July 17, 2009 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Project Stakeholder Management
As we have already begun to talk about people it is time to take a broader look at those who have a stake in the project. A major issue for any organisation is who to involve in any project. This may be glossed over in many commercial approaches on the assumption that it is generally obvious who should be allocated a particular job.
Most project methodologies will take you through identifying your key stakeholders, assessing their likely attitudes to the project and designing strategies to keep them on board. There are various approaches to involving stakeholders and you must think carefully about the best approach for your particular circumstances in order to get input from the right people at the right time. It is worth drawing up a list of stakeholders and their possible impact on and attitudes to the project. It is important that the analysis is shared with colleagues and preferably ’signed off’ at Project Sponsor level to ensure that you do not get a ‘rabbit-out-of-the-hat’ stakeholder emerging unexpectedly in the middle of your project. This can de-rail a project. In drawing up this sort of schedule it sometimes helps to assess the ‘Potential impact on the Project’ heading if you consider the type of involvement various stakeholders have on complex projects. If the project has been set in a strategic context it will follow that most members of the organisation will be seen to some extent as stakeholders exercising some sort of influence or control as follows:
- Strategic Determining the strategy which this system underpins - may sponsor the project
- Managerial Executes managerial control over elements of the system being implemented
- Operational Is involved in operating the system or parts of it
- Direct Influence Is directly affected by outputs of the system but is not engaged in inputting to it
- Indirect Influence Is only indirectly affected by the system if at all
This is not an exhaustive list and you can create your own types to help you analyse your own organisation. However it is particularly important for you not to ignore the last two types of stakeholder. Although it could be argued that the last type is not a stakeholder at all, it is a particular characteristic of education organisations that particular interest groups have disproportionate negative power. You need to acknowledge this and devise a management strategy for it. Typically, this often involves large-scale communication exercises just to ensure that people remain ‘onside’.
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