Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson, which continues our look at a project kickoff meeting.
Anyone who’s been involved with projects should know just how important it is to have good communication with a client. And good communication starts right at the beginning, at a project kickoff meeting. That’s when you’ll have the chance to make sure a client understands how you work and how the project should run.
In our last lesson, we looked at some of the basics that you need to cover in your first project meeting. Today, we’ll look at some more ways of increasing your chances of avoiding problems and ensuring that a project runs smoothly. In many cases, it can be a good idea to actually bring up potential obstacles in your meeting. If you see something that might impact the timeline or the budget, you can let the client know about it. And that might mean that you have to educate the client about your work process.
When you educate a client about your development process, you might find yourself using too much technical language. But if you want the client to really understand, you might have to rephrase that information in simpler terms. Of course, you don’t want to focus too much on potential problems. And for that reason you should know how to redirect a discussion away from problems and toward other issues. For example, you might need to ask the client for important information to get the project started.
In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Martin and Jill. Their company, OptiTech, is starting a new project to develop software for a logistics company. Martin and Jill are kicking off the project by holding a teleconference with Zara, the manager of the client company, and Liam, their IT manager. In this part of the dialog, Martin and Jill are making sure Zara and Liam understand potential obstacles and the development process.
1. What does Martin say is the cause of some potential obstacles?
2. What is Jill’s simple explanation of a technical idea that Zara didn’t understand?
3. When Martin redirects the discussion away from obstacles, what does he say he wants to discuss?