Ask your customer for their references

A few days ago, at the local harbour, we chatted a little bit to a guy that was a project manager. He told a recent story that made me think about how we work in the IT industry today.

A new customer called him on the phone, and wanted him to be a project manger for a year long project in a nearby village. He had never heard about the person before, so he asked for references.

Quite opposite in our world, there the customers asks consultants for references. His reason for asking for references was that, if working in a more or less agile project, you have to be able to cooperate with the client.

If you will work in a project that does involve creativity in design, then the customer and the consultant need to work together in a team. The customer need to understand the difference of deliver where you design a specialized solution compared to a shrink-wrapped product. They need to be involved in the discussions and actively participate in resoling issues that will arrive during the project. Not throwing a contract to the other party and want until everything finished.

Do you ask your client for their references?