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Vice Versa Client Management - Digital PM Summit, Philadelphia 2013

Sam Barnes
October 15, 2013

Vice Versa Client Management - Digital PM Summit, Philadelphia 2013

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3duj7DL2_Tw
Site: http://www.thesambarnes.com

Having worked with and delivered projects for too many clients to count, last year Sam found himself in the surreal position of actually being a client himself, responsible for selecting a digital agency, designs, copy, functionality - everything.

He thought he’d be an awesome client, he thought the project would be easy - he thought wrong!

Instead he gained a unique insight into what it’s like being on the other side that will forever change how he perceives clients and delivers web projects.

Find out what he learnt as well as Sam’s ‘revised’ approach to managing clients, stakeholders and teams.

Sam Barnes

October 15, 2013

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  1. Vice Versa Client Management

  2. @thesambarnes thesambarnes.com

  3. None
  4. One face of client management

  5. Another face of client management

  6. None
  7. “Or at least move it round the side of his

    head a bit”
  8. None
  9. Confession 1 I laughed and swore at client requests.

  10. Skip forward a few years...

  11. I went to the dark side...


  13. Confessions 2 and 3 I thought I’d be the best

    client ever in the universe! I thought the project would be easy!
  14. WRONG!


  16. Hiring a digital agency 1

  17. None
  18. Time consuming Tiring Repetitive ...for many clients Daunting Meh!

  19. Just to get five agencies in...

  20. Took brief from boss Created written brief Found agencies Contacted

    agencies Sent project brief Answered questions about brief Arranged times key people can meet Booked meeting rooms & confirmations
  21. So, to get five agencies in... A few hours of

    meetings and research. 10x emails per agency = 50 emails in 2-3 days. Not so bad right?
  22. Many clients don’t have dedicated time for projects.

  23. None
  24. Proposals 2

  25. None
  26. None
  27. Confessions 4 and 5 I didn’t read every page. I

    $ kipped to the costing page.
  28. Put costs first in your proposal?

  29. IDIOT!

  30. YOU’RE THE IDIOT! Always find out a client’s budget.

  31. Put costs first in your proposal? Here’s how much we

    want to charge you. ...and here’s why we’re worth it.
  32. Project timelines in proposals 3

  33. None
  34. Overselling is a false economy

  35. schedule-realistic.pdf

  36. None
  37. What can I do about overselling? Get involved in pre-sales!

  38. Client meetings 4

  39. Audio record client meetings The practical meeting tip.

  40. None
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  43. Audionote Notability Pear Note

  44. Sony ICDPX333.CE7 4GB PX Series MP3 Digital Voice IC Recorder

  45. None
  46. No bullshit meeting talk The experimental client meeting tip.

  47. “We could do that, but...” “I see where you’re coming

    from, but...” “I agree with you, but...” “That’s interesting feedback, but...”
  48. None
  49. Directness as a differentiator Managing clients is easier when you

    can be direct.
  50. Educate your clients 5

  51. “When you step into the room with a client, you

    are a visitor from the future...”
  52. “You, web professional, spend your days immersed in the new

    paradigms of the multi-device web. Yet even for you, the constant change and adjustments that come with living on the internet can feel overwhelming. So how do you think your clients feel?” Matt Griffin, Client Relationships and the Multi-Device Web
  53. Explain digital PM and agencies In detail.

  54. Present your PM process Whole project lifecycle. Common project issues.

  55. None
  56. Scope Time Cost Quality Quality

  57. Project process takeaway

  58. OMG DESIGN ITERATIONS! From the client’s perspective...

  59. Confessions 6 and 7 I was a nightmare client when

    it came to design. I didn’t give a crap about iteration limits.
  60. “I know Sam found this hard as he is definitely

    a perfectionist and found it hard to be just on the outside of this process. This led to a certain degree of pixel pushing and numerous iterations.” The Digital PM who managed me.
  61. Explain your agency processes In detail.

  62. Be adaptable Process for the sake of it is just

  63. “The best kind of agency and client relationship is when

    the client’s company forget that you’re a third-party supplier.” An old boss of mine.
  64. Manage clients like your team 6

  65. My team wah wah wah wah

  66. wah wah wah wah wah wah

  67. None
  68. I see...

  69. So what are YOU going to do about it?

  70. Huh? If your team are failing, then YOU’RE failing as

    their manager.
  71. WTF!?

  72. If a client is failing, you’re failing.

  73. Treat them like one of your team But never at

    the expense of your actual team.
  74. What a client’s day is like 7

  75. Opinions, opinions, opinions

  76. Strength of a bear

  77. None
  78. Help the client out

  79. Make the client look good

  80. Managing expectations 8

  81. None
  82. Not just for clients How?

  83. One simple Jedi technique Are you ready for this?


  85. mind.blown


  87. “A No uttered from the deepest conviction is better than

    a Yes merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” Mahatma Gandhi
  88. @brettharned #stalker “Honest and friendly chat resulted in agreement”

  89. However, be warned...

  90. “Sam, you have about as much tact as being hit

    in the face with a brick.” Another old boss of mine.
  91. Weekly reports from day one

  92. What was done this week What will be done next

    week Blockers / issues Revised project timeline Revised project budget
  93. Dealing with Megabeasts What the f*&k is a Megabeast? 9

  94. None
  95. None
  96. One way to deal with Megabeasts

  97. The right way to deal with Megabeasts

  98. None
  99. None
  100. None
  101. None
  102. None
  103. None
  104. JUST DO THE RIGHT THING No matter what, just keep

    doing the right thing, and it will all be ok in the end.
  105. None
  106. “He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no

    mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.” Sun Tzu PMP, The Art of War
  107. You remain the professional one You can never be accused

    of anything Always on solid moral ground Gain respect for not reacting Exposes the problem in the right way It REALLY pisses Megabeasts off :)
  108. Just one more thing...

  109. Get client feedback Really listen, learn and change. 10

  110. “Sam, it was great working with you and I learned

    a lot...”
  111. “HOWEVER”

  112. “In the nicest possible way...” YOU WERE A PAIN IN

    THE ASS! The Digital PM who managed me.
  113. None
  114. We can change client’s faces, from this...

  115. To this :-)

  116. Thank you

  117. @thesambarnes thesambarnes.com

  118. Credits • Worst Client Comments posters by http://sharpsuits.net • Meeting

    designed by Joe Sparano from The Noun Project • Scared designed by Nicolas Hue from The Noun Project • Test Tube designed by Benton Rochester from The Noun Project • Triangle designed by Pierre TORET from The Noun Project • Angry designed by Austin Condiff from The Noun Project • Neutral designed by Austin Condiff from The Noun Project • Disgusted designed by Austin Condiff from The Noun Project • Stormtrooper designed by Simon Child from The Noun Project • Death Star designed by Andrew Forrester from The Noun Project • Death Star designed by iconoci from The Noun Project • Darth Vader designed by iconoci from The Noun Project • Group designed by Javier Cabezas from The Noun Project • Meeting designed by Julieta Felix from The Noun Project • Teacher designed by Juan Pablo Bravo from The Noun Project • Target designed by Simon Child from The Noun Project • Audio Recorder designed by André Rafael from The Noun Project • Rating designed by Dirk Schmücker from The Noun Project • Devil designed by SuperAtic LABS from The Noun Project • People designed by Tiago Monteiro from The Noun Project • Happy designed by Tobias F. Wolf from The Noun Project • http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/5023702628 • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattingham/4379387793 • http://www.flickr.com/photos/baggis/4970712962 • http://www.flickr.com/photos/cole007/3295053576 • Matt Griffin, Client Relationships and the Multi-Device Web