Marketing Advisor Update

Sales and marketing tips, insights and advice for service businesses amd companies selling complex or technical products.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Who do you blame - client or service provider?

Who is to blame when projects don't work out as intended? It's easy for the client to blame the service provider. And it's easy for the service provider to claim the client got it wrong. In this report about bungled IT projects at the Australian Defence Force, the deputy chief executive officer of the ADF's procurement arm, Kim Gillis claims...
"The reality is the people who actually got it wrong are the industry participants who are actually providing the services"
On the other hand, in support of service providers, they can often claim clients:
  • Change the objectives midway through the project.
  • Don't provide all the details at the start.
  • Don't follow through on key recommendations affecting other aspects of the project.
  • Don't communicate in a timely or effective manner.
But in reality it is a two-way street. Both client and service provider need to go to great efforts to make sure communication is clear and unambiguous. And, as a service provider myself, I take it as part of my role to help make sure clients understand what and how they need to be communicating so we don't end up with a communications breakdown.

Bottom line... In my view it is the responsibility of the service provider to lead the client in how to best communicate, given the task at hand. That's part of the skill-set a professional service provider brings to the client.


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