[thelist] client works sheets - good or bad or just homogeneity?

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 21:16:37 CDT 2007

On 7/30/07, Alex Beston <alex.beston at gmail.com> wrote:
> How can you bond with a worksheet?

The worksheet does not remove the possibility of building the
relationship. Professional service is, of course, all about
relationships. However, if you make the analogy to larger projects,
there would be, at minimum, an RFP that outlines the intent of the
work. I say 'at minimum', because the RFP actually comes pretty late
in the game. In larger projects, a professional services firm often
assists the potential future client in developing the RFP (this is
typically because the RFP is something monolithic, while the
organization releasing the RFP is anything but).

So, anyway, the point is that these are two different things. I don't
think the worksheet is a bad idea. In fact, I think it is a good idea.
Not to weed out bad clients (although you may of course elect not to
take certain work for whatever reason), and also not to nail down what
needs to get done (because it will change 4 million times after), but
rather as a good starting point; a communication that allows both
sides to come to the table, after research and due diligence, and
discuss the matter. Without this, what is the point at you take your
understanding and goes back to research the necessary information and
develop its approach? After the initial meeting? How do you set an
agenda for this meeting? Possible, but difficult. And how productive
will this meeting be when one side knows nearly nothing about what
they are to discuss. How about after a telephone conversation,
instead? Similar issues, with the small benefit of being more flexible
to end the call when it starts being unproductive, go back and
research, and regroup at a later date. But, again, in both of these,
at one point do you call your understanding solid enough to go back
and develop an approach?

To be honest, these communications are more about defining phases of
the project and managing timelines and scope than much anything else.
There is still a need to build the relationship; that is a separate

Matt Warden
Cincinnati, OH, USA

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