Tell me if this sounds familiar. Your client needs their project to complete but much of what is required to deliver it is dependent on them, and nothing seems to be coming across your desk. You feel like you’re always waiting while the days fly by like pages off a calendar in a cartoon.
This is common. Our clients are busy professionals just like us and they are working all day too, not sitting around at our disposal when we need them. Once the initial round of planning meetings is over, they often leave everything to us and we end up chasing them for information.
I won’t promise you the problem is completely unavoidable but there are a couple things you can do to minimize your pain.
- Before your requirements gathering session with the client, make a list of all the information you think you’re going to need and try to get as much of that info as you can during the first meeting. Prepare your client by asking them to think about the information you’re going to need or bring their ideas to the meeting.
- Once you get the project set up, establish milestones by which you need info from the client and give them lead time and reminders to help them meet your timelines. You can also have a short weekly touch point call with the client and let them know a week in advance what you’ll be reviewing and what input you require to keep the project on schedule.
- Let them know right from the start of the project that they need to contribute their input on time in order for you to deliver their project on time.
Having said all this, if your client is giving you what you need, make sure you keep up your end of the bargain by getting the work done by the date you promised.
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