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Most effective ways to extract ideas from a client

How can you extract ideas from client to develop a project that will become a great experience for both, the client and your team.

Information is vital for the completion of a project, but what is even more important is gleaning relevant information at the right time. It is the client’s desire for perfection that drives our efforts in developing a quality product. Therefore, a questionnaire is a great starting point for building the idea of the product.

Taking a simple approach, a project goes through 3 stages:

  1. Requirements gathering
  2. Development
  3. Implementation

The following are tools and tips to involve your client in each of the stages; making your projects an even greater experience for both the client and your team.

Questionnaires at the requirement gathering stage

The extraction of client’s ideas begin right from the information gathering phase. When your relationship manager meets the client; understanding the client and their business becomes quintessential. This needs to be followed up with a detailed analysis of the project requirements.

This phase is often challenging, as it is more than likely that the client might not be able to pin-point what they want. What makes it even more difficult to tackle is when the client needs to be educated about various aspects of the project. “I don’t know what I don’t know” is an all too common attitude of clients. As a trusted technology solution provider, you need to be able to walk them through and help them formalize questions that they should be asking.

A successful way to resolve these obstacles is through questionnaires like the free ones offered here. You can gather relevant data quickly and efficiently by using various types of questionnaires, such as web development, internet marketing and mobile application questionnaires. Drawing a list of requirements to initialize the project becomes a much more pleasant experience for everyone.

Visual projection and collaboration during the development stage

When deep in the details of the development phase of a project, an agency often forgets that it is the client’s vision that needs to be kept in mind. Thus, collaborating with the client when the development phase is in full swing is crucial to the project’s success.

Tools like Invision are really helpful, as you can share mockups and wireframes with the client and the team. With multiple advantages of live sharing, public and private modes, hot-spotting; even the nitty-gritty of what the client requires can be accommodated smoothly.

Collaborative design on Invision

This visual projection of the idea helps streamline the thoughts in the client’s mind; ensuring the idea is translated accurately. Further, it helps show incremental progress by keeping the client involved in the collaborative design. No one wants surprises and tools like Invision allow a window into the ‘kitchen’ where the team is cooking up their project.

Feedback at the implementation stage

Receiving accurate feedback is extremely important during the final implementation stage. Asking for feedback is beneficial for several reasons. First it shows you genuinely care about the thoughts and feelings of the client. Secondly, as you show your client the finished product and listen to their responses, it opens up the opportunity to suggest further enhancements or improvements which can result in future business development opportunities.

Remember, feedback should not just come at the completion of the project, but also in small increments throughout the project. These incremental feedbacks assist you in refining the product backlog (assuming you are working in an Agile way). Don’t forget the golden rule for the feedback process – always clarify and never assume. Allow the client to crystallize their thoughts and share them freely.

information gathering cycle

In summary: Being a good listener applies to the beginning AND the end of a project!

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IT Hands provides customized solutions to web development companies and internet marketing agencies.

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