It would be fair to say that when a project meets your expectations, it doesn’t necessarily stand out, however, when someone fails to meet your expectations it can permanently damage their reputation.

Therefore, proper expectation management is a critical factor to the success of organisations in achieving their goals. Recent projects have driven us to reflect on the importance of managing expectations of the satisfactory delivery of projects and maintenance of relationships.

Our five key recommendations for expectations management – whether it be with clients, government, teams, managers or industry – are:


Selling your abilities while also disclosing your limitations is a difficult balance to strike, but one that is key to managing the expectations of your client, manager or team. Honestly stating that there are no guarantees lends an understanding to the process behind your work. Consider: what can you offer? What lies outside of your scope? What are the caveats that are completely out of your control? Clear communication results in a clear idea of the final product for both the salesman and the buyer.


What is it that you can guarantee will be gained? Discussing these points prevents you from needing to go on the defensive if you’re unable to meet your scope of work or sets you up to impress when you are able to go beyond your remit.


Nurturing relationships is a process similar to that of everyday friendships – honesty and trust are the bedrock that strengthens them. Consistent communication builds trust, establishes accountability and, most importantly, expectations that you can meet and even surpass.


Reliable reporting creates a paper trail of what has been achieved and what can be expected to be tackled next. An open dialogue around accountability balances the delivery of expertise with the goals of the client, resulting in a tailored and achievable strategic approach.


Obstacles to a final goal are inevitable. What can be controlled is how responses to these obstacles can be mediated. You can choose to see these obstacles – that never arrive pre-labelled – as either an irritating inconvenience or as an opportunity for awareness and education.

At Nexus, we understand that reputation is priority and have established a malleable framework that is built on strong relationships and great expectations.