The Forgotten Stakeholder

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I recently got a panicked phone call from someone that I had introduced to the project management profession. They were in the closing stages of a project and needed to reach out to the training department of their organization to arrange for some training to be scheduled on the new tool and processes that the project was going to deliver.

The problem was that training had been forgotten when the project was planned--and the training group had been completely unaware that the initiative was underway. Now they were pushing back saying that they had already scheduled all of the training for the quarter and that there was no room to include the necessary elements for the project. The PM was worried about what to do--the project had gone well to this point and they were concerned that it would fall apart at the last minute.

In the end, everything managed to get itself resolved. But it does raise an interesting question: What’s the best way to deal with a “forgotten” stakeholder?

You never remember until it’s too late
In reality, the situation is not usually one of forgetting, it’s more usually a case of not being aware that a particular group or individual needs to be engaged in the project--a failure to identify all of the stakeholders up front. The problem then is that you only realize that the stakeholder has been omitted when you …

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