In order to successfully run any business – you need first class project management.
Without efficient project management, you can pretty much kiss any chance of success goodbye, because things will not get done in time, or will not get done at all.
Below are listed what we believe to be the top two traits required to ensure your projects get completed on time, and with a solid stamp of approval from both your client and yourself.
1. Well Defined Deliverables:
When it comes to solid project management, very few things are as important as being specific to the deliverables of the project.
Without well-defined deliverables, it is very easy for scope creep to occur regularly, which can kill business profitability and credibility.
What is scope creep?
Scope creep is what occurs when a client requests that something that was not originally agreed upon be done at no additional charge. The reason this can kill business profitability and credibility is two fold.
Scope creep kills profitability when you end up giving into the client and completing their requests that were out of scope, because often times you end up paying out of pocket for the time and energy required of your resources to complete those extra tasks.
When a client signs up for a specific project, you have specific items that you have accounted for that will be covered by their expenses. Naturally, you need to make some money from that project. And, let’s be honest, in addition to wanting to deliver a stellar product or service to your clients at all times, another big objective of your business is to earn a healthy income for you and your loved ones.
If you start doing more than you originally agreed to do, and you start paying for those extra costs out of pocket, not to mention your time and efforts also spent, your profitability is threatened and you make sacrifices you should not have to make.
Scope creep kills credibility because if you do not agree to complete the extra items for your client (that were not agreed upon during the original proposals and agreements) it becomes very easy for your client to begin to doubt your intention and ability to ‘give them what they want.’
In many cases, clients understand that additional requests require additional funds; however, the opposite is, unfortunately, also true.
If you’ve had your business for any significant amount of time, you have likely run into a client or two who expect all of their additional requests to be done because – “the customer is always right.”
We are all in business to impress our clients and conduct ourselves ethically in our professional relationships; however, it should be done without the expense of putting your business at risk because of the whims of an unreasonable client.
When you lay out a clear list of deliverables before you begin any project, you protect yourself from killing profitability and credibility by removing the most menacing aspect of project management and project completion – the scope creep.
It is our belief that another word for transparency is honesty. It is impossible to foresee all potential obstacles and challenges at the beginning of a project, even though you can do your best to prevent issues from arising.
Sometimes, things can up that were not foreseen, and as an ethical company that has your clients’ best interests in mind, there is nothing more important than maintaining a level of trust throughout the life of the project.
When you notice something that needs to be addressed, it is best to address it right away.
Let your client know that you are doing everything in your power to overcome the obstacle and challenge, and if, for whatever reason, you are unable to resolve it, you will find an alternative solution that will still deliver the same type of result.
As the expert and as the trusted advisor (what you are to your client who hired you), it is your responsibility to conduct yourself in a professional and optimistic manner at all times. You cannot let yourself feel beat up by an obstacle or challenge, because, simply put, you are being paid to do the opposite, which is to find solutions and deliver results.
There are many more important elements that go into ensuring your client’s experience with your company is smooth and rewarding; however, if you go into each project with well-defined deliverables and an understanding that transparency at all times is key, you are well on your way to completing successful projects and building a successful business.
What do you think it takes to complete projects successfully for your clients?
Share in the comments below – we would love to hear from you.