[thelist] Your opinion: managing clients who miss deadlines

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Wed Sep 7 15:53:40 CDT 2011

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 4:41 PM, erik mattheis <gozz at gozz.com> wrote:
> All our delivery dates are contingent upon the client's delivery/approval
> dates. I would think any other kind of arrangement would be inequitable.

I did not read his message as saying he's worried about being blamed
for missed delivery dates when input from clients is delayed. That's a
relatively tiny issue and, as you say, it's not hard to make the
argument that delivery dates must be pushed, even if that wasn't
explicit in your contract.

The issue, as I read it, is that it is difficult to manage utilization
of himself or his team when there are these kinds of delays. He is
either explicitly paying salaries or incurring opportunity cost every
minute of the work day that goes by without client work due to these
delays. You either have to have enough projects in parallel that you
can juggle time across those projects and keep utilization relatively
high (though it will still take a hit), or you have to sit there idle
as you wait for the next work opportunity after client input.

Your success as a service provider depends on how well you can pack
revenue-earning time against the fixed costs of your resources. These
delays are a direct attack on that performance, which I believe why
the OP is asking the question.

Plus, it's annoying.

Matt Warden

This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.

More information about the thelist mailing list