Once I had my first project status meeting with a client at my new job. As usual, after the call I had to share meeting minutes with the client.
I asked my colleagues in what way they usually send meeting minutes. They said it was enough to create a shared document with the meeting overview and then send a link to this document to the client via email.
During the preparation of the meeting minutes a fleeting idea came to my mind that it would be nice to ask the client if the usual format of meeting minutes is acceptable. But as I was in a rush, I decided not to care about it and just do as I was suggested by my colleagues.
A penalty came immediately. The client sent an email to my manager, where he complained that he was tired of getting meeting minutes from our team in an inconvenient format of a link. He said that he would prefer getting meeting minutes’ overview as bullet points in an email message body. Add to this, my last email was given as a negative example in his message.
My first reaction was confusion. How could he do this? Why couldn’t he ask me first, not escalating to my boss? After all, I was a newbie and could not know everything.
But then I calmed down and thought. “Ain`t I to have asked him but didn’t do that?”. It was completely my responsibility and my fault. If I spent a couple of minutes and made a tiny effort asking the client about an email format, this situation would have never happened.
So, project managers, don’t try to point fingers at others. It is your project and it is your responsibility to communicate, to clarify and to make a client happy.
P.S. Do you have any stories from your manager`s life to share? Please, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.