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Paper info: Expectation Management in Project Business:A Question of Renunciation


Expectation Management in Project Business:A Question of Renunciation


Bernard Cova,
Robert Salle
EM Lyon
Robert Salle and Stefano Pace

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.


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Customer expectations management is recognized as a major tool for every project manager. As such, itis of high interest for project marketing and project management. In order to manage expectations, whichare supposed to appear during the project, Pinto and Rouhiainen (2001) have developed a model of thenature of customer agreement throughout the project. They delineate three major phases: sales,execution, and operation. On the basis of two case studies and throughout an abductive approach, thispaper contributes to improve the management of expectations in project business by the taking intoaccount of:· A more detailed project phases model than the original one developed by Pinto and Rouhiainen;· The introduction of the concept of ‘suffering’ of the customer as a result of dream-like expectationmanagement;· The renunciation of the customer and the stakeholders as the best means to manage expectations inproject business.The two cases confirm the critical relevance of time for expectations management: both the companies tryto smooth and make stable the customer expectations, understanding that the entire relationship doescount, not just the final delivery. The end of the project would always be charged of the history of therelationship. Although a project is finally and successfully accomplished, the negative points of the pastwould decrease the satisfaction/pleasure of the client.