[webproducers] Re: persuading a project manager that formal testing is important???

I'm reading these successive posts and am really at a loss.  Who is claiming 
ownership at the very beginning for a given project?  Who is ultimately 
managing expectations overall?  And, what kind of project
manager doesn't build in Q&A in a budget and schedule?

Oh!  I can answer that last one easily.  Anyone who claims the title of project 
manager but really isn't or else a really crappy project manager.

The person who claims original ownership has a responsibility to communicate 
with all parties concerned, sales, project management, design, development, 
programming, in one way or another.  Sales people have to
be educated to understand what must be included in any project for it to be 
successful and then communicate that to the clients.

In cases like this, I'd venture to say that the client is blameless.  Clients 
have to be educated about the process of producing this product they're 
contracting for.  That includes making sure they understand
the entire process and that Q&A is an integral part of every project and 
protects their investment.  If it is presented as such, they will accept it as 
part of the schedule and cost.  There is a responsibility
to manage client expectations.

Some of the worst experiences I've had as a client have been with fragmented 
sales and account management operations, e.g. Screaming Media, where the only 
thing that mattered was the signature on the contract
and the check every month.  It's nearly three years and I am still bad mouthing 
them and probably always will.  It should not take 8 months to set filters when 
the client has supplied everything.  But, before
that, they should have made sure my boss had a better understanding of how 
limited their offerings were at the time and that it really wouldn't work for 
us.

But, ultimately, it is the responsibility of everyone involved in any given 
project to do everything s/he can to ensure success.  Passing the buck won't do 
it.  And, shoddy client management won't do it.  And,
sloppy project management won't do it.  And, if you are in a position where 
there is no cooperation or concern for the quality of the project, walk away 
and save your professional reputation.  Minimize the
bullshit factor.

Lydia Sugarman
--
Managing Partner
Private Label InterActive
"Markets are conversations."(c)Cluetrain Manifesto
Intelligent eMail Communications Solutions
P:  212.533.3456


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