Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

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After developing two major php/mysql projects (over 15 weeks (700+ hours)on  
each) for two different clients, I am having the same problem. I did due  
diligence and spent major time with both clients to define the scope and  
sequence for both of them. And after the usual shakeout of minor tweaks and  
bugs, both are working and working well. The clients both agree with that.

But, both seem dissatisfied that while the projects do what they asked for  
and more that they aren't what they "wanted".  It's not about the steak but  
about the sizzle.

I no noob I've been at this since 1965.  Anyone else running into this? I  
mean I have had bad clients/bosses before. But that's not the case here.  
These are clients that have been good customers and been well satisfied in  
the past.  If you have any ideas please let me have them.

God bless,

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

i guess these guys are no programmers.
so, they won't praize your well written code.

they want to see the bling bling :)

try to team up with a good web designer.
believe me, it helps a lot.

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

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I'll bet you anything that the problems you're seeing stem from
Marketing.  What I would do in this situation is ask for specific
requirements for what they would like to have changed and offer them a
discount on the work.  When they're not able to quantify what they
want, then it's on them, and they can't accuse you of not doing what
you've asked (because you have, you've got it in writing.)

This seems to be about all you can do in this situation.  This is what
happens when MBAs try to make decisions that actually affect things in
the real world.

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

Al Kolff wrote:

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You are asking them for a complete SSD, and they're signing it, right?

IMHO, there is no other way to deal with people arguing "I didn't want it
this way".

Iván Sánchez Ortega -ivansanchez-algarroba-escomposlinux-punto-org-

Now listening to: Orco - Sunny Star0 - [5] Snow in my TV (3:57) (87%)

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

I have witnessed in the past 5-10 year, the parabolic rise of expectations.  
The tools to do work allow us to do more, faster and better -- but this  
still does not keep pace with expectations.

Not to fear, however. Despite people chronically-malcontented attitudes,  
organizations are still outsouring their programming work to people outside  
their organizations who can do it. The effect of so-called "Third world"  
programmers has been, by-and-large, absorbed into the supply-demand equation  
in recent years.

Now, couple all of this with the plethora of character-based, thin-client  
applications running out there (in the states anyways -- POS systems, etc.)  
and, having been at this for a number of years myself (27, and hence able to  
concur with you on the growing outrageous expectations among software buyers  
out there) I have to believe that this pent-up demand, and worldwide  
shortage of people willing to meet the expectations at the expected price,  
is going to drive software-for-hire work through the roof in the coming few  

Buyers, accustomed to GUI's with sizzle, and the availability in recent  
years of so much seemingly free stuff through the net, don;t have too many  
places to go to get done what they NEED to be getting done in the coming  

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

Al Kolff wrote:
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I'd say they have to define 'sizzle'. When it's just a layout/eye-candy  
issue, it's often usefull to give (or let someone else make) a  
non-working design of the UI. Also great to weed out possible user  
problems that they cannot find you perfectly working but badly placed  
usability. Just show it to the people that have to work with it to see  
if it makes sense to them.

Rik Wasmus

Estimated date being able to walk again: 01-05-2007.
Less then a week, hurray!

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

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Thank You all for the advice and suggestions. Sometimes it is good to know  
that I havn't lost it and others are dealing with the same problems.

Two side notes:
1) The staff at both organizations are in love with the software.  And are  
telling the managers that.

2) Rik I pray that all heals well. I was blessed after a total right  
shoulder replacement with a very good recovery.

God Bless all of you and Thank you again,

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

Al Kolff wrote:
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MOST of the web dev projects I've worked on since the 90's have  
ended pretty much the same way.

The way I prevent it, and generate more revenue at the same  
time, is to constantly refer to "version 2" of the site.  
Whenever they try to scope creep, I say "that's a great idea for  
version 2" and then make a note.

Then, when the inevitable dissatisfaction comes along, I whip  
out the "version 2" proposal and blame any dissatisfaction they  
might have on the fact that all this extra stuff has to be done  
before the project really sizzles.

Re: Off Topic? Handling Client Expectations

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Ever heard of eXtreme Programming?
(See )

It covers a lot of good ideas about how to handle a programming project,
including requirements, communication and the question when a project is
Especially the last one is of interest here, because the clients always
want extra polish, but seldom want to pay for it. And they rarely
realize how much work goes into it.

Best regards,
Willem Bogaerts

Application smith
Kratz B.V.

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