Digital is easy. Isn’t it?
Thankfully there are lots of user friendly tools and websites out there these days. Of course they have their limits as to how flexible and extendable they are. Fortunately you don’t tend to hit the limits very often when you use these tools and websites in your personal life.
This creates an interesting challenge to those of us who have to manage expectations of how quick and easy it is to deliver digital activity in the workplace. I find myself having to manage unrealistic expectations which are founded from personal use of the web. Naturally there is also the opposite ‘technophobe’ end of the spectrum but this post isn’t about that – perhaps I’ll write about that another day.
Managing expectations is a tricky balancing act – you definitely want the enthusiasm not to be damaged while the realism comes to the fore. Here are a few of my personal tactics and tips for different situations:
- Explain the gap between the vision and the reality
- group requirements into lists of essential, desirable and nice to have and show which are met by the suggested approach (ideally also show this for a better alternative/s)
- communicate the effort needed and be transparent about the choices – where possible ask them to be a partner in choosing what is sacrificed or prioritised in resource allocation and/or requirements
- Show the reality of the approach
- do a walk through to show if something is limited or time consuming – show an alternative too
- create a prototype which is as close as you can get to the requirements with the approach and an alternative – the gap should then be in plain sight
- find examples of others already doing it and ask them for their experience. Where possible – visually point out the flaws / customisations / effort
- Do a little bit of what’s being asked
- where risk is low deliver a small part but quickly – proving one way or another whether its worth investing more
- when you think it’s possibly very expensive or time consuming but this isn’t changing views – get a quote from an agency – it’ll either be acceptable or support your hesitation