A little while ago I talked with a Project Manager who cared.
He was very concerned about the way his sponsor was changing the scope and deliverables of his project, and told him he was making a mistake. That the project should be focused on delivering something slightly different. The change of direction was not in the best interests of the company.
The reason he was talking to me was that he had just been brutally removed from the project, perplexed because all he had done was what he thought was best for the organisation, and that the sponsor was really just pursuing his own selfish agenda.
From my angle, the political perspective, he had started to pursue his own political agenda, for the good of the organisation. This set him up against his sponsor’s political agenda. Instead of being the servant of the organisation, he had become a political player.
And he lost.
As soon as you begin to try to influence the decisions, you are acting politically. This may or may not be what stakeholders are expecting of you. If they think you are there to simply execute the project deliverables, what they have decided is best for the organisation, they will not appreciate your opinions. Your attempts to get their decisions to change, however well-intentioned, will not be welcomed, especially if you are talking to other powerful people.
It is wise to be clear about the scope of your project.
It is also wise to be clear about the scope of your role and what the key players around your project are expecting of you in that role, and when.
Review the OnDemand webinar How to Handle Project Politics