BEP 308 – English for Project Management 3: Initial Test Build

Business English Pod 308 - Project Management English - Initial Test Build

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for project management meetings. In this lesson, we’re going to look at delivering an initial test build to the client.

In our last lesson, we looked at how important it is to set clear expectations with a good project kickoff meeting. But no matter how well you’ve educated the client about your work process, you’ve still got work to do when you deliver an initial test build. You can’t just hand it over to the client and wait for their feedback. It would be nice if project management was that simple, but it’s not. Handing off an initial test build needs to be dealt with carefully.

For one thing, you need to manage the client’s expectations. That means making sure they understand that you’re not delivering a final product. Rather, you’re giving them something to try out, or test. In this way, project management involves collaboration, or working together with a client. And that’s something you will want to emphasize when you deliver the initial test build.

Collaboration is especially important during the testing process. And it’s a good idea to outline the procedures very carefully for the client. If you don’t, then you’re likely to encounter obstacles. When you hand over a test build, you might also discover the client’s needs have changed. Or that they want something new. In this case, it’s important to clearly identify a change in the project scope. And you need to make sure the client understands that there may be cost overruns connected to a change of scope.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Martin, a project manager with OptiTech. He’s been leading the development of new software for a logistics company. Martin is having a teleconference with Zara, a manager at the client company, and Liam, their IT manager. They are discussing OptiTech’s initial test build.

Listening Questions

1. At the start of the conversation, what does Martin want to focus on when they look at the initial test build?
2. What does Martin say is the first step in the testing process?
3. How does Martin respond to Zara and Liam’s request for “load tendering tools?”

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