As consultants, we are brought in to use our expertise and help our clients move forward. We want to consistently provide value and rarely shy away from new opportunities to do so. We love to say “YES” to client requests and set a precedence for high-quality work, quickly. However, this trend can quickly lead to a sea of yeses and an ill-equipped life raft. At Digineer we practice a commitment based management philosophy that ensures our consultants do not end up adrift in a sea of yeses.
So how can YOU say “yes” and not over commit?
Before the yes, first, ensure you and your client are aligned to an explicit definition of done. This means you engage in a little dialog on expectations. Certify the request is fully articulated and both parties agree on how, what, and when it should be delivered. Only after this first step is complete should you make a promise on delivery.
What if you’re being asked to commit to an unrealistic deadline?
Once you fully comprehend the breadth and depth of the request, you are in an ideal position to make a sound commitment to delivering what’s been agreed upon. Negotiate a timeline that works for you and your team, without forsaking existing commitments or a backlog of work items. If this offer isn’t suitable to your client, ask her to continue the negotiation process until all parties are satisfied on the timeline.
If you said “YES,” mean it.
At this point, you’re primed for a successful delivery and a happy client. In order to avoid missteps and rework, keep a line of communication open with your client to ensure you are tracking towards delivery. Fulfill your commitment as agreed upon, confirm your client is satisfied, and move on yours to next “Yes.”
At Digineer, we practice a Commitment Based Management (CBM) methodology which enables our Consultants to always says yes and not over commit.
Learn more about Digineer’s Commitment Based Management methodology: firstname.lastname@example.org