Once upon a time, an army of two countries joined to fight one strong enemy. Both armies joined to form a massive power. The Leaders of both the countries were confident that they would win the battle. So, as per the plan, they attacked the enemy. The enemy didn’t budge. But, the two armies keep on pushing hard. Months passed, and after huge capital loss, leaders of both countries discussed the situation. They hired a special consultant to investigate the reason for the lack of progress. The consultant submitted the report.
In the report, he mentioned that both armies find it difficult to communicate. Both have trained in very different environments. They have different approaches, tactics and strategies to fight. They don’t fully understand the enemy as well. Hence, they are pushing hard but not making progress.
This is the exact problem with the Customer and Vendor Project teams too. Both teams are like armies of two separate countries. As a result, there is often too much confusion and chaos during the project initiation. So, what you can do about it!
As a Sponsor, get your team to prepare for onboarding the vendor team. Prepare and plan the site walkthroughs. Prepare a list of industry/business-specific keywords and acronyms. Prepare as much information as possible explaining systems, processes, stakeholders, problems, assumptions and constraints. The objective is that when customer and vendor project teams connect to fight against the status quo, they can communicate effectively.