In any production-based business, whether it’s making websites or wicker baskets, clients will almost always request periodic deliverables. The reasons are obvious: it gives the client a clear image of how the overall project is progressing, and allows them to provide feedback before things get too far gone from what they asked for.
For the company however, the need to provide deliverables on time is a burden. To do so requires careful planning, time management, and proper allocation of both human and physical resources. Often, this objective can only be met by hiring an experienced project manager to ensure that everything progresses steadily. Unless someone willing to fulfill this role walks in and says they’ll do it for free, it is an expense that must be avoided.
Without doubt, there will come a time when a project has not made it to the point where it is presentable when a due date arrives. This introduces a significant problem for upper-level management who must deal with the angry client in question. For every problem a business can have, there exists at least one solution, and this problem is no different.
All living creatures have what is known as a “fight or flight” response. In certain situations, an animal must decide whether to face hostility and risk death, or take flight and avoid the situation completely. In the case of meeting with a client despite not having any deliverable, the best approach is to take flight.
Taking flight can have many forms. A great approach to avoiding contact with a client is to make your business look like it’s out of business, or better yet, take all upper management to a different city to gamble for the day. All other staff should continue to work a regular work day, so that if a client does in fact arrive on the premises, there will be someone to speak to. This will minimize suspicion that the company has gone completely under, as this could cause a client to cancel future payments. The subordinates will have to interact with the client directly, which takes the pressure off of already over-worked superiors.
While taking flight may appear to be a form of cowardice, this perception can be shifted upon returning to work the next day by blasting the production team for not having finished the project on time. This type of manipulation is a powerful tool for managing production workers who are not managed.
As an aside, a day spent gambling with upper management has the secondary benefit of honing their financial manipulation skills, which will definitely come in handy when taking money from clients and suppliers.
Image courtesy of healingdream.