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Have you ever noticed that weather reports used to say things like "20% chance of rain", but now almost all just say "chance of rain" or even "rain likely"? (Where I am, today its "snow likely.") It can't be that weather forecasting has gotten less reliable can it?
Sure, you could explain it as part of the "dumbing dumming down of America" (or whatever country you live in). But there's actually a different reason behind this... setting expectations properly.
No one minds a pleasant surprise and everyone hates a nasty one. If you're going to surprise someone, you better make it a pleasant surprise. The terrible snow storm you expected didn't happen? "Boy, that was lucky." Stuck in a snow storm you didn't expect? "All those useless weather forecasters should be fired!"
That's what weather forecasters do now - they give a near-worst-case forecast so that any deviation is almost certainly a pleasant surprise... the weather was better than expected... and their consumers are happier with the job they did.
SOA What? In SOA, service consumers have expectations of the services they use, just like you have expectations of the weather service you use. Should you ignore the expectations of your consumers? No.
Managing the expectations of consumers is critical to the success of a service... which is why I'm amazed that all too often service providers set the expectations high and then under-perform (a nasty surprise for the consumer).
So, if you're a service provider, repeat after me, "under promise and over deliver." If you follow this advice, you'll have loyal and happy service consumers... consumers love the occasional pleasant surprise.
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