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Every component and every stakeholder in your project, however a minor role he or she may play, is important. Even minor role players have the potential to come out large if they fall behind schedule, eventually affecting your critical path. So, don’t make the mistake of assuming that all players outside your department or your company, nominated as contact persons, are already on board psychologically.

Be proactive in making them a successful part of your project through making personal contact, establishing some rapport face to face, asking for their help, providing them with all necessary information timely, and sending thank-you notes acknowledging their level contribution to them personally and their supervisors. Formal acceptance of the final deliverables by the customer signifies that the project is complete. The lessons-learned report presents opportunities for improvement of both your project management process and your personal skills. h. Relative powers of PM and stakeholders ; its influence on Communications

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The “project manager” is generally seen as the person responsible for the management of a project and its overall success or failure. However, in many organisations (particularly large complex organisations) the position of the project manager within the overall hierarchy is too low/junior to allow many vital project management decisions to be made based on the project manager’s personal authority alone. The effect of these organisational structures is to require the project manager to garner referred power from more senior stakeholders and colleagues to allow him/her to manage effectively.

Whilst on occasions (particularly in emergencies) it may be appropriate for the project manager to seek forgiveness for decisions made rather than permission to undertake certain actions, effective project management requires the considered application of authority to allow decisions to be made and directions issued at the appropriate time. stakeholders in a position of strong influence hold negative interests may be critical to project success. This level of understanding can best be reached by conducting a formal assessment of each stakeholder’s level of importance and influence to the project.

Influence indicates a stakeholder’s relative power over and within a project. A stakeholder with high influence would control key decisions within the project and have strong ability to facilitate implementation of project tasks and cause others to take action. Usually such influence is derived from the individual’s hierarchical, economic, social, or political position, though often someone with personal connections to other persons of influence also qualifies. Other indicators identified in [3] include: expert knowledge, negotiation and consensus building skills, charisma, holder of strategic resources, etc.

Importance indicates the degree to which the project cannot be considered successful if needs, expectations, and issues are not addressed. This measure is often derived based on the relation of the stakeholder need to the project’s goals and purposes. For instance, the human resources department may be key to getting the project new resources at a critical time, and the accounting department key to keeping the finances in order and the project manager out of jail. The users of the project’s product or service typically are considered of high importance. These two measures, influence and importance, are distinct from each other.

A project may have an important financial sponsor that can shut down the project at any time for any reason, but does not participate at all in the day-to-day operations of the project. The combination of these measures provides insight not only into how stakeholders interact, but can help identify additional assumptions and risks. We can say that a communication is effective if we interpret communication from others in the manner they intended, and they in turn interpret our communication accurately. Constant, effective communication among all project stakeholders ranks high among the factors leading to the success of a project.

It is a key prerequisite of getting the right things done in the right way. As knowledge is power, sharing knowledge empowering every project stakeholder. A project communication plan is the written strategy for getting the right information to the right project stakeholders at the right time. Each stakeholder has different requirements for information as they participate in the project in different ways. For information to be used, it has to be delivered to its target users timely. As a project manager, while developing your communication plan, you need to decide how often to contact each stakeholder and with what information.

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