The Politics of Integration (Part 3): Exceptional Execution

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-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.

So far in this PMO politics series of articles, I’ve looked at planning and then project initiation/resourcing. Now I want to move on to the “meat”’ of the portfolio, the execution of work and the completion of deliverables in individual projects.

While this is undoubtedly the element of the portfolio with the most variables, complexities and opportunities for challenges to occur, the politics are relatively straightforward to understand. In most cases, when politics become a factor in project delivery, it’s around the benefits the project is designed to deliver—and in particular, differing views on how best to achieve that. Of course, just because the politics are straightforward doesn’t necessarily make them easier to resolve, but understanding is at least the first step.

Historically, politics around project execution have manifested as attempts to change the project to an individual stakeholder’s interpretation of that project’s deliverables. For example, a sponsor-driven or customer-driven change request that moves the project away from what was originally approved and closer to the sponsor’s or customer’s belief of what should have been approved.

Even if these changes never make it through the change control process, they are disruptive not just in a practical sense, but also in terms of the …

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