We have a client who, due to the lack credit in the present crisis, had serious economic difficulties. He “confessed” that he had no funding for the project we were working at with him most honest thing, he argued, would be stop the work with ValueCreation, because he could not pay us.
We do not abandon a client for money, but in this case, with his business at a critical stage, we felt it would be worse to leave the client getting the money for the work done until then than to remain and not be paid. The first thing we did was to ask him about his financial situation to the extent he wished to disclose it.
We examined together the most important activities for the coming months in order to ensure his business’ survival. It was true that needed our help as project managers, but it was also true that most of his financial problems would be solved if he left aside the classical tendency of scientist to concentrate the scientific management and the business management in one hand.
We made him a suicidal proposal: “don’t pay us, but rather spend the money you ow us, on a good controller and we will work for you free.” Our client did not understand that wanted to work for free. We told him that if he wanted us to continue helping him, the condition was to hire a controller. We looked for an agreement with a business school, and the customer could hire a controller on a low cost basis.
After two months, the controller had put finances in order, had reduced costs, renegotiated payment terms with suppliers and saved a good amount of money. ValueCreation is now going to be paid and is to participate in the second phase of the project.