My Project Management Expert

Project Management Stakeholders

Project management stakeholders. Gosh where to begin? Some are a delight to work with, others an absolute nightmare. Some are so knowledgeable they really add value, some have so little clue they are as useful as a chocolate fireguard. And then there are the one's who are uncapable of making a decision and sticking to it who come into a whole different category!

You can probably tell that I've worked with the entire range of project stakeholders in my time! Of course the one thing you learn with experience is that a project stakeholder can easily make or break a project. Yes you did read that correctly. No matter how brilliant your project management plan is, or well you have written the project initiation document, a project stakeholder can still torpedo your project with a click of their fingers.

So how can they do this? Well project management stakeholders come in many different forms. There are business project stakeholders, technical stakholders and even external stakeholders. In theory all of these individuals want nothing more than to see your project successfully launch.

But as you will quickly realise this might be the theory, but it is often not the reality. Each project stakeholder will have their own agenda which may well be at a divergence to what you want. We've covered this in more detail at stakeholder strategy.

The other problem of course is not being able to engage effectively with the project stakeholders. By this I mean, not getting them to attend meetings or make decisions. This is a major issue which I have seen ensure projects grind to a halt whilst stakeholders fought amongst themselves. In one instance a multi million dollar project was stopped because two key stakeholders refused to discuss with each other the way to resolve a $2 million increase in the project budget which had resulted from increased scope!

However the key thing to remember is that project management stakeholders are human beings like everyone else. They are often overloaded and involved in numerous projects as well as their normal work. Often they give up their own time to ensure your project get's delivered. It is therefore up to you to find a way to ensure your project stakeholders are both productive and progressing your project forward

Project Management Stakeholders - Tip

Effective project communications is key with project management stakeholders, so ensure you retain a good dialogue with them and you will help both your project and yourself especially when the tough decisions need to be made.

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