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Managing expectations…

July 07, 06 by Bharani

The Business Unit is 40-50 strong. It is small compared to the size of other Business Units. The director of the group is pretty jovial, technically strong, broad-minded and informal. He has almost 20+ years of experience. I report directly to the director. The director reports to the Managing Director of the India centre. So,in a way I am only 2 levels from the top ;)

I am given in-charge of an initiative. The initiative grew out of an organizational need. But gradually a vision to carve out a commercial product out of this initiative is emerging. Time will answer.

The initiative needs buy-in from higher levels. Fortunately, we do have buy-in at Vice-president level. That’s a big bonus for us. The initiative is not funded by the organization. So, the Business unit has to fund the initiative through its own budget. This currency constraint coupled with human-resource constraint is trying to drag the initiative down. So, we are undergoing the same emotions as entrepreneurs undergo while setting up a venture.

Activities performed by me: Research [Analysis of existing products in the market, Identifying the needs for the organization, Proposing the features to be implemented etc.,], Design and Architecture [Working with Technical leads to come up with Scalable, robust, component-oriented design], Requirements Analysis [Business Analysis for the first customer], Project management [Planning, Scheduling, allocation etc.,], Training and mentoring, Chairing tele-conferences to demo the product [High level people participate in the conference]…The Business Development part [Selling the concept to other business units/customers once the initiative takes shape] will come later, though it largely depends on the success of the initiative initially.

Though there are organizational red-tapes, I enjoy relatively more freedom and command [I am talking about the command of situation, resources I have, style I can follow etc.,] compared to many others in the organization. That part I am happy about.

I have joined at a level/grade which is normally given to people with 9-10 years of experience. That is a significant ladder-bypass for me.

Since I am working on the organizational initiative, I have some concerns in terms of not learning/mastering enough domain expertise relevant to my firm. I have made some plans to cover the weakness by utilizing the resources/facilities available within the organization. In few months time, things should take good shape.

One thing I would like to mention here is “Manage your expectations. Sometimes, what you expect might be vastly different from reality. Give some time before taking rash decisions. Patience is a virtue. If you leave the job, do so only after making sure that it is not for you.” Another point. “Just because your role is Strategy consultant/Business development, you are not necessarily insulated from project management or people management. The promised role will be given to you. But it will come as a part of package containing other mundane roles too.”

The problem about expectations can be published as a book in itself.

PS: A dialogue that I had about expectations some time ago…

Talk was about marriage…
Me: Dude, I don’t have high expectations.
Friend: So, why don’t you marry a girl from slum?
Me: I don’t have high expectations. But I do have expectations :)

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