Project HEADWAY: You Can't Manage Expectations, But You Can Help Them Along

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PMI Membership
$129 /year
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Overview

Some slides used in this video may not be entirely legible on screen so it is best to download the PDF file and follow along.

Managing expectations is a theoretically important thing. As project managers, we are expected to understand the interest of our stakeholders, assess their influence and plan and manage their expectations throughout the project effort. There’s just one problem: you can’t actually do that.

Managing expectations implies that we have some control over the people involved in and affected by our project. It is expected that we can shape and evolve what our stakeholders want, influence how they perceive the project and its results, and ultimately sway their relative satisfaction with what is delivered. But despite our best intentions, that’s something that we just can’t do. 

The challenge here is with the limits of our control. This has nothing to do with who we are as a project manager, and everything to do with being a human being. The only person we control is ourselves, and there are days that we don’t do that very well. To say that we manage the expectations of not just ourselves but also others, however, is taking a step too far out of our circle of control.

While we can’t manage expectations, however, we can certainly help them along. That is a challenge that project managers face, and it’s one we need to understand and consciously address. In this webinar, Mark Mullaly explores what is possible and what is practical in engaging with stakeholders, understanding their interests and approaching the project in a way that takes this into account. It identifies what can be done to communicate and guide expectations, and also honestly addresses the limitations that every project manager has to recognize and allow for when it comes to stakeholder perceptions.

If you’ve every struggled with the idea of shaping, influencing or guiding stakeholder expectations, this is a webinar you won’t want to miss.

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Acknowledgements: Heather McLarnon

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