Team responsibilities towards clients

Ha posted recently about personal responsibilities and projects. The short summary is that only working within project agreements sometimes is not enough, because the end result might not be to the satisfaction of the clients management, and the personal responsibilities people need to take in not accepting that.

From a project management perspective that is discussable. Sure you need to keep in mind to work towards the business case. But in the end within a project if the clients responsible persons accept additional risks, changes in deliverables, etc there is nothing wrong from the projects point of view. He is responsible internally for discussing if the changes are still within boundaries to satisfy the business case, and react on that within the project. If this leads to problems later you get in the difficult discussion that the project did not deliver what was expected, but everybody did a good job. I guess that’s a tough discussion.

On the other hand, in a client-supplier relationship you want to be more pro-active in that. But some talks/advises/discussions cannot be done within the normal project flow. But fortunately in a client-supplier relationship we also have account management (or program management or other relations). So a level outside of the project that has contact with a client level of people also outside the project, that can make decision on the project.

In Ha’s example I think the project agreements should be hold, until on the higher level decisions are made otherwise, meaning the project definition is updated. The personal responsibilities here are on communicating well enough with colleagues (project management, account management, etc), so the complete supplier organisation can advise the complete client organisation, on multiple levels and in ways suited to the level. In the end everybody from the supplier should work as a team, to be able to give the client as much value for money as possible, under changing situations. This is the added value for the client compared to only following project agreements.