Client Expectations: Case Study
Project management relies heavily on both parties, the design team and the client, to have an understanding of the project expectations. Consider someone trying to lose weight. If they hire a personal trainer to help them achieve their goals, then they are more likely to be successful. But what happens if the client, Terry, and the trainer do not practice good project management strategies?
Example 1: Client Ignores the Design Team
The trainer creates a strict diet and exercise plan for Terry. The plan is for safe and healthy weight loss. The trainer thinks a reasonable goal is for Terry to lose 20 kilograms (kg) by the end of the year. The trainer believes that Terry can handle the plan independently, as long as Terry agrees to do weekly, independent weigh-ins and a one on one check-in with the trainer every 4 months.
Terry thinks that 20 kg is an amateur goal. Terry increases the goal to 50 kg without consulting the trainer. Terry also neglects to follow the plan and does not do the independent weekly weigh-ins.
If Terry continues to ignore the trainer, then what results can Terry hope to see at the 4 month check in? How will this impact the plan for Terry for both Terry and the trainer?
Example 2: Design Team Ignores the Client
Terry has a simple goal: to develop healthy living habits. But the trainer thinks that Terry has the potential to become a competitive bodybuilder. The trainer gives Terry a program that involves a strict diet and an intense workout regime. Terry does not have time for such a complex plan. Terry has to fire the trainer and gives up on the goal of developing a healthy lifestyle.
For Terry to have success with a realistic weight loss goal, then the trainer needs to create a realistic plan. Terry needs to stick to the plan and make use of available resources to stay on track. Terry needs to be educated for this health journey and needs to create clear and realistic expectations.
What communication strategies and tools will assist the trainer in meeting Terry’s goals? How can Terry and the trainer practise good project management skills to ensure that the plan stays focused and achieves the best results?