Monday, January 28, 2013

PM Topic: Importance of Stakeholder Management - They can make or break your project

Stakeholder Management used to fall into the communication knowledge area in PMBOK.  Because of its importance, there is now a separate knowledge area dedicated to Stakeholder Management in PMBOK 5.  For PMs, it is important to know your stakeholders, understand the power they hold, and find ways to keep them satisfied and informed on project progress.  If you are not satisfying or managing stakeholders effectively, it can create major issues in the project. 

I've encounter situations where project goals collide with departments and I end up getting involved spending numerous hours resolving issues.  There are times, when issues arise due to some stakeholders not being adequately involved or the feeling that they should have been involved but weren't - This can create lots of complications and can negatively impact the project.  I've been involved in projects where ineffective stakeholder management has created project delays, increased scope, or canceled projects.

There are three key things that I remember to ensure stakeholders are managed effectively:
  • Ensure you have all the key players - Understanding the project scope and identifying positive and negative dependencies early will ensure you have a complete stakeholder registry - You lessen the risk of last minute surprises.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate - Find ways to deliver the message by using multiple channels.  Don't just depend on e-mails or meetings - If you are launching a new product - invite them to your sprint reviews or product checkpoints.  Have engaging meetings - where stakeholders participate and provide feedback.  
  • Understand your escalation path - Know your escalation path and keep them informed regularly on the project.  If a situation gets out of control, they can help remove obstacles so you can keep the project moving.
For more information about stakeholder management, please review Stakeholder Management in PMBOK.  Also, I found the below link helpful.  It is a great introduction of the 4 areas within Stakeholder Management in PMBOK:

Friday, January 11, 2013

One on One with Chris Wright

I had an opportunity to speak with Chris Wright to get a sneak peek into what our PMI chapter can expect on Monday, January 14th. Chris Wright is the founder and President of Tanden, which is a project management, leadership development, and professional training company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. His organization provides a wide variety of project leadership training and seminars, management and leadership development, and PMO consulting and portfolio management. Before Tanden, Chris was a project and program manager in the telecommunication and wireless space. He was part of the project to implement cameras in phones, which was first of its kind in 2003 – pretty cool!!!

The topic for Monday is on communicating the value of project management up the chain of command. He will be providing techniques that help us project managers educate the value and benefits of project management to senior management. When speaking with Chris and about this topic, he stressed that we as project managers often focus on a science of project management. What gets overlooked is the art of project management. “Projects are delivered by people – not delivered by templates or forms or tools. Tools support the delivery – but we often overlook the leadership side.”

One of the techniques about communicating up to senior management is the kingdom example, which he will detail out on Monday along with other examples. King is the upper management and they are accountable for different counties. He is going to share how project management can be used for the collective good for the “king”.

If you haven’t register – you don’t want to miss this meeting: