and make them accountable.

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