Monday, September 21, 2009

Customer satisfaction through requirements sign-off

In my previous post “Customer satisfaction VS Project sign-off” I focused on the customer satisfaction, but I’m not neglecting here the project sign-off, as signing-off a project on time with all the features that were in the RSD and with the required quality means customer satisfaction. But when the way became the target and all our effort is to achieve the points on the way without understanding what is the target of the project, for sure we will get the wrong results.

Customer satisfaction is the responsibility of everyone involved in a project since its early days when it was just a lead, some projects failed or faced a lot of problems just because the sales person told the customer something that can’t be done, or told him something and write something else in the proposal, but it is there in the customer’s imagination and he is waiting for it at the end.

Projects like this may be canceled just after this point while collecting the detailed requirements, the customer may hear too many times “out of scope and you have to pay for this and we will change the delivery date” that lets him think that he was talking to someone from another company and this is not a good company, and in this case it will be so difficult to achieve this customer satisfaction.

Please, if you are a sales person or helping the sales team, make sure that everything is clear to the customer and is written in your proposal, otherwise don’t blame the delivery team that they didn’t satisfy the customer because it was just you who lost him.

As a project manager this conflict must be solved immediately through good communication not just sending emails and receiving emails between you and the customer and the sales team, and don’t start this project before solving this problem, as you can’t start project and you can’t write the requirements, and for sure you can’t manage a project without knowing that is the requirements of this project.

As a conclusion, the first step to satisfy the customer and to sign-off the project is to have clear written requirements, and to sign it off after reviewing it perfectly by your team and make sure that the customer understands what is written and has reviewed it and say it to him face to face: "You must read the document!!!" in our region you will hear it many times from customers: "I didn’t read it before, it is too much and it is in English" No problem if he said it in the beginning, but it is a disaster if he said it after a while.

No comments: