New word

Word: Aspire

Meaning: No!

Usage: Thats a great feature to aspire to, but we wont be able to get it into this release.

Whats your favourite approach to managing user expectations? Obviously we would all prefer to give our customers exactly what they want, when they want it, to a quality and price we are all happy with. Meanwhile back in the real world compromises have to be made.

I currently suggest putting the non critical stuff into an imaginary ‘phase 2’. Which rarely actually happens as they usually loose interest once the biggest pain has been cured.

I’ve been hearing aspire, and aspirational a lot recently, and wonder if thats that is a better way of saying no. What do you think?



3 Responses to “New word”

  1. Rob Bruce Says:

    Similarly to your “Phase 2”, I often use the concept of “that’s really a version 2 feature”, or if they’re really insistent, “that’s version 1.1, after it’s had a chance to bed in with the users”.

    The biggest thing here is usually the delivery deadline. When push comes to shove, you’ll offer a features vs. prompt delivery choice, and the client will go for delivery nearly every time, in my experience.

  2. Marcus Says:

    “Quote Adjustment”

    “That sounds like a great idea and I’m sure we can accommodate it. Let’s discuss the repercussions again, after I’ve done a quote adjustment.”

    The adjustment itself maybe one of time, dollars, manpower, client involvement (e.g. more stringent UAT). Allowing the client to see the impact their request has made on the bottom line (delayed project, higher quote) is of great benefit. Whimsical requests get dropped, serious ones are deliberated – but at least there’s been a thought process.

    Once you’ve gone through this process a couple of times, the next time you make the statement you often hear: “No, that’s okay, it was just an idea.”

  3. MikeC Says:

    I use a similar approach to Rob regards the delivery of the item. Something along the lines of “Yeah, I can see that you’ll get a definite benefit from that*, I’ll have a look later today/tomorrow to see how that will affect the delivery schedule we discussed previously…”

    They generally lose interest in most things once I tell them it’ll take an extra week for delivery.

    *: variable level of sarcasm in voice for the first part of this…

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