I came across this article on Honda from an old issue of CIO Magazine and really liked the part about Honda’s focus on an interesting Japanese concept:
The collaborative environment at Honda is a byproduct of the company’s emphasis on the Japanese concept of the three actuals—go to the actual place, work with the actual people or part and understand the actual situation. Although it might seem unnecessary or impractical, adherence to the concept helped facilitate the efficient design of the ’98 Accord. When the designers weren’t sure whether a part they were designing could actually be welded, for example, they’d drive over to the manufacturing plant to ask a welder directly . A visit to the site about a specific problem not only prevents engineers from becoming detached from the actual process, it often yields insight into a completely unrelated and unforeseen issue, says Shriver.
I’d highly recommend implementing the same concept when working with clients: go to their actual place, work with the actual people, and understand the actual situation.