The Ruby Freelancers Show 033 – Managing Client Expectations


Evan Light (twitter github blog)
Eric Davis (twitter github blog)
Jeff Schoolcraft (twitter github blog)
Jim Gay (twitter github blog)

01:30 – Dealing with unrealistic expectations

03:13 – “The Iron Triangle”




04:02 – Bad management

05:07 – Establishing expectations


Schedule & Budget

08:08 – Rescue Clients & Projects

11:34 – Developers are not interchangeable

12:03 – Approaching a project

13:55 – Business owner and end user communication

16:58 – Client Communication

Hired guns

21:47 – Amateurs vs Professionals

24:04 – Managing communication expectations

28:57 – Engagement & Evaluation of process

34:24 – Wrapping up a project

38:36 – Types of projects

Clearly defined outcomes

42:23 – Client domains

47:33 – Influencing clients and teams towards better practices

50:30 – Clients that don’t want your input

Kalzumeus Blog (Eric)
gfxCardStatus (Jim)
The New CTO: Uncle Bob (Jim)
Verizon LTE (Evan)
Kalzumeus Podcast 3: Growing Consulting Practices, with Brennan Dunn (Jeff)
IBM 168 | Earning Passive Income with Software, an Interview with Dane Maxwell (Jeff)
Anvil for Mac (Jeff)

JIM: Are we the optimal people to talk about this?

EVAN: Oh, god. How long are we going to spend figuring this out?

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EVAN: Hi and welcome to the Ruby Freelancer podcast. I'm your temporary host in lieu of Chuck not being here. This is Evan light and today, I got here Eric Davis.

ERIC: Hey!

EVAN: Jeff Schoolcraft.

JEFF: What's up.

EVAN: Jim Gay.


Jim Gay?

JIM: Yeah, I'm here.

EVAN: OK. Cool.

JIM: Thank you. That mute button is not working like I thought.

EVAN: (laughs) Nice. And that is already in the recording. And today we are going to talk about Managing Client Expectations. So, who wants to get started?

JIM: the first thing that comes to me with managing client expectations is an experience I had on a project where, we were in crunch mode right in the start of the project. It was a rescue project and it was terrible code and the project manager was agreeing to his superiors that we would get x,y and z launched by a certain and who would come and tell us the date. And that's always a recipe for disaster. And we have a new developer come on to the project. He had been there like, I think he came on Friday and we had to do work for the weekend. So he, like his first start on the project was over the weekend, Monday morning.

We missed the deadline of course because things weren’t working right. And the project manager came in; we were doing our stand up meeting Monday morning and the first thing out of his mouth was, “You guys are killing me.” And it totally killed our morale. So right from the get go, we all have to put everything together and figure out, like, “Oh, how are we going to work on this person who clearly has a misunderstanding of what can be done on the project or with the development team.” So that was the challenge right from the get go for me.

EVAN: In my experience,