Project Management

Examining Stakeholder Relationships via Organizational Network Analysis

Pang De Xian’s past experiences include expertise in order fulfillment and continuous improvement projects. He is currently pursuing courses and activities for personal and professional development.

At the start of a project, project managers are eager to implement their own ideas and manage their people to complete their project successfully. Project team members are motivated to contribute their ideas and actions as well. They soon realize that project success depends upon the cooperation of a wide range of stakeholders and groups, and that some of them do not directly report to them or work with project team members.

Project managers and team members who have difficulty in handling stakeholder relationships and meeting expectations will become frustrated by how slowly things operate and with the difficulty in gaining cooperation among stakeholders. Unfortunately, as this frustration builds, the natural reaction is to get more and more immersed in performing project tasks, which often leads to neglecting what stakeholders really need. These project managers quickly earn the reputation of excessive micromanagement, and gradually lose sight of their role in managing projects and guiding the team.

This is a vicious cycle that some managers never succeed in breaking out of, and where team members are often entangled in the loop. This article illustrates how an organizational network analysis (ONA) is used to examine the health of stakeholder engagement in a project environment and evaluate its findings with plausible improvements.

Examine Stakeholder …

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When someone is lying, is it true that their pants are actually on fire?

- Jerry Seinfeld