Letter to the PM: Good, Ugly and Bad Stakeholders – PM Basics
Stakeholder management seems like a straightforward and logical process in theory. However, it is not always easy. It is often a dark and manipulative process that involves framing, misleading, and sabotage.
Take a moment to think about it.
There is another term. A stakeholder. It could include a customer or sponsor, a member your team, a functional manger, an expert, or a department within the company.
Isn’t it possible that we will all be working on the same project? The project’s success will bring value to the sponsor, the customer, and all of us.
It seems logical to assume that all stakeholders should work together towards achieving the project’s goals.
I can understand that the project’s outcome will have a negative impact on someone. They may be resistant. You should expect that.
It is not difficult to see that there are always political intrigues in any organization. One example is a problematic stakeholder. If you just complete a project successfully, your authority and power will be affected.
You can also integrate a better approach to your project or a tool. This will reduce authority and expertise at top. The problems will appear where you least expect them.
Project Management is not complete without politics
This is how it should be done. It is human nature. Two of the most powerful core human drives are the desire to attain power and status.
All levels of the corporate world are subject to constant competition for power. The more politics behind the scenes, the older an organization is, the more the top management holds the same positions for longer.
Companies without a clear organizational hierarchy are more likely to be manipulated by politicians.
It begins when two people in power or authority cannot agree on a matter. They tend to look at their differences rather than the common goal, even if it is a good thing.
If they are unable to find common ground for long enough, and if there isn’t someone to mediate the conflict between them, then both sides will look for other ways to resolve the conflict. The politics begin.
Be ready to play a role in someone’s game, whether it be within your organization or your team.
It is essential to have political awareness. It is important to understand the motivations and goals of difficult stakeholders. It is a good idea not to interfere with the affairs of others, but it is often impossible to complete a project without knowing the political context.
Personal Conflicts can ruin any project plan
There can be personal conflicts and animosity among stakeholders. Even worse, you may not have to conflict with anyone at the beginning. You will eventually have to stand by someone. To keep pushing your project towards its goals. You can’t be neutral.
Some conflicts are so deeply rooted that they can’t even remember how they started. They can have a lasting impact on all parties involved for many years.
Personal conflicts should be taken into consideration when planning. They can be a source of many risks. You must be ready to deal with such situations with a cool heart and head.
Your goal is to reduce fuel consumption in the conflict’s hearth.
You can minimize the potential for confrontation between you and your project by following all policies and procedures to a T.
Remember that it is easy to undermine a leader’s authority by highlighting the mistakes of subordinates. This applies to you as a manager of your team’s projects, as well to your direct management.
Recognize People’s Need for Recognition
[iStock/Creator Minerva Studio] There are people in every organization who live and prove their ne