Dealing with Demanding Customers

According to PMI's PMBOK Guide, managing a project typically includes balancing the competing demands or constraints among: Scope ("Good")Quality ("Good")Schedule ("Fast")Budget/Resources ("Inexpensive")Risk ("Wise") The relationships among or interaction between these factors is such that if any one changes, at least one other factor is likely to be affected. Yet, it's the lack of balance among these competing demands or constraints - not the actual work - that causes most conflicts between customers (especially demanding ones) and the Project (Service) Manager. This conflict can create a high level of stress for all stakeholders including the Project (Service) Manager and the Customer. If not addressed properly, the situation can escalate and get out of control quickly.Since the Customer is considered the most important project stakeholder, even though (s)he might be "wrong", and blatantly so, (s)he's still the Customer and the source of work that allows you to make a living. Such a reality dictates that you learn to communicate effectively and efficiently with him/her.This 3-hour, interactive seminar focuses on assessing the project situation throughout the life cycle, especially when changes to the requirements occur that involve these competing demands, looking for creative ways to maintain or return them to a state of balance, by opening and sustaining channels of proactive communication with the Customer. This "openness" allows the Project (Service) Manager to make trade-offs among competing objectives and alternatives using a simple, five-step approach: ListenEmpathizeAcceptRespectNegotiate
Prior to taking this seminar, students should have taken the three-hour "Eliciting and Collecting Project Requirements" seminar.
3 Hours/Lecture & Lab
This seminar is appropriate for Business Analysts, Project Managers, and other practitioners who work in transaction- and service-oriented environments, especially information technology.
  • Introductions
  • The role of the Requirements Document in dealing with demanding customers.
  • The six (6) project constraints that play a direct role in dealing with demanding customers.
  • The five (5) resulting project expectations that play a direct role in dealing with demanding customers.
  • The five (5) step approach for dealing with demanding customers.
  • Simulated practice session(s) with a classmate
  • Next Steps

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