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Project Management Blog
Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:21

Under-Promise and Under-Deliver


I hope you can help me. I have a problem setting too high expectations for myself and my team. I am an overachiever and I normally can meet high expectations. But I keep forgetting that the rest of the project team does not have my same ability so it seems like we are always falling short of expectations in the client’s eyes. How can I learn to set more reasonable expectations so that the entire project team can be perceived as successful?


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termsThis is my third column describing basic project management terms. I will one day place all of these in a dorktionary for my loyal readers. Maybe I could make one million dollars. You get all of this knowledge for free – for now anyway.

Assumption – These are bad things that you assume will not happen. If you call these items “assumptions” you can just pretend they will not happen and go about managing your project. If the problems occur, you can refer back to your assumptions as the reason you did not manage the problems. In essence they are a “do-over”. I love assumptions! They are a project manager’s best friend.

Activity – Activities are pieces of work that go on your schedule. You can make these activities at a high-level such as “Build the Bridge” or very detailed like “Go to the bathroom at 10:00”. The project manager decides at what level you want to manage the project depending on how interested you are in the work. For instance, if you are not so motivated you could assign an activity that says “Construct the Building” and give a due date for 18 months from now. Then you can focus on more interesting matters and come back in 18 months to see if the work is completed or not. On the other hand if you don’t trust the people that work on the team you can manage them on an hourly basis.

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