The root cause of many problems that come up in the course of doing a project originate in a disconnect between what the client says they want and what they really need. The disconnect may come about because the client is swept up in a euphoria over the technology and is so enamored with what they see on the web, for example, that they have convinced themselves that they have to have it without any further thought of exactly what it is they really need. The disconnect can also come about because the client does not really know what they need. Traditional Project Management (TPM) forces them into specifying what they want when that is the absolute wrong thing to do. If there is any reason to believe that what the client says they want is different from what they need, the project manager has the responsibility of sifting and sorting this out ASAP. That is one of the reasons for the Conditions of Satisfaction (COS).
Many projects run into trouble at the very beginning. For some reason, people have a difficult time understanding what they are saying to one another. How often do you find yourself thinking about what you are going to say while the other party is talking? If you are going to be a successful project manager, you must stop that kind of behavior. An essential skill that project managers need to cultivate is good listening skills.
Good listening skills are important in two critical stages of the project planning phase.
The first, and the ideal ...