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Do you wish your project stakeholders were more involved or knew their thoughts better? You can find out by asking them.
One technique I use to ask project stakeholders (whom i call customers, since they are the customers of project management) how they feel the project is progressing. I ask them the same questions every month and ask them to summarize the project by giving me and them a score of 10.
The same principle can be applied easily. Here are 10 tips to make your projects more customer-centric.
Try to keep satisfaction scoring criteria as simple and straightforward as possible. I use a scale from 1 to 10.
You can easily track, measure, and monitor satisfaction levels using a simple process. I use a spreadsheet to record the score and any verbatim comments.
Deliver on your promises. Listen to your customers and take action!
As projects don’t happen in a vacuum, it is important to ensure that outsourcing partners and any other third parties are fully involved.
Customers will get the most value if you focus on the details. Find out what causes people the most grief and fix them.
You want your project team members to be able to communicate with stakeholders and take customer-centricity very seriously. This should be a part of how you evaluate performance. It can be included in the team’s performance review as an objective. At the end of the year, assess their project scores.
Satisfied customers make useful allies in difficult times. Keep at it. Your customers will be loyal to you no matter what happens to the project.
Collect lots of data and organize monthly meetings for small projects. The customer will not have much to comment on at the beginning of the project. A post-implementation review can provide you with some useful information once the project is finished. Sometimes, one meeting towards the end can be enough.
Use email. You can get a better picture of your project customers through oral conversations than by analyzing written transcripts. Carry out customer-satisfaction reviews in person or over the phone. Email is your last resort.
You should ignore things that are not relevant to you. Talking with customers and stakeholders can often uncover issues that have nothing to do at all with the project, such as system downtime or issues with suppliers. These issues can be passed on to the people best able to handle them.
In my book Customer-Centric Project Management, I discuss how to engage stakeholders and establish ongoing dialogues with people.