Accurate Estimation and Effective Negotiation – Key to Satisfaction"This may seem simple, but you need to give customers w...
However, if any of the parties are not satisfied, we see the indications as below:     •    Customers do not pay on time  ...
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Accurate Estimation and Effective Negotiation - Key to Satisfaction

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Accurate Estimation and Effective Negotiation - Key to Satisfaction

  1. 1. Accurate Estimation and Effective Negotiation – Key to Satisfaction"This may seem simple, but you need to give customers what they want, not what you think they want. And, if you do this, people willkeep coming back." - John Ilhan. Ashutosh Khire from KPIT Cummins deep dives into the core area of making a customer (or anyone) happy, using a single idea - setting clear expectations and delivering them as committed. Coming from an accountancy and auditing background, I have been involved in a number of engagements throughout my professional career, which have covered auditing, management consultancy, business process reengineering, due diligence and IT projects. Over time, my analysis and observations have led me to discover common factors that determine the success or failure of projects. 1. Customer Satisfaction 2. Organizational Satisfaction 3. Employee satisfactionThese are the key drivers and have far-reaching consequences. Let’s examine this analysis more closely here.Among the most important questions we should ask ourselves at the end of any delivery are: • Is the customer happy? • Is the organization happy? • Are employees happy?If each party involved in the delivery achieves the ethically-desired outcomes, chances are, the answers to all three questions would be‘Yes’.© 2011 KPIT Cummins
  2. 2. However, if any of the parties are not satisfied, we see the indications as below: • Customers do not pay on time • Customers do not repeat orders • Employees get irritated working on the project/ delivery • The organization is not financially stable as customer outstanding increases • Sales team has a hard time in getting new orders/ customersFrom my perspective, two critical factors that affect overall success and satisfaction of any project are: 1. Accuracy of estimations 2. Effectiveness of negotiationsEstimations go wrong in terms of: 1. Activities to be performed 2. Timelines required for activities; and 3. Dependencies for those activitiesThis may be due to the fact that the person negotiating is not fully aware of activities, timelines required and dependencies.ORIt may also be possible that the person negotiating is actually aware of the correct estimates, but is unable to convince the customer aboutthe time required to complete the project successfully.As a result, the organization ends up promising the customer a delivery, which is not practically achievable.The results: 1. Project timelines are not adhered to. 2. Employees overstretch themselves to meet impossible deadlines. 3. Project plans change too often. 4. Customer interactions tend to get overheated.All of these can be mitigated by more accurate estimation and effective negotiation.Here are some questions/ thoughts which come to my mind and, which I feel, need to be explored further. • Can we really make a customer 100% happy? If yes, what is the cost of delivering 100% happiness? • Negotiations: Can we look at a process of collaborative negotiation? We could demonstrate our skill sets to our customers, show them the associates’ cost, tell them how much money we want from the engagement, and then agree on efforts, multiply!The challenge, to my mind, lies in defining a ring-fenced scope i.e. translating the subjective output deliverables into quantifiable chunks ofwork. Trust comes after the first project is delivered, be it successful or unsuccessful. What matters is 100% effort and transparency.© 2011 KPIT Cummins

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