How do you think that a client should be managed if they just do not want to understand the process or how things are being build? How should you react if a client always asks to shorten timings and they do not trust the people that are setting up the schedule just because they are not aware of the production process and are not willing to learn and understand?
There are only three answers.
- Your process sucks. Maybe they have good reasons for ignoring your process. It’s possible they see its flaws or it’s too complex for what they need. This might not be true, but it’s your job to consider the possibility they’re right, even if they’re only 10% or 15% right. One trick is to anticipate the likely points of tension during a project before it starts, and discuss them with your client before they happen. Then when they occur, you’ve preloaded their expectations for how to handle.
- You need to stand firm and, with patience and empathy, explain it better. You might be right, but if they don’t understand why, it doesn’t matter. You can’t expect people to pay extra money for what they don’t understand. The skills of teaching and persuasion are unlikely to come with whatever domain expertise you have, so go work on those. Or find another consultant who is better and involve them (watch and learn). The last option is to share the tradeoffs and let them decide: “yes, we can get it done tomorrow but we’ll have to cut one of these three features” or “yes, we can get it all done tomorrow, but the quality of each feature will drop”.
- Find new clients. There are some clients not worth having. If you find one, your goal is not to do business with them again. If they refuse to respect your expertise and don’t trust you, a good working relationship is impossible (If your boss doesn’t understand this situation, as in never willing to get involved and help, start looking for a new job). The occasional big fish who is difficult is hard to avoid, but generally there’s little reason for a good firm that does good work to endure insane clients.