The client of the project
Every project has to has some kind of order or commission from a client at the start. The project manager needs to get a clear idea of what the goal and scope of the project is. The final result of the project has to be presented to the client and both manager and client have to get a clear vision of what that result suppose to be in the first place.
The role of the client must not be underestimated, because it has great impact on the project management and the outcome of the whole process. Sometimes the client is represented in the form of a board or other group of people. Sometimes you will get your commission from a person who acts on behalf of a commissioning company.
The role of the client in project management
In the theories of project management the client must be able to play a certain role and to be accessible during the project for a vital flow and a clear result. A good client basically is responsible for:
- Making important decisions.
- Creating clarity of the goals.
- Creating a solid base (in an organization) for the project.
- Monitor the objectives and the process.
- Giving the project budget.
Furthermore a client must:
- Find the project important (no delegated client who really doesn’t want to have the job done)
- Have a clear vision of the necessity of the project.
- Be willing to have meetings and interviews with the project manager and the project team.
With a reliable and good client, the environment of the project, the goals, vision, and the project as a whole should be clearer and results are likely to be more successful.
Clients in project teams
We like to point out that if you set-up you project well, the client never is a team member of the project team itself. Project management is done by the team responsible for the result, with the project manager as the leader. The client is there just to give you the right directions, make decisions and giving you the budget and time that the project needs. As a project manager you should know that you can never hold the client responsible for specific tasks within the project.