Stakeholder Strategy: Finding the Pulse and the Power

Jiju is a project manager who takes on projects that need help. He likes a challenge put in front of him to be solved in a fixed amount of time. Because of this trait, he was fortunate enough to be called upon for completing projects in distress. Through detailed analysis and designing mitigation strategies, he is able to turn distressed projects into successful ones.

Any seasoned project manager would tell you that managing stakeholders’ expectations is one of the toughest challenges that he or she faces on a daily basis. Training sessions and books on project management can only give you so much of exposure to the fine art of managing your stakeholders. Most of the strategy and technique that need to be developed in this critical area will come as part of the practitioner’s experience negotiating real world project issues. However, it is always a good idea to pay heed to some proven practical pointers that can come in good stead.

In simple terms, stakeholders are those people who can impact your project or impacted by the results of your project. A large project that touches all lines of businesses in an organization may have a correspondingly large number of stakeholders. The project manager’s dilemma is to properly identify these essential stakeholders very early in the project. It needs to be acknowledged that in some organizations, business sponsors are primarily identified as stakeholders. While this might help the project team to focus on the sponsor’s needs, project success can be achieved only if the project results provide some value to all the impacted stakeholders.

Know your power holders
The common mantra in stakeholder management is to treat all stakeholders equal. This means that a project…

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