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Managing Expectations:
Working with People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, NOW!

by Naomi Karten
foreword by Gerald M. Weinberg

ISBN: 978-0-932633-27-9  
©1994  240 pages   softcover  
$27.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Communication Skills, Team Management

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Action-Oriented Advice to
Mesh Your Customers' Expectations with Your Own

About the Book

People have expectations. Your clients, for example. Sometimes their expectations of you seem unreasonable. But sometimes your expectations of them seem just as unreasonable (in their eyes).

The problem is that these mismatched expectations can lead to misunderstandings, frayed nerves, and ruffled feathers. More seriously, they often lead to flawed systems, failed projects, and a drain on resources.

Managing Expectations shows how to identify expectations and suggests ways to gain more control of them. In today's turbulent business world, understanding and meeting your customers' expectations is indeed a challenge, and it's not hard to understand why: Expectations affect a range of interactions, including service responsiveness, service capability, product functionality, and project success.

Expectations are difficult to control and impossible to turn off. However, by learning to identify and influence what your customers expect, you can dramatically improve the quality, impact, and effectiveness of your services.

Contents include sections on communication skills, information gathering, policies and practices, building win-win relationships, as well as a concluding chapter on how to formulate an action plan.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Expectations . . .

Guard Against Conflicting Messages
Use Jargon with Care
Identify Communication Preferences
Listen Persuasively
Help Customers Describe Their Needs
Become an Information-Gathering Skeptic
Understand Your Customers' Context
Try the Solution On for Size
Clarify Perceptions
Set Uncertainty-Managing Service Standards
When Appropriate, Just Say Whoa
Build Win-Win Relationships
Formulate an Action Plan


"Naomi Karten puts forward advice that is simply not heard often enough. Forget about all of the sensitivity nonsense and concentrate on forms of communication that can be used to explain frustrations, demands, concerns, and all of the other things that go wrong between people trying to work together.

"In this book, you will learn how to approach customers with your feelings placed in the background and all of your information receivers on high-band. With business growing more competitive every day, this may be the only way to remain a viable exonomic entity."

Charles Ashbacher
Charles Ashbacher Technologies
posted on Amazon.com

"This book provides a systematic look at expectations and offers concrete ways to better manage them. By defining the vital role that expectations play, the book shows how you can do a better job of managing them, and in the process, dramatically improve the quality, impact, and effectiveness of your services."

William E. Lewis

"To match our increasing ability to produce excellent systems, we need to increase our ability to manage our customers' expectations. Naomi Karten's pioneering book teaches us how to do it."

 —Gerald M. Weinberg
from the foreword

"It's the sort of book that, in conjuring up your own past failures, prompts you to slap your forehead and cry, 'Of course! That's where I went wrong!'"

 —CIO Magazine

"Karten does a great job of identifying why customer expectations are not met. . . . This is good reading not only for information professionals, but for anyone involved with pleasing customers."

 —Randy Rice
Software Quality Advisor

"If the people crash, it does not matter that the program runs. The purpose of Karten's book is to make the people run."

 —Nicholas Zvegintzov
Software Management News

Table of Contents

Dorset House Catalog
This Book's Flyer

By this Author
Amplifying Your Effectiveness: Collected Essays
Communication Gaps and How to Close Them

Also Recommended

Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems, by James A. Highsmith III

Dr. Peeling's Principles of Management, by Nic Peeling

The Psychology of Computer Programming, Silver Anniversary Edition, by Gerald M. Weinberg

Quality Software Management, Vol. 3: Congruent Action, by Gerald M. Weinberg

Roundtable on Project Management: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue, edited by James Bullock, Gerald M. Weinberg, and Marie Benesh

How to Order

To order this book by credit card directly from Dorset House in New York, please call (800) 342-6657 or (212) 620-4053, weekdays, 9am to 6pm. Alternatively, print out our Faxable Order Form and fax to (212) 727-1044.

To order this book from an online bookstore, please see above.

To purchase at a bookstore, contact our Recommended Booksellers to verify availability. Any store can order from Dorset House using the book's title and ISBN number. Also, bookstores can order our books through Baker & Taylor.

We'd like to make it easy for you to order, so please contact us at any time for help!

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