An episode at work has reminded me of the importance of managing people’s expectations. The software we are developing was sadly, painfully, embarassingly slow; so the powers that be ordained a concentrated effort to make things workable. Even after we had sped things up by 75%, we didn’t let on that things were going well. We said we’d wait and see how things went. When the users got the software, they were tickled pink because they got much improvement they weren’t expecting.

So for me, managing expectations mainly means not promising anything until it’s as good as delivered. Calvin may have illustrated it best.

Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin on expectations