Aligning Expectations


Enthusiastic. Satisfied. Disappointed. The thoughts and feelings at the end of people-intense project vary, usually in relation to a central question – What were you expecting?

Expecting more than we got – Let down.
Expecting less – Happily surprised.

The way our work is perceived depends on our ability to Align Expectations.

Having interviewed hundreds of project teams, their insights are remarkable consistent: manage expectations before, during and after the project.


Before the Project Starts

• Ask the question – what are you expecting? As a result? From me? Of our relationship?
• How do you envisage this project? The behaviors? Evolution? How do you define success?


During the Project

• As projects unfold, surprises inevitably come along. Deviations. Breakthroughs. Insights.
• This is a make-or-break in the relationship – if you can openly discuss the changes to content, process, budget, results – we can still meet expectations, and claim success.


After the Project

• When it is all over, the debrief is the opportunity to reflect back and look forward.
• Using the pre-established expectations and context as a backdrop, we can have a healthy discussion about the results, learnings and… expectations.

People’s perception after a project contribute to our reputation – for better or worse. Aligned expectations are the foundation of a service relationship. In your next project conversation, think of aligning expectations as a way of building futures.

Stimulating Ideas & Building Futures