Effective client communication is a crucial element in running a service-based business, yet it is often overlooked in favor of things we think are more important, like client work. However, it is so important for clients to feel as though they are in good hands, to know that work is getting done and progress is being made, and not to have to worry that things are falling through the cracks. This is achieved through clear, consistent communication. Take some time to review the way you communicate with your clients. Are you proactive or reactive? Are you over- or under-communicating? Have you set expectations about how you will communicate with clients, and how they should communicate with you?
That said, it is also crucial to set boundaries from day one, so that clients know when, where, and how NOT to contact you. Nobody wants a call to their home phone late scrum tools at night or during family times if it’s not an absolute emergency. Set a reasonable time frame in which you will respond to questions or requests, so that you respond promptly, but your client is not inadvertently trained to expect you to be on call at all times.
“But the software that is being designed doesn’t satisfy any information needs and is making us dependent on our hardware more than ever,” the technician thought to himself. “And the users are building systems that do not communicate with other systems through a shared data base. I know that I’m not stupid, but if I say that there is no management control here, then people will think I’m not fit for my position.” And then he praised the tools, which he knew were compounding problems for the company. “Yes, it’s quite sophisticated,” he said to the IT Director when he got back.
Identify the critical path. The critical path is simply the shortest path to completion of your project. You identify the critical path, by laying out the sequence of tasks. You identify which tasks depend on each other. You also identify the minimum time each task will take and the soonest agile management tools that a task can start.
Risk management is a fundamentally valuable asset that must be incorporated into your routine if you wish to be successful. Times change and having updated scrum tools on your team is a critical move. Look at it as investing a little to save a fortune. This is a fantastic way to generate ideas. You prevent risk, and you always stay informed on what is happening. It is literally a tool no business large or small should be without. Risk management gives you the abilities to identify, assess and prioritize risks. It is a beneficial process to avoid risky business and to prepare for them. Sometimes the risks can be avoided all together.
Google Docs is another area that should be part of your arsenal. Not only can many people collaborate online in the same doc but because your information is stored online you can access it from anywhere in the world! There are many other products and tools most of which are paid products….but worth every dime.
To start, just send a Flirt or a quick email message saying Hi–and do it often! You might be surprised how many of our great members suffer from lack of attention from their online peers. Not only might you find someone with whom you’re very interested in maintaining contact, but you’ll probably be making someone’s day.
What precisely is the problem? All too often there is a misunderstanding about what you’ve been called in to do. Sometimes this is because the Sponsor isn’t clear. Take some time to talk through the scope of the assignment and the extent of your powers. This often helps your Sponsor to get a grip on his own role and responsibilities as well as on yours.
The Schedule Performance indicators compare two absolutes: the work actually performed and the work that was scheduled to be complete by the current date. These numbers are referred to in the PMBOK as the Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP) and the Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS). Budgeted Cost can be expressed in non-monetary terms, such as units of time which is the approach we’re going to use here. Your source for this information will be the you can find out more you use to break the project work down and maintain the schedule. The single most common tool in use today is Microsoft’s MS Project. So the problem is, how do we convert cost based metrics to a time base?
These are some of the tips I have learned or collected over the years. I hope you find some that you can use. Implement one at a time and go from there. The more you can manage your time, the more you can accomplish, the more motivated you can be to reach new goals, and you can more fully enjoy the freedom of being a freelancer. Good luck!
Change for the sake of change is not a good thing. Any process change should be driven from retrospective discussions and the desire to reduce or eliminate impediments. What is holding your team and product back? What was the root cause of the problems you encountered? The team should discuss these issues and pick one or two top issues and agree to work on them and try to find solutions to them. If that means changing Scrum, then CHANGE SCRUM!