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Project Success - "It's not the customer's fault"

Tom Jenkins - project success seminar

Last week we attended Directions EMEA - the main event in the region for Microsoft Dynamics partners, centered around Business Central and complimentary products. As a partner event, it is not just about products updates, and many of the seminars are about ways to improve as a partner. Guus Krabbenborg is well known in the industry for his experience in helping partners and customers to transform, stay relevant and succeed. One of his sessions was about project success - what is involved with making sure that projects are successful, and what does that even mean? As part of this session, four partners were invited to join a panel discussion, as well as presenting some concepts that are important with regard to the success of projects. As per usual, our representative Tom Jenkins MD, gave a different perspective on how to make projects successful...

 

"I'm not going to talk about a specific methodology or approach to a project, but a mind set for continuous improvement. If you have problems or issues with a project, it's not the customers fault!

Project success speach

 

"This is not a statement of fact, far from it, because we know that more often than not, it is the customers fault. We are the experts we've done this successfully loads of time, the customer is the unknown that is going to cause the problems, right? However, unless the customer knows the problem lies with them, then it's not the customers fault. As the subject matter experts, it is our job to guide the customer through the project, this is our day job, not theirs.

When you go into an internal project close meeting and review the issues, you need to be identifying, not what the customer did wrong,  but what could we have done to prevent the customer making that mistake?, because ...  Its not the customers fault!"

 

Project failure is not the customers fault!

"As an example, we had a project where the customer was running a fairly large project primarily through one person internally, overseeing the requirements, the data migration, internal testing...etc. This person did not have the depth of knowledge in all areas of the business resulting in changing requirements, or, the capacity for the project. Despite being told on a number of occasions that this person was a bottleneck, their project manager refused to open the project up to the rest of the company, the project was late, but ... it's not the customers fault!

In this instance, the mistake we made was having the customer project manager and Executive Sponsor being the same person, we had nowhere to escalate the issue to. This has led us to improving our project team selection criteria at the start of the project. So remember, unless the customer knows it, it's not the customers fault!"

 

In summary, with over 300 years of combined experience with Microsoft Dynamics, we see that it is down to us to have the expertise to ensure success in software implementations. Our processes are continually reviewed to ensure that we are evolving with a continually changing product and market landscape. Any company providing specialist services as a project for their customers needs to have a review process in place. But that is not enough in itself - it is important to have the right attitude to positive improvement; it is not enough to simply blame the customer. 

Jesse Lawrence

Jesse is our marketing manager, keeping an eye on the latest news in the market as well as having worked on the GDPR legislation. 

I find their approach to our relationship very professional whilst being refreshingly realistic. We now consider them to be part of our team

Technical Director

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