Customers are difficult but there are reasons behind..

Today I was running around, from one building to another to manage the issues at work and the 3-days workshop. Customers are asking for feedbacks and pressing pressures for tight deliveries, not to mention the internal issues to work on.

I worked out a general project plan on the build schedules, developments and go-live for Production and shared with the Customer. Not only that, the Customer reverted that a fix to be pushed into Production as well beside moving to the Test environment. My reasoning with her is that we like to get her to verify and ensure the required changes are what they are expecting, sign-off and push into Production but she insisted to get the change (a change in the name of a Column) since it was being late for delivery for a month. Being flexible, we can go along with her request to push this change but just that we really need to maintain the processes in-place or else everything will go out of control again.

The team in Ireland is really keeping me frustrated. Up till now, I have not yet received the template that they mentioned to send to me since last Friday. No email update on the progress and I have been chasing them, and being ‘pressured’ from Customer to get the feedbacks as much as possible to resolve the current issue. Working with virtual teams and on different timezones are difficult whereby the offshore team do not understand what we the customer-facing team is facing when they are not directly in contact with the Customer. I have escalated this problem to my management and see how we can improve the communications and work effectively in providing timely updates to Customer. All customers are difficult but they actually do not expect us to solve the problem on the very day but to provide any possible updates that can resolve the problem. Communications is the drive to maintain relationships with the Customers.

Nevertheless, I had checked with the team and it is not possible to split that component out from the build as there are other components that are dependent on this change and have to bundle as one release to the environment regardless whether it is a Test or Production environment.  Hence this is communicated to the Customer, with assurance that once the new release is available for testing we shall inform them for verifications.


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June 2008
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