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Expectation management for project manager

Expectation management – the fine art for project managers

Since the cause of many conflicts lies in disappointed expectations, expectation management should be at the center of management work. Especially when it comes to target agreements, assignments and cooperation. If you recognize at an early stage what expectations your environment has of you and clarify whether you can and want to meet these expectations, you can prevent possible disappointments in this way.

In this blog, we will show you why expectation management is so important as a project manager and as a project member, and what you can do to best manage expectations. 

Different expectations in different roles

In a company, every employee takes on a position and automatically slips into a role that is linked to expectations or requirements. There are own and external expectations that are linked to the corresponding role.  

Example of a project manager 

In expectation management, there are different perspectives from which expectations can be set. We have taken the project manager as an example here and formulated possible expectations that could arise for this role. 

Expectations of oneself could be, for example

In my role as project manager, I would like to meet my employees at eye level and strengthen cohesion and communication so that I can successfully and efficiently carry out projects as a team. 

Expectations of the project manager towards his team

In order to complete the project successfully, the set deadline should not be exceeded and the tasks should be completed conscientiously within the allotted time period. 

Expectations of the employees from the project manager

There should be regular communication about the current status of the project and the individual tasks. In addition, we expect the project manager to have an understanding of our challenges and to help us overcome them in the best possible way. 

Clear formulation of expectations is often lacking

Most of the time, however, these are not clearly formulated. Project managers often make the mistake of having expectations of employees, but these expectations are not formulated in concrete terms, which leads to dissatisfaction on both sides. The reverse is also true. 
This is why expectation management is one of the most sought-after leadership skills for dealing with conflicts preventively. In addition, good expectation management ensures performance delivery. 

Consequences of good expectation management: 

– Avoidance of conflicts
– Increased motivation of project team members
– Better cohesion within the project team
– Transparent processes
– More efficient execution of projects

3 tips to optimize your expectation management in projects

1. Regularly exchange expectations with your project team members 

Be as transparent as possible. Above all, listen carefully to the expectations your colleagues have of you and try to meet them as best you can. Meeting the expectations aims at mutual satisfaction and overfulfillment at surprise. 

2. Too high expectations lead to demotivation of your employees

By setting too high expectations and demands on your employees and making the expectations an almost unattainable goal, you give your employees a feeling of being overwhelmed, which leads to decreasing motivation. Therefore, try to regularly discuss mutual expectations in order not to run the risk of overstraining your employees.  

3. Encourage transparent work 

This tip is not about informing every project member about every single step, but rather about creating clear, reliable structures that your colleagues know and understand. By working transparently, expectations can be realistically assessed and conflicts can be easily avoided. 

Project-based time tracking as a building block for distributing tasks and creating transparent processes in project teams

With timeghost we offer a project-based time tracking for Microsoft365 users. In it, you can automatically record all current tasks and projects in order to evaluate them with different filters according to your needs. 

The big advantage of our time tracking is a transparent way of working, which can add great value especially for expectation management within project teams.

timeghost Team Activity Feature

With the Team Activity feature you can see, for example, the last 25 time entries that were worked on within a project. Or you can go to the timeghost reports and see how advanced the project is and whether the deadlines have been met. 

With different filters to specific evaluations of working times

You can also use filters to find the working hours of individual employees and compare them with your expectations. If necessary, the evaluations enable you to have targeted conversations with your employees to discuss mutual expectations. 

expectation management with timeghost

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You can find out more features by testing timeghost 14 days for free. Alternatively, we offer you to book a live demo with us, where we will guide you through the application, answer your questions and give you a first impression of our project time tracking.

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