Everywhere we see that the employees will not perform well, but my bad luck that my client only is not performing well.

My client waste fellow won't even read our emails and asks us to send one line emails because of his laziness.

Recently he argued with us foolishly which would have caused major production line down but finally convinced him after argueing a lot.

We cannot complaint on him to his management as we are service based company but it is causing problem to our careers because of his foolish behaviour.

I worked with him for 7 years but observing this behaviour from last 1 year only.

We worked hard and even spent long hours and weekends to implement this project thinking that he will help us.

We even did not learnt new technologies because of the tight dead lines he gives to his management to complete project, but now his behaviour has become worst and I cannot work on any other client because of my poor technical skills.


I am not sure why you think you cannot escalate your client issue up the chain. Your company has a seat at the table and has every right to raise issues that affect your performance. You're not slaves. You're a party to a mutually beneficial contract. And as a PM, you have to have those uncomfortable conversations or else you are not really a PM.


This sounds like the problem of millions of software engineers working in the IT services industry. The problem here is the cultural difference.

Clients usually expects clear communications. However offshore team, due to the lack of professional communication skills, fails to communicate clearly.

If you want to understand what I mean, read your question again. Instead of mentioning one or two examples of actual incidents with the client, it looks like you are just venting out your frustration.

There is no general answer to your problem.

Had you mentioned any incident, I or someone else would have provided you out thoughts on that.

  • However: "What does the contract say," and who owns it on your side? That's going to be "the only thing that matters." I dearly hope for your sake that the contract as-written actually says anything about performance and conflict-resolution . . . 🤷‍♂️ Because over these many years I've encountered many that didn't. Aug 9 at 2:33
  • Yes, usually there isn't anything of this sort in the contract. In order to get the project/contract/business, the IT service provider (or more accurately body shop) tends to ignore such things. "Client in always right" motto prevails.
    – matrix
    Aug 9 at 5:24
  • A contract does not have to have anything written in it regarding a contract dispute. It's implied in the partnership. Even if there is no explicit "customer obligation" language, if the customer is interfering with performance, you have a potential contract dispute and can escalate simply because you are party to the contract. Aug 10 at 12:10

I agree with the other replies, and have some details to add, so let's combine those into a step-by-step approach:

  1. Check the contract for the language Mike Robinson mentions.
  2. Create a list of: 1) A few specific examples where a client action caused a project delay with 2) how many labor hours each example wasted.
  3. Approach your manager with the list, emphasizing the cost of the labor hours for your company. (If your team spent 10 hours working on something the client rejected, and you have 5 people, and they are paid an average of $40 per hour, 10 x 5 x 40 = $2000 in wasted money, unless you are on a "time and materials" contract, which is unlikely.)
  4. If the contract has language for dealing with this, ask the manager to invoke the contract clause.
  5. If not, simply ask for a meeting with the client company to discuss specific ways to "improve communication" without assigning blame.
  6. To prepare, change your list of complaints into a list of "desired behaviors." Add how each behavior will speed up the project.

After addressing the current problem, I suggest you consider switching to an agile method of managing your projects. Agile applies to a wide range of projects, not just software. Yours appears to have a lot of changes hitting it, and even the Project Management Institute says agility is needed for that type of project (PMI, Agile Guide). The approach also emphasizes closer relations with the client, which has an important benefit in your case: It makes clear to both sides the impact a bad client is having on the project.

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