People come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small. Some are calm and laid-back, others are neurotic and unsure of what they want. None of them are uninteresting if you know how, when and where to listen.
Because of the advancement of technology, nowadays anybody with an idea can transform it into a product. Throughout the years, we had thousands of leads who wanted us to give them an honest opinion and an estimate on their requirements. Wanting to create an app or a product, has now become mainstream.
In the next sections, we will get into the details of a variety of client archetypes, bundled together based on our observations.
The undecided client
Often times we had clients that did not have a clear cut objective they wanted to achieve with their product. Balancing between multiple goals, gauging and perpetually calculating the benefit of one thing over another. Features upon features, who might (hopefully) be useful to users someday.
With such a client, it is important to help him figure out why he really wants to do what he wants to do. In order to help him elucidate his motives, you can apply the rule of the 5 Whys.
The rule of the 5 Whys gets down the rabbit hole of an issue, peeling off layers of rationalization until it reaches the core of the problem. A good analogy would be peeling an onion. You start from the outside layer until you reach the core.
To give you an example, let us suppose a scenario inspired by an encounter we had with such a client. The scenario presented is simplified, in order to prove the concept and leave unnecessary details out:
Client: Hello Mobiversal, I would like an app for managing my organization.
Mobiversal: Sounds good. Why? – Why #1
C: Because I want to have an easier and greater degree of control when it comes to the systems of the organization
M: OK, but that doesn’t give us a clear objective. Let’s dig deeper. Why do you want that? – Why #2
C: Because there are times when our resources are not properly exploited.
M: OK, but why are your resources not exploited properly? – Why #3
C: Because our departments do not synchronize well and there is a lack of proper communication between them.
M: And why is that? – Why #4
C: Because people tend to share information on any kind of platform they get their hands on.
M: And why do you think this happens? – Why#5
C: Because we do not have a unified and official system in a process where information gets shared.
M: Aha! Now we know what our most important objective should be.
The overly decided client
Our purpose here at Mobiversal is to also provide consulting services. We humbly believe that after years of work poured into creating products for ourselves and others, we know a thing or two about developing software.
Sometimes clients know exactly what they want. Which is great, because it means that they’ve put in the work and done the research.
It could also mean that the client goes against your expertise, times in which you need to think and bring arguments that support your opinions. If the client decides that your arguments stand, then all is well.
But if the client insists on a certain aspect, don’t rush and invalidate his credence, because most certainly he’s done the research and knows what he’s talking about. So present your ideas, but be prepared to take a step back if needed.
The overly decided archetype can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, but usually, it’s great to have a client that knows exactly what he wants and when he wants it.
This is just a glimpse into the first chapter called „The nature of IT clients”, of our new book. The rest of the chapter goes more in depth into the archetypes presented above, but also describes more types of clients.
The book is called From A to App Success: How to turn ideas into apps that make a difference, and it is one of our crowning achievements, based on 8+ years of developing apps.
The book gets into all sorts of topics, from the ideation phase, through the business analysis, design, development, testing, etc. all the way to reaching success. It’s covers a wide array of ideas, phases and even the job specifics of those involved with app development.
You can download the book for free by accessing our website here.