Don’t Listen To Clients

Don’t listen to clients. Or rather, don’t take their first set of “requirements” as written in stone. Especially when there is no project manager filtering ideas.

(Don’t) Just Do It

Often clients will express their needs in terms of concrete functionality. In these scenarios it is easy (and lazy) to say you are just giving the client what they want, when really you are just giving them your interpretation of their interpretation a the solution to a problem.

Finding A (Better) Solution Together

The better thing to do is to work with the client to understand what they are really trying to accomplish; what does success look like to them? You will often discover that while their specific ask would sort of solve the issue, you can actually do much better because you have more context around what is possible and how the system actually works under the covers. They are experts in their domain as you are in your own, and you both have a valuable perspective to bring to the table. When this is the case, you should always present the alternative before going to work. They may love the idea, or they may reject it because they are stubborn or because you misinterpreted the real problem nonetheless.

Either way, the process of questioning the initial ask rather than blindly plowing forward reveals insights that help you produce a better solution.

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