Have you ever worked for a technology leader who over promises and underdelivers? I know that in my career I have (quite a few times actually) and it leaves your customer (internal or external) underwhelmed and over time, completely frustrated and exhausted when having to deal with the technology department. Your customer may react in many different ways through this experience…from “bad mouthing” your leader, or to worse, bad mouthing you as project manager andI have seen it get so bad that the customer has “fired” the internal IT department and gone outside to get the work done.

Practicing good micro technology stewardship is not always about making the right technology decisions (as discussed in prior blogs), it’s almost always more, let’s look at the definition again:

“Micro Technology Stewardship is the use of people with enough experience of the workings of a business or department to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs.”

Good Micro Technology Stewardship also includes “looking inside” at your self to make sure you are using your “experience” to understand the needs of others and properly addressing those needs. When you over promise and underdeliver you are really saying “I understand what you want, I know it can be done, but I am not a strong enough leader to make sure you are educated on why it can’t be done in the manner or timeline you expect.”

I have seen so many bad product executions that could have been avoided if the technologist had only educated the business leader on the realities of delivery.  What about you, are you in a company where your leader over promises?  Have you ever found yourself having to over promise because you felt you had no choice but to “comply”

If over promising and under delivering is so bad, what about the “formula for success” of under promising and  overdelivering?  Will your customers catch on? Will they then set expectations high, or worse yet, raise them each time you exceed your own self-set commitment?