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Make sure you get the last note right

I used to play jazz trombone for the South African National Youth Jazz Band. I absolutely loved those years. Being completely in the moment, with goosebumps raised all over your body as you fall in love with your music, getting a standing ovations in crowded venues during Jazz festivals. It was so much fun.

When my music teacher (Mr. Skipper. The man) first threw me in the deep end by joining as Trombone #4 in our orchestra, well before I was competent to play in a band, he said to me

“Just focus on getting the first and last note of each song right”

In projects, whatever happens in the middle (and there will always be some ugliness… tight budgets, high demand), always get the last note right.

A strong finish can set you up for future work, and turn around the impression of a tough project, and leave everybody proud and happy to continue.

  • Focus on the end product, not how you got there
  • Include videos showing product demos
  • Take care of the User Interface… for many it’ll be the only thing they judge it on
  • Thank and encourage. Bury the past. People are getting tired… some are looking for new jobs
  • Give generously. Deliver a freebie without charging for it. Now is the time to deliver the extra bit that will wow them
  • Lose “that’s not my responsibility” — help your client complete everything they need to
  • Make sure you ask again — “If we deliver on x,y,z — will you be happy you got everything you needed to”

You can guess that I’m in the final week of a project right now…

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