Just Saying No
In the business of consulting, our main goal is to make, and keep, our clients happy. Many people think that the secret to making clients happy is always saying "yes". From our experience, this isn't always good advice.
According to researchers, something like two-thirds of all software engineering projects end in failure. And we figure that our job at Tivix is to keep our clients' projects safely on the success side of that daunting statistic.
A typical engagement kicks off by agreeing on a certain feature set, based on the vision of the client, to be delivered by a certain deadline. As the project gets underway and the client starts seeing their vision become a reality, new features are often requested. This is otherwise known as feature creep. They believe if they just add X or Y, the product is really going to take off. It’s a scenario anyone (including us), with an idea they are passionate about, can relate to. While sometimes these features may be necessary, most of the time they just aren’t. While we could easily agree to tack on features (and hours), we often take the more difficult path to push back. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do and can introduce tension during discussion, but we’ve found it’s one of the only ways to ensure a successful product completion and if explained with this in mind, the client will not only understand, they will trust you.
By staying focused on the essential deliverables and pushing back against feature creep, we are able to deliver successful products on time and within budget for our clients. At the end of an engagement, this is what leads to successful projects. And successful projects make for happy clients.