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Engineers as Leaders • Project Success from Client Success

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Part 4 of 5 for the June edition of "Converging over Coffee"

This is a tricky one. How important is it to link project success with client success, when one comes with a defined scope and the other a myriad of moving parts? I was once with a consulting firm whom others considered “good with clients” and I could almost hear their unspoken “but not that good technically”! But after several successful projects, I think it’s safe to say things are not that simple.

Not suggesting to only pursue client success - they are hardly seeking that and it risks project ruin. Not suggesting also that strong project success is a bad thing in itself - but if disconnected with client aspirations, we leave a lot of opportunities on the table. Opportunities to build trust, collaborate on solutions and clarify intentions. When ignored, these turn into miscommunication, silo-thinking & mysterious changes in project direction… making project success itself impossible to achieve.

Using a theatre analogy… Project success means getting the back stage in order & the front stage following the script. Client success means getting the front stage coming together perfectly to delight the audience, but not without the back stage delivering. That’s how we get the encore.

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