Whether you're on the client or consultant side, we've all had a few bad project experiences. Projects that start off on a bad note are very difficult to get back on track, so the kick-off is extremely important. Here are three tips ZURB has learned for addressing issues before they happen.
First impressions count. The first three interactions clients and consultants have together set the tone for the future of the project. Make sure there is a clear sense of direction and purpose in each conversation. Give consideration to whether each party responds in a professional and timely manner, and how well everyone uses email. If you sense any communication glitches, address and resolve them promptly.
Are the teams in sync? Make sure you understand the strengths of your team and the client's — do they align? Determine ahead of time what will be expected of both teams and how you'll work together to solve problems.
Does everyone understand the goals? This seems like an obvious issue to address but it's often overlooked in the excitement of kicking off a new project. Make sure everyone is clear on the end goals, and determine what metrics to focus on so you know when you get there.
There's no foolproof way to avoid bad project experiences all together; however, staying ahead of potential land mines goes a long way toward making sure your project runs smoothly and everyone comes away feeling great about what you all accomplished.