What the client claims the need vs what the end up getting are often two very different things. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it certainly can be. To that end, I wanted to illustrate what the reality of a client project often is vs what the client claimed it should have been.
How The Client Described The Project
In the client’s words, everything is an absolute must requirement. There are no features they cannot live without (in spite of them currently running their business without most of the “required” features).
The project is large, complex, expensive, and requires significant engineering effort.
How The Client Budgeted For The Project
Unless you are working with a client that has a history of using outsourced I.T. / development / design services, there is usually a very large gap between what the client claims they must have vs what they budgeted to get. The budget is usually enough to get the general shape of the requirements, but will be missing a lot of the fine detail.
How The Project Was Delivered
Inevitably, there will be problems along the way. Technical issues will pop up. Interaction with the client will stall as they become busy. Questions will be left unanswered, and oh by the way, they won’t pay for “whistles and bells” or “design”. It just needs to be simple and work. With the constant battles that are fought, the project typically lacks important details even though it does solve the core problem.
What The Client Actually Needs
When it’s all said and done, the client might be reaching for this – with you, right there with them – as the answer to their actual problems.
Are You Sure You Need That Client?
Be careful who you take on as a client. It’s tempting to think that you can’t say no because you need the money, or frankly because you just don’t think you can ever say no. But you need to learn to say no and be picky about the clients you take.
The beginning of a relationship with any client will set the tone. Are they argumentative, over-haggling and nit-picky about inane details? Or do they enjoy the conversation, speak openly and honestly, and look at you as a partner in the endeavor?
Your time and talent are worth more than you think. Be sure you are treated with the respect you deserve, and always treat the client with the respect that you wish you were getting.