Stakeholder management project success drivers

While these stakeholder and communications management techniques appear simple, we’ve found that many PMs can’t muster the motivation or confidence to execute against them consistently. These “symptoms” are great non-obvious indicators for project health:

  • Projects that consistently linked stakeholder analysis, communications planning, and plan execution stayed out of trouble.
  • Project managers who did not fit into, or could not adapt to, customer cultures, mission-critical projects, etc. were reluctant to escalate projects quickly enough.
  • The most frequent communications mistake was failure to execute planned executive-level messaging, which eroded the project manager’s position in the eyes of sponsors and other leaders.

These stakeholder management findings correspond with recent external studies noting that communication breakdowns – especially “keeping quiet” about known risks or issues – are a primary driver of project failures. The key issues neglected were absent sponsors, unrealistic deadlines and resource limits, power plays, team dysfunction, and a “denial culture” (e.g., not admitting known problems). Addressing such concerns head-on can increase the likelihood of project success by up to 50 percent (from PM Network October 2006 — requires registration)


2 Responses

  1. […] leadership position — technical or functional excellence.  As we’ve blogged before (here and here), avoiding this temptation is paramount during […]

  2. […] causes of troubled projects.  I’ve posted on some of our own findings about project success (here and here), but I haven’t elaborated on what we’ve found about the composition of […]

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