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Addictive Clients August 14, 2005

Posted by newyorkscot in Client Engagement Mgt.
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Our clients have addictive personalities. The number of times we have put people into clients on projects and can't get them moved on to other project is crazy.

The problem is as follows: a) plain and simple: our people are the best at what they do, and have a habit of blowing their clients away from a domain and technical perspective, b) SOWs come and go, and we all know that scope changes, schedules change, etc etc, so keeping SOWs in sync with reality is a tough job, and obtaining and keeping good people is a tough thing to do (once they have them, that's it in their minds).

It is the nature and culture of our people that they want to work on new and interesting projects (and so do we!), plus we want them to lead up new client and project opportunties.

So, how do you not upset your client when either the SOW expiry has come and gone and you have had other plans for your people, or you want to rotate them in a pro-active manner ?

Balancing your supply (sales pipeline) and demand (current staff allocation, bench and people you need to recruit) is the obvious thing, but reality is not that simple. I have always said look after your current clients before your future clients, and there are things you can do to actively plan and work with your clients. However, my biggest risk is always that clients DO get addicted to our people and sometimes you have to adopt the band-aid approach — rip it off, let it sting, then get on with life.

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