Prescription for a Healthy IT Project (Post 6 of 6)
As I note in my book, “Building a Winning Business,” good customer-vendor relationships require both parties to participate, communicate and share responsibility for a successful outcome. Are you a good customer? This might seem like an odd question. After all, isn’t it the vendor’s responsibility to make the relationship work? While a vendor must go the extra mile, the customer also has obligations in making vendor relationships effective. While it might sound trite, I honestly believe the same qualities apply to a good customer as to a good employee, friend or even a spouse: trust, mutual respect and appreciation, and sharing that shows that each is committed to the success of the partnership.
On a practical level, this translates into the following behaviors on the part of customers:
- Clearly communicate expectations. Assumptions are not helpful. Customers who share their expectations openly and early are much happier with their project outcomes.
- Provide clear direction and feedback to the project team to control scope.
- Understand that changes to a project that modify the original base requirements often are necessary to provide the best solution.
- Take the initiative in quickly removing roadblocks for those doing the work.
- Share responsibility for success of delivery.
- Work to diminish political boundaries.
- Be actively engaged in the process all along the way.
- Do not overreact to minor setbacks.
- Communicate on a daily basis.
- Pay on time.