This is a guest article by Dr Mike Clayton, who is the well-known author and trainer behind OnlinePMCourses.*
It was about 17 years ago. I sat opposite the new project manager. What to tell her?
The First Meeting
I remember sitting down with a new project manager over coffee. Don’t get me wrong: she had lots of good experience, but was off to manage her first project for a client the next day…
Her basic course in project management was scheduled for a few weeks’ time, so I had to help her get to grips with the basics, and I had a couple of hours to do it. I still recall the advice I gave, and I wouldn’t change it today.
Number 1: First of All, Build a Relationship with Your Client
Everything follows from this. But if you don’t pay attention to this at the start, then any errors you make may not be forgiven.
It is all too easy to get your head down and focus on ‘the project’, but remember that your client (or your boss, or your sponsor, or your Project Director) is the driving force behind the project for you. What they want needs to figure highly in your list of priorities. Without a relationship, you won’t be able to find out what that is.