Expectation Management: The Art of Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
By: Baglan Rhymes
Meeting the expectation of your clients is a pivotal aspect of successfully managing a project. Delivering a final product within a deadline isn’t enough in this ever-evolving world. You need to know the tips and tricks for impressing your clients. Here is where the art of underpromising and overdelivering comes to play. The subtle art of expectation management requires you to understand what it exactly means to have a win-win situation.
For a project manager, expectation management is an essential skill that can make or break a project. Setting realistic expectations for the clients and stakeholders and exceeding them through over-delivery can help build trust and credibility.
By implementing the following tips for effective expectation management, you can build long-lasting relationships with your clients while improving your project outcomes:
Effective Ways to Excel in Expectation Management
There are no hard and fast rules to perfect expectation management, but making a few strategic adjustments to your project management approach can lead to favorable outcomes. Below are a few expectation management tips you can apply to see visible results while delivering projects to your customers.
Focus on Having a Friendly Alliance with Your Clients
Any association, regardless of the classification, needs to be transparent. There is always a communication gap when the alliance is way too formal. Instead of approaching clients as financial entities, consider them partners, coworkers, or friends. Share your opinions as you do with your colleagues and request the same from your clients. Even though you may have an evolved and creative intuition about what you do, the client is the king and knows better about their company than you.
Create Healthy Boundaries
While making a close association with our clients, we often forget to maintain healthy limits. Such associations are a complete no-no as many a time, this collaboration ends up in overpromising. Even though a friendly collaboration makes a strong relationship, it can have drastic implications when promises made are not fulfilled. Learn to set boundaries and assess your limitations. Promise to deliver what you are capable of or less. This way, you can avoid delays and perform exceeding your client’s expectations.
Articulate Potential Risks
When it comes to sound expectation management, it’s essential to strike a balance between highlighting the potential benefits of a project or initiative and acknowledging potential risks and challenges. While it can be tempting to focus solely on the positive outcomes, ignoring the potential risks can lead to severe repercussions. Assess the threats associated with your project and draw solutions for the same. This way, you can combat risks and deliver projects adhering to quality standards.
Keep Stakeholders Updated
Keeping stakeholders informed about a project’s progress, expectation changes, and timeline adjustments is an integral step to achieving the project’s success. Regular updates help build trust and credibility with stakeholders. Plus, it can also help manage expectations by ensuring stakeholders clearly understand what is achievable. Effective and timely communication can also help mitigate potential risks by addressing issues before they become bigger problems.
Effective expectation management is a crucial aspect of any successful project or business endeavor. Organizations can set realistic expectations and increase their chances of delivering successful outcomes by focusing on creating a friendly alliance with clients, establishing healthy boundaries, articulating potential risks, and keeping stakeholders updated. Effective communication and risk management can also mitigate potential issues and ensure stakeholders are informed and engaged throughout the process. By embracing the art of expectation management, organizations can increase their chances of success and build long-lasting relationships with clients and stakeholders
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