Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite movies.
The characters define extreme behaviors of children and adults in such an entertaining and fun way.
One of the most memorable is that of Veruca Salt and her incessant whining with the phrase “I want it now”.
One of the biggest challenges in delivering technology is in meeting expectations. It can be a struggle to align expectations on all sides of a project or task.
As with any challenge that involves two parties each party owns responsibility for setting expectations.
Realize that it's not uncommon for an IT guy to be recommending a solution for months before it is finally understood and accepted. Then, once that magical moment happens the next phrase is usually - When can I have it?
It’s at that point when the expectation game begins.
Obviously we would all like to be on the side of well-planned pre-agreed to decisions that happen on a schedule. But the reality of it is that life just doesn't work that way.
So we are left to reset and re calibrate expectations on the fly more often than not. Quite frankly no one likes living in this sort of world. You’re often left with the option to do the best you can and move things along as quickly as possible.
To me the key is to be realistic with your expectations on both sides of the task.
Here’s a quick tip to healthy expectation setting.
If you didn't plan for something well in advance as in months in advance ask the person delivering the need for what their time frame is and use that as your gauge.
If you're constantly busy, if you're not paying attention. If you're not clear on what it is you're trying to achieve, then you will continue to have unrealistic expectations.
I totally get people that want to drive, drive, drive and have things done with expediency. But if you combine that drive with planning and prioritization it's an incredible thing.
I've had the great fortune of working with companies who have had this form of ordered expediency. I can tell you that these companies have been leaders in their industry and models of how businesses should be built.
Honestly it's more fun working with those types of companies then in situations where unrealistic expectations live.
Sure sometimes it's my fault that I don't set the expectation correctly and I'm willing to own up my half of the problem but when someone is unwilling to meet me halfway and develop an agreed-upon plan it's no fun.
So when getting your tech right - It comes down to having a plan and getting in front of situations so that we can minimize the emergencies.
Let's work to minimize the emergencies in our lives and in our business so that the ride is more enjoyable for everyone.