You Shall Not Pass: Managing Expectations and Boundaries with Clients

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 3, 2010 from 3:45 – 4:30pm in Burnside


Open Source is great fun, even in the area of professional services. But sometimes, you want to be able to pay the bills with your awesomeness too. One of the areas of difficulty is setting boundaries with clients, even though you really just want to write amazing stuff.


We all struggle to maintain the scope of projects, but it’s sometimes difficult to tell a client “no”. After all, they’re the ones paying you, and they want you to deliver exactly what is in their head. It’s not simple to manage their expectations, but not doing it can sink a project.

This session is going to go into the motivations behind clients pushing on companies to deliver more. It’s also going to talk about why and how you should push back in order to ultimately create a better experience for everyone on the project. So you can get back to coding and not have the sinking feeling of dread when you open your email.

We’re focusing on CMS projects as examples, but the lessons are applicable across software development projects.

Speaking experience