My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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You have a sales meeting that generates a Statement of Work. The statement of work includes a lot of fluff and a few line items. In your first development meeting with the client, you pitch the possibilities of what the system can be, thinking it's obvious the dream you're describing will require more contract hours. However, given all the fluff in the original SOW, the customer assumes it can be done under your current agreement. Subsequent meetings revise the project features downward until the customer sees the deliverable: in their eyes, it's a bottle rocket. But you've built more than you ever thought you agreed to - it's a bona fide spaceship.

Focus on your customer's feelings, be clear about deliverables, and if you don't intend to deliver the fluff, don't talk about it as if you do. Don't design contracts and project meetings around making yourself feel warm-and-fuzzy. Stroking your ego like this makes you feel like a hero who under-promised and over-delivered. Unfortunately, the customer got the opposite impression.

How is it that two groups of people experienced the same phenomenon, yet come away interpreting it world's apart?

Miscommunication and failure to manage expectations.

If you fail to communicate and verify what was understood was what you intended to say, you're liable to set expectations much higher than you can possibly deliver. That leads to pissed-off customers, or worse: past customers.

Hey! Why don't you make your life easier and subscribe to the full post or short blurb RSS feed? I'm so confident you'll love my smelly pasta plate wisdom that I'm offering a no-strings-attached, lifetime money back guarantee!

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Cool graphic!

Posted by Ocala Webmaster on Dec 09, 2010 at 02:09 PM UTC - 5 hrs

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