Expectations are qualitative conceptions concerning future acts, results and consequences that individuals, groups or organizations have. These can be general or situational expectations. Formal expectations are requests for proposals, requirements, strategies and target settings. With the formal description, parts can become lost, generalized and distorted. For this reason the model of expectations offers an ideal preparation for the formal requirement specifications.
The expectations of participants influence all phases of daily work. The distinction into on the one hand long-term, well-established convictions like values, mission, vision, SWOT (strengths/weaknesses and opportunities/ threats), CSF (critical success factors), strategic goals and (general), and on the other hand in short term, momentary facts, events, opportunities and motivations (situational) affects the preparation and practical response time. Success means that expectations are fulfilled or even exceeded. Expectations can be formulated for acts, results and consequences.
Expectations of acts are ideas that describe what has to be done, e.g. execution, activity, process, procedure. Results and consequences are not considered here. The expectation is fulfilled with the act (e.g. presence 8:00 - 17:00). The core question is: What has to be done? During realization the acting people decide the result. Expectations are fulfilled by proof of action.
Expectations of results are ideas that describe what has to be supplied, e.g. raw materials, modules, products and services in appropriate quality. Necessary acts and consequences are not considered. If the appropriate result is available, expectation is fulfilled (e.g. 100 delivered pieces until 16:00). The core question is: What result has to be achieved? During realization the acting people decide the required acts to provide the expected result. Expectations are fulfilled by proof of qualitative result.
Consequences are ideas that describe what has to be effected, e.g. follow-up activities, effects, opportunity exploitation/ risk avoidance. Necessary acts and results are not considered. If the desired consequences occur, expectation is fulfilled (e.g. increase of turnover figures). The core question is: What arises from this? During realization acting people decide the required acts and results that have to be accomplished, in order to receive expected consequences. Expectations are fulfilled by proof of changes.
These expectations can be formulated separately or in arbitrary combination. This means that expectations can consist of act and related result. Absolute expectations cover all three aspects. In the respective constellation all relevant aspects of expectation should be considered. General expectations should aim for rather general fulfillment. Situational expectations need detailed reports and proofs. Contrary to the requirement specification, which has a structured format, expectations are normally not formalized. Written preparation of expectations is recommended. These can be derived indirectly from discussion with the expecting people, from any kind of publication or simply assumed. In individual cases it can be decided whether expectations have to be determined comprehensively or the restriction on assumed expectations is enough. Exceeding expectations might not be honored, lead to conflict with other expectations (e.g. economy criteria) and wastes eventually capacities. For this reason it is important to question expectations and to get a confirmation from stakeholders.