Client Communication in IT Projects

Client Management

Project Management as a profession has existed since a long time and you can find innumerable articles/thesis/books/papers on various aspects of project management not to mention our very own PMBOK guide which talks about how project managers should behave.

The guidelines have largely suited construction projects but with change in time today you see more IT project managers to be PMI certified than others. The question is whether the guidelines or framework dives deep into nuisances of project management in Information Technology or specifically Web Development projects. The idea is not to challenge the credibility of PMI but to explore and identify key skills required for managing such projects.

Project Manager or Client Manager

One of the key skills which is universal but extremely important in Web development projects is the communication with the client. The Project Manager is the contact point for the client to the development team and is also a representative of the client for the team. He not only champions the cause of the client by translating his requirements to the team but also takes care of the development team who in most cases cannot accede to all the requirements of the client.

In projects such as web development, communication can be tricky because of minute but important requirements of the client. The change of colour of a button on a page may be a small change according to the client, but a bunch of small changes takes considerable time for the technical team. Time is the only criteria clients are charged in most of the web development projects and hence spending more time means affecting the triple constraints of the project – scope, schedule and cost.

Today’s small is tomorrow’s big

The Project Manager has to assume the responsibility of effective communication wherein he should ensure that minor changes as requested by client are accepted and managed effectively so as to ensure less time spent by the developer. During one of the web development projects of E-Nova, we tracked that we have spent a lot of time making small and minor changes and this time has been almost two days of development team. The time spent dealing with such issues is difficult to track and comes into picture only later when minor changes becomes big and hence time consuming.

So, next time you are managing an IT Project, take proper care on how you deal with small changes because today’s small will be tomorrow’s big. The skills learnt and practised here will go a long way in ensuring a successful project.

Project Manager at E-nova Technologies

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