Expectation Management

It seem lately that the only time I have time to write is when I am at 36000 feet and having been stuffed into an airline seat with a shoe horn, I can actually find some time to detach from work, and not have to listen to someone somewhere asking for something I have told them to expect when it arrives! Sorry that was a bit of a rant, but perhaps a reflection on the last few days!

I have just completed a project for a large logistics business, and having taken a technical lead found out just how high the expectations of the Project Management team has gone. Suffice to say they were just about as high as I am right now; and it was stressful to try and fulfil this expectation, as I like to do. I have said for years that expectation is the hardest thing to manage and no matter what do you to real the powers that be in; it grows exponentially.

Is it an IT thing, a management thing, or is this just what I see?

Personally, I tell it how it is and it likely to be from the off, and that in an IT organisation, the reason there is a support structure is because software does not always do what is says on the tin.

It can be hard to shoulder the responsibility for the daftest things going wrong. It can also be hard to motivate people who simply don’t give a shit either because they have been brainwashed into such a way of thinking by a lack of job satisfaction, or constant “being shat upon” by their peers or managers, but neither of these need be long standing. IT changes more times than we change our under-shorts (and that’s the collective “we”), but Management: wake up and smell the shit, cos those below you can see what’s coming their way, and either jump ship or hide.

Looking back, people are but the means to make it happen, under that you need just a little established technology, and I mean current technology! You expect skills to be current, so is it too harsh to expect the technology to be up to the job? I am not talking of the latest and greatest, but at any point to have an agreed entry –level, upon which expectation can be set.

I understand the need for controls at all levels as I have been in IT for 10 years now, and have seen enough to know that half the time it’s not Project Management we need skills in, but Expectation Management.