General discussion


How do you handle btw Boss vs Client?

By tekichan ·
Although the slogan of "Customer is your boss" is definitely accurate, being a project manager, sometimes I face difficulty to balance the customer's need and my company's profit. Customers may require many feature or deeper feature on a system so that your project may be extended or even get loss.

You may suggest make a detail contract or requirement specification. Theoretically it sounds good but text can never cover all the things. When you can't get satisfication from customers, they candemand a lot without violating the contract. But when you follow what they suggest, you will work and work again until die.

Have you face the similar problem? How do you handle it? Please share your experience in detail.

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Change approach

by Oldefar In reply to How do you handle btw Bos ...

The problem appears to be with a defined deliverable under a fixed price billing scenario. If the deliverable cannot be defined, it can never be shown to be complete and you end up with the black hole situation you currently face.

Since you havestated that defining the deliverable is not possible, change the billing approach. Use a service type billing mechanism. The customer pays for your time, and keeps you until he is either satisfied or out of money.

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Common! requires detailed working!!

by pksign In reply to How do you handle btw Bos ...

This is day-to-day problem in competitive environment and I have often come across such situation where I would not like to lose my customer on one pretext or other.
Whatever may be the case company comes first and companies have negative impact onits interest by losing its customers.
By calculating various cost criteria (which can differ from organization to organization) we have been able to sort out and reached at some scenario where we have defined true variable cost of a product / project. Then there was fixed cost, which we have already loaded on our regular projects/ products. This was extensive exercise, which we carried on last three years sales turnover and arrived at true contribution prices.
The prices were further subdivided like price to customer inclusive of all add on, contribution prices with ASP (Adv.Spent) and net contribution prices. We use to calculate cost of additional demand from a customer and look on our gain on contribution prices, if it was falling within the range then agree to it, but our management preferred to cancel the contract to be carried on negative contribution prices.
This has worked very well whereby decision-making time was reduced, a clear guideline policy was generated and we couldgive a very Sharpe edge to our top part of Sales and management team. What?s more everyone accepted and agreed to this policy of offering freebies!

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You're not alone

by lo/rez In reply to How do you handle btw Bos ...

Your post reminds me of times when I have been in the same situation.

I checked this site and found few articles that may help you. Even though they are not direct answers to your question somehow they illustrate methods we could use. They helpedme and gave me ideas.

These two articles are both by Meredith Little:
Special project? Consider per-day billing at


How independent contractors can avoid gettingburned by too many client revisions at

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by TheChas In reply to How do you handle btw Bos ...

Everyone wants something for nothing.

I worked for a firm where we were disciplined if we gave the customer ANY feature or option that was not specifically detailed on the signed contract.
If they wanted something more, they had to request a re-quote.
Of course, the new quote from the firm was at a significantly higher price.
Re-quotes and litigation was how my firm made its profits.

Consequently, we NEVER had any repeat clients.

You and your boss need to define what constitutes acceptable support for the client without causing the company to loose their shirt in the process.


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The less is better than the bad or else?

by tekichan In reply to How do you handle btw Bos ...

Thanks for your valuable response. Summarizing all, does it mean that it should give the bad customers' money instead of putting methods on the bad customers to ask for the impossible money?

But sometimes it seems difficult to judge what we should do. In this poor economy, we had to struggle for getting more business so the value of each customer becomes bigger and they always say that if I don't buy you, I can select another one.

In the normal situation, giving bad customer up is right.But in this abnormal situation (perhaps it would last for much longer. Bush, please help me ), what consideration should we think thoroughly?

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