Your customer is critical. And from most project managers’ perspectives, that is the person sitting across from him at the table or the one on the other end of the phone on the status call. That’s right… that is the customer. But what about the customer’s ultimate end user? Where do they fit in? When is the end user part of the project? On many projects the end user is the one who needs the solution.
I ran across this quote and it troubles me – partly because it is often true and because we are all guilty sometimes of overlooking end users as a central point of reference and information for the project. Here it is… “A user is somebody who tells you what they want the day you give them what they asked for.” This can be taken to mean that the user often does a poor job telling us at first what they want and the gives us a better definition once the project is over and the solution doesn’t really meet their needs.