RE: Client from Hell redux

Subject: RE: Client from Hell redux
From: "walden miller" <wmiller -at- vidiom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 14:32:11 -0600

Andrew writes:
Because [stopping the process] would be a crappy thing to do. Just because
your client doesn't instantaneously respond to your every need does not mean
you halt the project to conduct an investigation. That is a waste of time.

The client hired you because they can't get it together to write their own
manuals or hire competent writers or whatever...

In addition, acting as if the client is a single entity can be very stifling
to your progress. As a consultant, you need to figure out how to get
information and reviews done amidst the politics of the client organization.
Build alliances, etc. with your information sources. Processes break down
because they do not fit individual's actions.

andrew again:
There is a delicate dance between clients/consultants. You have
to be direct, firm, and assertive because if you aren't the job won't get
done. Yeah writing things down and being explicit is good. But you have to
follow that up with decisiveness and a "get it done" attitude.

The only time I have stopped delivery of a document was when the client was
not paying the bills, I let the bill go for 60 days and then withheld a
manual set until payment was received. I got paid immediately, they got
their manual. I never have stopped delivery because the client was foolish,
silly, unorganized, wrong-headed, or otherwise recalcitrant. I get paid for
my deliverables, regardless of whether they review my work or not. If they
do not review it and ask for corrections, they get my best guesses and that
must be good enough for them, because they don't care enough to review my
work. My clients know this. I tell them directly. The individuals in the
process understand this, because it is similar to their own situations.

If you require perfection from clients, then the clients you want don't
exist. Again, clients hire us because they can't get it together

walden miller
vidiom systems

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