Client projects are always interesting and rewarding to work on, but without setting very clear expectations with your client before the scope and specific deliverables for the project, projects can easily go awry.
Clear communication from the start will help set what the client expects, the deliverables, and the dates set for each stage of a project.
Brainleaf has a very clear post which covers how to come up with the scope of work (SOW) for your client project.
Forbes also has a great post about ten ways to set expectations with a new client.
Two of the most effective methods for setting clear expectations would be:
- Ask as many questions as possible about the project, and get feedback early on from the client so you do not assume undefinable parts of the project.
- Explain what will and will not be included as part of the project. This goes back to the SOW that any new items added by the client do not get rolled into the project without clear deadlines and agreed costs worked out in advance.
- Which method of communication will be used for the project?
- Will you be using project management software for the project like Asana, or a CRM like Salesforce?
- Will the updates be provided by email, text, or in Slack?
- Be clear in the method of communication that will work best for you and your client.
Being clear from the beginning on a client project will help stop a project from derailing or from the client assuming that parts of the project will be possible to be completed in the included deadline.