This is a follow up of my Article One Minute Manager meets the client and my intention of using the the One Minute Manager principles on one of our new projects. It started out as a discussion with my colleague Simen about one of the new projects starting in August and how we could improve our development process.
On Friday we had the startup meeting in the project, and after the official agenda the client and I sat down over coffee and started discussing what our expectations for the project are. It took a while before we stopped talking about the project goals and started talking about what we as persons expected from each other and everyone else in the project.
Our conversation took the better part of an hour and is one of the best client talks I have ever had. We discussed topics like expectations, thoughts, and our feelings towards the project. And then a new question that I should have done years ago, the question about what we are afraid of. As the client talked about what he was worried off and what could go wrong with the project, it dawned on me that by knowing what he is afraid of I can make sure that it does not happen. So I wrote down his fears:
His internal deadline is the same date as we as the external supplier has, so if we are not able to deliver on time, he will not deliver on time
He has a manager that wants much info about progress
He does not have application development competencies and is afraid that it will be a problem
I thought about these three fears he has and how I could make sure that they would not interfere with the project and after he had left I made myself a list as well:
I will push our deadline one week so that we are sure we can deliver on the agreed-upon timeframe, and give him the win of being able to deliver a week early
Usually, we report on a weekly basis, but I will provide him with a midweek mini report
I will spend extra time explaining the decisions that we need to make to make sure that he understands.
To wrap up the talk we started on the One Minute Goalsetting, to write down his goals for the project using no more than 250 words. Trying to write down goals that he could act upon and follow up was more difficult than what I had expected, but he came up with this list:
I will make decisions when needed and not procrastinate because I am uncertain
I will make available extra time to understand the project.
The One Minute Goal setting worked. Both the client and I was satisfied, and we came out of the meeting with a clearer understanding of each other’s point of view. Now it will be exciting to see if I can use the One Minute Praisal and the One Minute Reprimand.