Over the last couple of years I have been speaking in public about client expectations. In doing this I have always pushed our internal team to work with clients and to communicate expectations as often as possible. I recently had a long drawn out conversation with one of our project managers on the fundamentals of project management and we spent a lot of time debating small points, edge cases and things that may or may not happen. The really productive part came as I asked more and more questions.
Eventually I came up with the following three fundamentals so that we can respond to a client at anytime: (I am very interested in your feedback)
- What work we are doing and know about? (The time to complete items in a backlog)
- What work are we waiting for more info and can't estimate or that we can't answer but can report to the client that we know about this item?
- What work don't we know about and therefore can't estimate? (Magic things that only Leprechauns or Fairies can answer)
On any project and anytime we should be able to address these three questions and report to the client. In addition we can report these three conditions to the client on a weekly basis so everyone is in tune with the status of the project. I believe these are the three main items that can always be addressed.
Are there more?
What have others done to make sure they can answer questions about a project at anytime?
What are addition KPI's* that could be addressed at the highest level?
*Key Performance Indicator