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Chapter 12. Stage seven: Close > Client's view - Pg. 151

Stage seven: Close 151 Like leaving a friend at the station or saying goodbye to someone at a club, it is the last point of meeting that will be remembered. In the same way, how you leave your client and consumer will always affect any future relationship. The danger is that once the excitement is over, you might let your guard drop and mistakes can start to occur. It is at this point that you must take the utmost care to ensure that silly mistakes do not get made and that the change finishes with style and grace rather than on a low note. On this basis it is important that all of the steps outlined in this stage are at least considered if not enacted. Client's view When you close a project, really listen and take time to understand your client's perception of what happened over the total life cycle of the change. When people are in the flow of the change process, they are often blind to the problems, changes and surprises that emerge. The nature of memory and the recency factor means that some of the early decisions and panic reactions are forgotten. It is therefore important to encourage the client to reflect on the programme and recall some of the unexpected events. In doing this, you will be helping the client to build a truer picture of the pro- gramme and learning prompted by the change, before you present your views. In trying to get the client to give their perception of what has happened, there will be a number of problems: · The person who is future focused might not see any value in the exercise. · Depending on the time taken to deliver the project, they may have forgotten most of what hap- pened. · It will be difficult to separate what happened within the remit of the project and what factors were actually beyond its scope.