Project Management

Stakeholders and the New PM

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Many of my articles are focused on new project managers and are, understandably, focused on the project manager themselves. But this time I want to look at stakeholders and consider the role they can play in enabling new project managers to succeed.

This might seem a little odd. After all, isn’t the role of stakeholder pretty much the same regardless of how experienced the project manager is? Well, it can be. But if the stakeholder recognizes that they are working with a less experienced PM, then they can make a little extra effort to do a lot for the success of the project—and the confidence of the project manager.

The work itself doesn’t change—the role of a stakeholder is fairly consistent across projects. Of course, some stakeholders have specific roles (sponsor, customer, resource owner, etc.), and this creates differences between the work one stakeholder performs and what another has to deliver.

But those variances aren’t any different when working with an inexperienced project manager. What should change is the amount of time and effort spent explaining the role—and in particular explaining the variables that go into the decision-making process. Let me explain.

Helping the PM understand stakeholder context
When a new project manager is trained, there will always be some content around the role of stakeholders and how to …


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"Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"

- Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen)