According to the report of the American research company The Standish Group (2014), about 52.7% of US IT-projects faced with such problems: exceeding the budget by approximately two times, increasing terms by 3.3 times, the implementation of only ѕ of the planned functionality of the project. 31.1% IT- projects end in failure.
`When I hear: `We had stopped the project because the customer was bad` – says Valeria Kozlova, business owner and author of Corporate EQ Method, – I understand that the situation might have turned out quite differently. As a rule, the reason for this `failure` is outside the scope of the client`s personal qualities, and lies in the lack of understanding and/or in the underestimating of the emotional component in the negotiation process`.
How to learn to communicate effectively with IT-customers and to resolve conflicts positively? Valeria demonstrated this by the example of the following practical case.
- Alexander: my client and the technical leader in the outsourcing company, comprising about 140 staff members.
- The customer of Alexander: a temperamental and emotional American.
- Experience of cooperation with the customer: 3 projects. The difficulties arose in the 4th project Alexander was originally not involved in.
The problem and the occurrence of a conflict situation
According to plan, there were 800 man-hours left to complete the project, but then came an unexpected impediment. Time and budget estimates of the project were, to put it mildly, underestimated (or rather, as it often happens – simply picked `out of the air`). After the detailed calculation (better late than never), it turned out that the completion of the project required 62% more working time than the customer expected! The customer responded with resentment, flat refusal to accept the new conditions and with the demand to make a concession. That was a critical time, when Alexander could be saved only with some new innovative solutions and strategy change, figuratively speaking, the red button. And it did work!
Three ways to activate the Emotional Intelligence are:
- not to pay attention to the `stoppers`, which are produced by the rational thought. They constrain the search for solutions and don’t allow the Emotional Intelligence to get to work. Yes, the customer is not satisfied and do not want to buy `it`. But you mustn’t get stuck, you should take action to resolve the conflict and to achieve a successful implementation of the project.
- to rely on the context, i.e., consider the situation taking into account all factors and preceding events. Alexander had both experience of successful cooperation, and the customer’s disappointment – a comprehensive view of the situation helped him to develop a strategy for action.
- to feel confident and to act. Fulfillment of the first two steps gives impulse to solve the problem. When Alexander got the willingness to solve the situation, he wrote a letter, which allowed him to obtain the desired result.
Successful resolution of the conflict
Let`s look at some of the results to be achieved with the help of the Corporate EQ Method. The first: the goal was achieved – conflict issues between the contractor and customer were successfully resolved. The second, but not less important: for the first time since cooperation began there had been established effective emotional contact with the customer (who sometimes was rather temperamental and using profanity).
Alexander’s results thanks to Corporate EQ method:
- Received positive emotions from the achieved results
- Got a behavioral advantage in the negotiation
- Reestablished the customer`s trust
- Reduced the project budget by 2 times, having saved on discounts that the customer demanded
- Excluded the possible failure of the project
- Increasing the term for the project implementation by 62 %
Using Emotional Intelligence to come out of the comfort zone and change the behavioral strategy, each of us can achieve the desired results.