I’m a new subscriber to Christopher Hawkins blog – “Effective Software Management”. I am always in awe of those people that start their own business and take on the responsibility of employing others and effectively ensuring their welfare (so I tend to subscribe to a lot of blogs written by that kind of person).
As I was reading one of his most recent posts I spied a like to a post entitled “11 Clients You Need To Fire Right Now”. It is a kind of refreshing point of view and it is a reminder that the “customer is NOT always right”. I’m not suggesting that people start treating their customers like dirt – but just have enough self confidence to know when you think you are right.
I’ve had a pretty rough week and a half working with a particular client and yesterday it was time to sit down and have a bit of a chat to see how we thought it was going. I wasn’t too happy with the way the engagement was going and I had actually tried to call it off at the end of last week because I was having trouble delivering value. The client insisted that I turn up on Monday and the engagement limped along for another four days.
During the review I had to embrace some criticism, but I also had an opportunity to give some honest feedback of my own. I’ve come away from this week with a distinctly sour taste in my mouth (poor reviews sting) and I’m going to need to spend some time pondering where I went wrong and what I could have done better. I’ve already discovered that :-
- I engage better with development teams than I do with operations teams.
- when engaging I need to be introduced to stake holders, I can’t be effective in stealth mode.
- chances of success are inversely proportional to the number of decision makers.
- I need to avoid flipping the bozo bit early in an engagement.
Some of you might be wondering why I am throwing this dirty laundry out here on my blog (I’ve avoided naming names). Well the fact is I know some of our customers read my blog and I think honesty counts – maybe the next time I engage with them they can be part of my early warning system if any of the above conditions exist.