It has been a while since my last post and I have been spending a lot of time reading the SureStep 2010 book. It has been challenging me in the area of communication – it is easy to think that you are good at something or that you do well enough – but is getting by enough?
If you put yourself in your customers’ shoes…how would you rate your….• Type of communication – reports, conversation, emails
It is important to understand your customer when you are defining the communication plan for your project. Some customers have experienced and skilled teams in place that can handle, and often require, daily interaction such as a SCRUM meeting, plus extensive and exhaustive documentation. However, in my experience, most companies have relatively little experience in implementing software, and struggle to understand design and technical documentation without clear explanations from the author.
How do you work out what is the best way to communicate to each individual customer? Most of us will have document templates that you we use to guide our technical, training and user manuals, as well as project status reports, scope changes, solution design and proposals. I think this is good practice and ensures that we remember to dot our ‘I’s and cross our ‘t’s but do you consider these elements from the perspective of the customer and their project? Are they all necessary? Do they add value? Is it complex or user friendly? Is it relevant?
Furthermore, have you worked out how often your customers would like to hear from you and via what medium? Or have you made assumptions on their behalf that they are like all of your other clients? What do you do with the clients that turn out to want more (or less) interaction that you normally provide with your project services?
There are so many variables to consider when communicating with clients and I have really only briefly skimmed over some of the things to consider. I will continue my communication ponderings in my next blog…Image from http://www.writersua.com/articles/quickref/images/cartoon.jpg