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:

1 comment:

  1. If you plan on a long term career as a project manager, then yes, even with your level of experience, I would suggest getting your PMP. You can prepare yourself for the exam in one of the PMP trainingproviders like You can do minimal prep-work to get 40 PMI® Contact Hours and apply to PMI for PMP Exam before the class begins.