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#170: Keeping Clients On Track

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, November 6, 2009
My clients are always behind schedule in the implementation of the recommendations I make. We have very specific timelines on all of our projects, but they always seem to fall behind schedule because of a few people on the "critical path" letting things "slip." Do you have any suggestions?

You certainly might suggest to your client that a project management seminar or "refresher" course might be helpful to get things back on track. You may feel strongly that you don't want to interfere too much in the management of your client's staff. One of the techniques you might want to try is the "reminder" method. Try using a short, friendly note sent a day or two ahead of a due date, gently worded in the form of a "reminder" that something important is due. Word choice is very important. Be sure to strategically use this phrase in your note: "Make sure to let me know if there is anything I can do to help!" You might also "CC" the project leader on the "reminder" note in order to subtly enlist their assistance in helping the team member meet the deadline.

Tip: We are rarely called on to manage our client's staff, but we can certainly play a role in expediting action items without interfering. The key is to be non-presumptuous, non-accusatory, and always willing to offer help.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client relations  consultant role  consulting process  engagement management 

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