The power of communication

I’m always amazed how to hard it is for some people/firms to understand that communication is a major reason for project success or failure.

For example, on one of the projects I’m working on now is a content management system implementation. My role is as overall program manager responsible for managing internal and external resources as well as managing the vendor relationship.

The vendor was in town a few weeks ago to work with the client to develop requirements for the initial phase. Their plan was to return to their office and get a proposal (including project plans) to the client the following week. When the vendor left, everyone was quite happy with their work and felt very comfortable with their ability to do the job at hand.

The following week we heard nothing from the vendor. Not a peep other than the occasional reply to an email sent from me or my client.

The end of the week came and went with no proposal or project plan and no communication from them. The client started getting very nervous and started asking questions like ‘are they doing anything’ and ‘did they forget about us’. Phone calls and emails to the vendor were left unanswered.

After a few days the client decided to make the call to the vendor’s VP of Sales to find out what was going on. She said ‘we got busy with a few other projects but we are making progress on yours’….this small simple explanation was all it took to ease the mind of my client.

The moral of the story:

The simple act of sending a quick email or making a short call to your client can really do a lot to set their mind at ease. This simple act makes them understand that you are working on their project and progress is being made.

I don’t understand why more people don’t do the easy yet critical step of keeping in regular contact with clients.

[tags] Communications, Project Management [/tags]