[thelist] Your opinion: managing clients who miss deadlines

Francis Marion francis.marion at sfroy.com
Wed Sep 7 20:56:02 CDT 2011

One thing I wanted to add to this, and this is the most salient point:

We have TONNES of parallel work. We're operating at about 95% capacity of seriously concentrated and flow-full days. The problem is when a client stalls out, we can easily stuff that time with useful work, but what gets in the way is that they then want their stuff on a given calendar date (because they don't plan ahead then get peevish), which means we have to juggle previously set timelines across a number of projects.

In order for us to deliver by date X, because of the delay it means we need to shuffle the lines of project a, b and c, complete most of d way before we get materials from another company, stall that for a couple weeks, shift do managing b and a, then shift back when we can d. It breaks up natural human rhythms of what could be comfortable hard-working flowing days to crisis management and fire-fighting times. It's a drag to work 12 hour days on a long weekend because the client isn't organized.

I know that the situation will never be a model of perfection, but keeping a client on schedule creates a more stable and productive environment.

On 2011-09-07, at 4:53 PM, Matt Warden wrote:

> 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.

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