Keeping your clients calm is a key skill that every project manager needs to learn. This simple tool will help you do just that.
Most people, and especially Type A people, need to know that things are in control at all times. The old adage “no news is good news” couldn’t be further from the truth as far as project stakeholders are concerned.
If the apparent lack of action causes your clients to start writing emails you have just added a whole host of problems. Instead of getting on with your work you will, instead, be spending time “on the back foot” providing multiple status updates and generally playing defense. That is not where you want to be.
A simple tool to avoid this is putting time on the stakeholder’s calendar. Marking out a clear time when things will be discussed lets them know that you are on top of things, provides a clear timeline, and creates space for you to actually complete the work without interruption.
Let’s take a simple example.
Your team needs to create a high-level design for review. They have told you it will take a week to complete.
Book a review meeting 6 or 7 working days from today, including the client and relevant team members. Boom!
In one quick step you have achieved the following:
- Let the client know you have things under control
- Avoided emails and requests for information that would burn time and energy
- Provided the design team the time they need to get the work done unmolested
- Created urgency with the team to complete things on the schedule they provided to you, practically guaranteeing that they will have that on time
- Let people know that if they give you a date, you will hold them to it
It’s simple. It’s effective. And it takes almost no time at all. What could be better than that?