Signing something off can be daunting. It means you agree that it (whatever it is) is done. The finality of a sign off can even be debilitating to some.
I’ve just recently completed a project and experienced a straightforward, easy sign off. Though, going into the meeting I felt anxious, nervous and apprehensive. It brought back some uncomfortable memories of previous sign off situations that weren’t so pleasant.
Situation Number One:
Client Manager: “That’s great, Susan, it’s just not what I was thinking…”
Me: *heart sinks* *followed by huffs and puffs* followed some amateur dramatics that went something like this:
“I’m sorry, I don’t have the skill set of ‘mind reading’! If that’s what you had wanted, you should have hired somebody else. I have delivered EVERYTHING that was asked for, exactly how it was asked for. You yourself signed off on the requirements documentation. The fact that this project is now done, is not really a question up for debate. So, please, sign here!”
Client Manager: *Shocked and stunned, signed*
It was the end of the project. Everything was done. There was no more work to do. I had proof that all the outputs were done, exactly to spec, produced by approved specialists and tested by approved testers. All I was looking for was a signature. My original request was, “Please, sign here”.
The Client Manager was after more – some free work that had never been mentioned before. However, instead of saying that, he said the seven most irritating words ever to a Project Manager, “it’s just not what I was thinking”, which kind of tipped me over the edge…
The irony is that if he’d have been honest, I would have stuck around and helped him out. I understand that things are tight and I’m more than happy to help when I can. But he didn’t and I didn’t.
Weeks went by and I received a call.