Many internet agencies claim that their clients do not need to understand anything about technology for them to successfully complete a project. Only few however, follow through and totally abstain from all technical jargon on their website.
At the same time the agency expects the client to be actively engaged in the project as ‘lack of communication’ is among the top 8 reasons why IT projects fail. And upon completion of a webstore for example, when the client has to start updating the product images and prices, could you imagine how the client could do that without understanding what a Content Management System (CMS) is?
As much as it would help when the agency understands the client’s business, such as wholesale, transport, insurance, etc., it makes sense that a client equipped with some knowledge of the technological realm could better communicate its initial requirements and subsequent feedback on the deliverables of the development cycle. This will help to increase the speed of the process and improve the quality of the end result.
Can an agency ask the client what they know about technology? That would easily come across as condescending and even insulting which could damage the relationship before the project has even started. The same applies to ‘educating’ the client on technology as some clients may already have achieved ‘expert’ level whereas others virtually know nothing.
At Manifera, we are exploring a method that could bridge the potential technical communication gap between client and agency. The client can access a chatbot at his own convenience and timing and throw a technical term to the bot. It will then reply with an explanation. On top of returning WHAT this term means, the bot will also explain WHY this is important from a client perspective. For example: ‘a software library’ is a collection of components such as pre-written code. More importantly, by using a library, the development time will be shortened and the quality improved as those components are developed and tested before.
At his own timing and convenience the client can discreetly explore the bot. Depending on the client’s base knowledge, he can navigate the bot differently.
Currently this ‘jargo-bot’ is being tested and expanded. If the results are satisfactory, Manifera intends to provide it as a customizable template to its agency customers.
Martijn Hovinga @Manifera