1 August 2009

Power and influence

Project stakeholders are an interesting bunch.  In many organisations and on many projects sponsors manage remotely.  They care about the budget, schedule and scope, but only at a high level.  The details are for you to work on.

The reasons for this are many, including the facts that senior managers are busy, that they are remote from the engine room of the operation, and the fact that many projects are not sufficiently important for senior managers to be intimately involved.

In these cases driving requirements and acceptance of the project's output is often referred to middle and frontline managers.  These are the people who you work with in Working Parties and in the day to day business of managing the project.  They are the people that come to mind when you say 'stakeholder management.'

These are also the people who get to say whether what you produce is sufficient to be rolled into their operations world, possibly by mechanisms such as user acceptance testing or acceptance certificates.

There are a few problems with this model.  Can you pick them?


  1. From a management viewpoint, it is fundamental to observe how the information flows among any level of stakeholders.
    Not all orders (e.g. green flags for releasing details) are made actionable; sometimes politics suggests issuing orders that are destined only to the notice board.
    It is a limited and quite cynical remark; however it is an unavoidable topic.

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