Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Tuesday 2 August 2011

Pleasing the client

A good project does not necessary please the client. Making a real impact on the ground in the sense that project beneficiaries really benefit directly from the project, is not enough to please a client. Neither is delivering value for money and satisfying all the elements of the ToR. Nor is it enough to please a client that the project becomes the talk of town in their community and beyond. To please a client - especially in international development projects - the consultant has to think beyond the client. And think how to satisfy and please the clients of his client. In the end funding for development cooperation comes from national tax payers, it might be channeled through international organizations and a national ministry.

To please the client it is important to realize their interest and that of their clients. The project management unit may like the project to contribute to the continuity of their office, or at least provide credits for their careers. The Ministry where the management unit is placed may like to see explicit added value or extra support to their policies and priorities. The international organization involved wants the project to deliver proof of the viability of its approaches and wants templates for reusability of the project results in other countries. Finally the donor country wants concrete proof of money well spent that satisfies their taxpayers. So pleasing a client means going far beyond the ToR, while staying within the budget. A matter of project planning!

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