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What Do Customers Want?… Or Peculiarities of the National “Implementations”

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It’s no secret that the organization of any effective interaction with the customer is relevant to project management. One of the examples is a planned emergence of a new sphere of knowledge in the new edition of the standard PMBOK PMI – “Stakeholders Management”.

These issues are especially important for projects on the implementation of information systems, which are very different from projects on the development of production software (because they focus primarily on the alleged functionality of software, and there is no direct contact between the developer and the user). According to the author of the report, the effectiveness of the use of complex management systems depends not only on the functionality of the systems, but on the way these systems were created and implemented by the customer, and on the interaction with the representatives of the customer at different stages and levels.

But, apparently, this issue has been discussed quite a lot in the standards and “best practices”, and now everyone knows that the key point is to understand who the stakeholders of a project are, the impact they have on the project, realize who the interested parties are and how their desires can be under control.

So is there anything to discuss at all?

Yes … everything seems good in theory, but what happens when things come into practice? Especially for projects carried out in the Post-Soviet space and by Post-Soviet companies. Especially considering the fact that the design team is not one person or two people, but dozens of staff who interact daily with at least a few dozen Employees of the Customer:

  • How can we avoid “personal conflicts of interests” due to just one careless phrase which is interpreted in a different way by IT professionals and Customers’ employees?
  • How can we focus the team on the “Customer” but not on the “employee’s full name”?
  • How can we help the Customer feel unique?
  • How can we avoid constant showdowns and questions “why”?
  • How can we ensure the mode “most-favored” in everyday communication personnel from both sides, what can we recommend to your employees?
  • And finally… What do the customers want in the first place?

The answers to these questions and lots of others are not easily found in the “best practices.” And these answers can be useful, especially if they are backed by real-world examples that arise in the design practice.

The author of the report provides the answers, formulated on the basis of his own 13-year experience of participating in projects on implementation of information systems.

The reporter will also introduce so-called thesis of interaction with the Customer which is based on the answers to the questions mentioned above and which the author recommends for future usage in supervised projects.

Valery Birin

Valery BirinValery Birin

Valery Birin is the director of the department of management systems at JV closed joint-stock company “International Business Alliance” (IBA).

Professional responsibilities:

  • managing the portfolio of projects on creating integrated automated systems of managing a business;
  • managing the cost-accounting department (managing work, processes, finances, personnel, motivation).

Some facts:

  • more than 13-year experience of participating in projects on implementation of information systems (for various roles: from a programmer to a manager);
  • more than 30 companies-customers with different forms of property and of different sizes;
  • scales of projects: 20-500 automated work stations, terms – runs from one year onwards;
  • PMP® PMI;
  • A reporter at conferences SEF.BY, ТоргИт (, ПромИт (

Key interests:

  • Project management.
  • Estimating the effectiveness of IT-solutions implementation.



  • Sergei says:

    Содержательно, если буду на SECR, то схожу и послушаю доклад !

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