Client exceeds PM – delays almost entire project

Past. We were in the process of starting a virtual business. My team was responsible for the content, the delivery, and everything in between. We are very small, so I am responsible for the content.

I meet with all presenters, discuss their goals, objectives, plans, etc. then come up with what we can do to make it happen based on the timeline and all other priorities (for example, we have 40 video deliverables in 1.5 months).

Everyone agreed in December to finish a script and write a PowerPoint for a shoot in early January. Four in five customers followed the instructions and got what they wanted.

Enter the customer one of five.

Me: thanks for accepting the timeline. Have you started to write your screenplay? I’d like to see who needs to review it before creating the presentation

Customer: I have already built the presentation.

Me: Oh ok. Do you have the script?

Customer: I do not need it. We’re just going to talk about these slides.

I opened the .ppt file – it’s a landmine file, with excel tables, pictures from other companies, and simple junk.

Me: …Okay. What do you want to do with it?

Customer: I want all of these visuals turned into motion graphics.

Me: We have accepted light animations for your presentation, but you need to write a script or we won’t know what needs to be underlined or why.

Customer: Okay.

At this point, they went behind my back to speak directly with the seller, who contacted me:

Seller: Can you help me? This client wants us to create 50 bespoke assets just for him.

Me: WTF? Nobody accepted that!

I contacted the customer to resolve the issues.

Customer: Let me work directly with the supplier and opt out

Me: No, we have 35 other deliverables and we cannot achieve all of these in the desired time frame.

The client kept ignoring me, working with the vendor and expecting them to turn around graphics and animation in 2-3 hours of work – and was crazy when they couldn’t. Of course, that impacted the 35 other projects we were working on for him, as all resources go to him rather than the team.

We just wrapped up the videos last night for an 8am launch this morning. Seriously…. I almost killed him.

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