Reaction Paper on "Leadership: the Four (Not Three, Not Five) Principles of Managing Expectations

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A Reaction Paper on
“Leadership: The Four (Not Three, Not Five)
Principles of Managing Expectations”

Since most, if not all, of Information Technology (IT) projects require significant amount of capital expenditure and human effort, an adequate and effective project management would be necessary to ensure that resources and efforts have not gone to waste. In the case of Joe Eng, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), effectiveness in handling the company’s high-stakes project was best achieved by following the four principles of managing expectations. Below is a discussion of the good and commendable points raised for each of the four (4) principles as well as areas which can be improved on.

Principle No.1 – Define Expectations Internally
Indeed, clearly defined expectations are a pre-requisite for successfully completing projects. However, unlike that of Joe Eng, we believe that expectations definition should not only be limited within the IT department. Representatives from all departments involved in, or affected by, a project should participate to assist in defining realistic project objectives, accurate informational, functional and interface requirements and objective acceptance criteria. Expectations definition is best achieved with the preparation of a formal project plan, which should include, among others, the roles and responsibilities of key personnel involved in the project (including project sponsors, managers and team members). Additionally, it should identify the responsibilities of third-party vendors (i.e. IBM), internal audit, security and network personnel.

On the other hand, we believe that the following actions carried out by Eng are quite commendable and are indeed effective in managing expectations: (a) coordinating with admired and trusted managers to sell the idea of change; (b) leadership training program for the management team; and...
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