It is well-accepted that “challenging client” is positive speak for “a real pain,” but in the case of one client we’re currently working with, the sense of “challenge” is un-reservedly positive.
The project is a website upgrade, including a redesign and review of current functionality. The client is extremely busy, and it would be possible to deliver an acceptable upgrade by refreshing the design and retaining the current site structure and features. Such a project could be done with relatively little involvement from the client, and a correspondingly smaller budget. As the site is currently meeting the organization’s basic needs, the option of a simple upgrade must be tempting to one who has recently been assigned a pile unexpected responsibilities.
However, our client appreciates the importance of the website to the business, and has challenged us to make it even better. She embraced the task of reviewing the site afresh, to ensure it contributes to the organization’s strategic goals, as well as to optimize the user experience and brand effectiveness. In response to her keenness, we have redoubled our planning and design efforts, and we’re all pleased with the results to date.
It goes without saying that, in general, both sides of the client/supplier relationship have the same goal to deliver a fantastic solution, and both naturally strive, regardless of the level of engagement. But there is a particular satisfaction that comes with a friendly challenge to achieve mutually beneficial excellence, and I feel the current results are a testament to our client/supplier teamwork.
So while some may wrinkle their noses at the thought of having a challenging client, I only wish for more like this one!