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

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Thu Aug 2 18:22:55 CDT 2007

On 31 Jul 2007, at 03:16, Matt Warden wrote:

> 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).

Yep - I've helped develop RFPs. I've also helped develop RFIs,
which are a whole step before that. And I've done a big-ass
pre-RFI discovery phase (6 people for nearly a year... but that
was for rather more than a single website!)

And I've responded to all of the above.

*Good* RFPs are more than just a checklist of "You can do this, right?"
items. They give you a large degree of scope to go into your
understanding of the client's needs and your approach to solving
them. You simply can't respond to them blind, and anyone expecting
you to do that is going to be a trial of a client. You have to spend a
good deal of time in the RFP response development talking to the
client, unpicking what's behind the RFP text.

> 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),

That's not to say that you shouldn't nail down a baseline from which
to track and cost the inevitable changes!

> 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.

and also as an aide-memoire to you, so you don't miss anything
critical out (such as "how/how often do you envisage content updates


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