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How to manage unrealistic expectations?

I'm sure that most project managers have to constantly deal with unrealistic expectations. Even the most experienced project manager, who's great at managing expectations, has to deal with unrealistic expectations from time to time.

My question is, how to manage such expectations? How to tell the stakeholders/the client that something can't be done the way they expect it because it's just too unrealistic?
asked 10 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

There isn't an easy answer, and to a large degree, it will depend on the people you are dealing with.  What works for most stiuations: I suggest sticking strictly to the observable and verifiable facts, uninflated by emotion.  Be sure to explain it in words and terms they will understand.  Then, immediately follow up with a solution to the problem.  There is nothing worse than having a problem dumped off by the person you expect will solve it.  Let your client and stakeholders know that you are a problem solver and tell them how it can be done.
answered 10 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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