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Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

P: n/a
After developing two major php/mysql projects (over 15 weeks (700+ hours)on
each) for two different clients, I am having the same problem. I did due
diligence and spent major time with both clients to define the scope and
sequence for both of them. And after the usual shakeout of minor tweaks and
bugs, both are working and working well. The clients both agree with that.

But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked for
and more that they aren't what they "wanted". It's not about the steak but
about the sizzle.

I no noob I've been at this since 1965. Anyone else running into this? I
mean I have had bad clients/bosses before. But that's not the case here.
These are clients that have been good customers and been well satisfied in
the past. If you have any ideas please let me have them.

God bless,
al

Apr 26 '07 #1
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8 Replies


P: n/a
no

i guess these guys are no programmers.
so, they won't praize your well written code.

they want to see the bling bling :)

try to team up with a good web designer.
believe me, it helps a lot.

Apr 26 '07 #2

P: n/a
On Apr 25, 10:11 pm, "Al Kolff" <alko...@spam.sucks.earthlink.net>
wrote:
After developing two major php/mysql projects (over 15 weeks (700+ hours)on
each) for two different clients, I am having the same problem. I did due
diligence and spent major time with both clients to define the scope and
sequence for both of them. And after the usual shakeout of minor tweaks and
bugs, both are working and working well. The clients both agree with that.

But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked for
and more that they aren't what they "wanted". It's not about the steak but
about the sizzle.
I'll bet you anything that the problems you're seeing stem from
Marketing. What I would do in this situation is ask for specific
requirements for what they would like to have changed and offer them a
discount on the work. When they're not able to quantify what they
want, then it's on them, and they can't accuse you of not doing what
you've asked (because you have, you've got it in writing.)

This seems to be about all you can do in this situation. This is what
happens when MBAs try to make decisions that actually affect things in
the real world.
Apr 26 '07 #3

P: n/a
Al Kolff wrote:
But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked for
and more that they aren't what they "wanted". It's not about the steak
but about the sizzle.
You are asking them for a complete SSD, and they're signing it, right?

IMHO, there is no other way to deal with people arguing "I didn't want it
this way".

--
----------------------------------
Iván Sánchez Ortega -ivansanchez-algarroba-escomposlinux-punto-org-

Now listening to: Orco - Sunny Star0 - [5] Snow in my TV (3:57) (87%)
Apr 26 '07 #4

P: n/a
I have witnessed in the past 5-10 year, the parabolic rise of expectations.
The tools to do work allow us to do more, faster and better -- but this
still does not keep pace with expectations.

Not to fear, however. Despite people chronically-malcontented attitudes,
organizations are still outsouring their programming work to people outside
their organizations who can do it. The effect of so-called "Third world"
programmers has been, by-and-large, absorbed into the supply-demand equation
in recent years.

Now, couple all of this with the plethora of character-based, thin-client
applications running out there (in the states anyways -- POS systems, etc.)
and, having been at this for a number of years myself (27, and hence able to
concur with you on the growing outrageous expectations among software buyers
out there) I have to believe that this pent-up demand, and worldwide
shortage of people willing to meet the expectations at the expected price,
is going to drive software-for-hire work through the roof in the coming few
years.

Buyers, accustomed to GUI's with sizzle, and the availability in recent
years of so much seemingly free stuff through the net, don;t have too many
places to go to get done what they NEED to be getting done in the coming
years.
Apr 26 '07 #5

P: n/a
Rik
Al Kolff wrote:
After developing two major php/mysql projects (over 15 weeks (700+ hours)on
each) for two different clients, I am having the same problem. I did due
diligence and spent major time with both clients to define the scope and
sequence for both of them. And after the usual shakeout of minor tweaks and
bugs, both are working and working well. The clients both agree with that.

But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked for
and more that they aren't what they "wanted". It's not about the steak but
about the sizzle.
I'd say they have to define 'sizzle'. When it's just a layout/eye-candy
issue, it's often usefull to give (or let someone else make) a
non-working design of the UI. Also great to weed out possible user
problems that they cannot find you perfectly working but badly placed
usability. Just show it to the people that have to work with it to see
if it makes sense to them.

--
Rik Wasmus

Estimated date being able to walk again: 01-05-2007.
Less then a week, hurray!
Apr 26 '07 #6

P: n/a

"Rik" <lu************@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:f0**********@news6.zwoll1.ov.home.nl...
Al Kolff wrote:
>After developing two major php/mysql projects (over 15 weeks (700+
hours)on each) for two different clients, I am having the same problem. I
did due diligence and spent major time with both clients to define the
scope and sequence for both of them. And after the usual shakeout of
minor tweaks and bugs, both are working and working well. The clients
both agree with that.

But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked
for and more that they aren't what they "wanted". It's not about the
steak but about the sizzle.

I'd say they have to define 'sizzle'. When it's just a layout/eye-candy
issue, it's often usefull to give (or let someone else make) a non-working
design of the UI. Also great to weed out possible user problems that they
cannot find you perfectly working but badly placed usability. Just show it
to the people that have to work with it to see if it makes sense to them.

--
Rik Wasmus

Estimated date being able to walk again: 01-05-2007.
Less then a week, hurray!
Thank You all for the advice and suggestions. Sometimes it is good to know
that I havn't lost it and others are dealing with the same problems.

Two side notes:
1) The staff at both organizations are in love with the software. And are
telling the managers that.

2) Rik I pray that all heals well. I was blessed after a total right
shoulder replacement with a very good recovery.

God Bless all of you and Thank you again,
al
Apr 27 '07 #7

P: n/a
Al Kolff wrote:
>
I no noob I've been at this since 1965. Anyone else running into this? I
mean I have had bad clients/bosses before. But that's not the case here.
These are clients that have been good customers and been well satisfied in
the past. If you have any ideas please let me have them.
MOST of the web dev projects I've worked on since the 90's have
ended pretty much the same way.

The way I prevent it, and generate more revenue at the same
time, is to constantly refer to "version 2" of the site.
Whenever they try to scope creep, I say "that's a great idea for
version 2" and then make a note.

Then, when the inevitable dissatisfaction comes along, I whip
out the "version 2" proposal and blame any dissatisfaction they
might have on the fact that all this extra stuff has to be done
before the project really sizzles.

Apr 27 '07 #8

P: n/a
After developing two major php/mysql projects (over 15 weeks (700+ hours)on
each) for two different clients, I am having the same problem. I did due
diligence and spent major time with both clients to define the scope and
sequence for both of them. And after the usual shakeout of minor tweaks and
bugs, both are working and working well. The clients both agree with that.

But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked for
and more that they aren't what they "wanted". It's not about the steak but
about the sizzle.

I no noob I've been at this since 1965. Anyone else running into this? I
mean I have had bad clients/bosses before. But that's not the case here.
These are clients that have been good customers and been well satisfied in
the past. If you have any ideas please let me have them.
Ever heard of eXtreme Programming?
(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_Programming )

It covers a lot of good ideas about how to handle a programming project,
including requirements, communication and the question when a project is
finished.
Especially the last one is of interest here, because the clients always
want extra polish, but seldom want to pay for it. And they rarely
realize how much work goes into it.

Best regards,
--
Willem Bogaerts

Application smith
Kratz B.V.
http://www.kratz.nl/
Apr 27 '07 #9

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