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Topics: Government, Healthcare, Information Technology
Managing risk
I'm sure as a project manager most of you have to deal with uncertainties. How do you tackle these uncertainties when there is lack of support from key stakeholders?
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I've the risks listed on an excel file. They are available for the project team on the project repository (sharepoint). Present the top 5 to the up management on the monthly meeting.
Some of the lower risk uncertainties are handled as assumptions.

I'm not sure what stakeholders' support has to do with uncertainties?
There are lots of uncertainties in projects and how you're able to respond is key. I think Anish's point is that stakeholders' participation is necessary to mitigate those risks, especially when they're coming to a head.

We do what we can to call out risks as we realize they exist. We use JIRA and create what we can "Dependency" tickets that are linked to any other JIRA they impact. These are brought up with stakeholders and identified clearly on status reports. When the time comes, we determine the best course of action and allow the stakeholders to influence that decision. If they don't participate, then the project team has done what they could to serve the project best and it's documented.

When stakeholders aren't supportive, it's really an indicator that the project is bound for failure. I've gone so far as to call out that participation by required roles is not happening and identify it directly as a risk.
Uncertainty includes, uncertainty about stakeholders' goals and their priorities and the duration of implementing alternatives. Like Blake pointed out lack of support is truly an indicator that the project is bound for failure.
If you do your stakeholder analysis, you should know the stakeholders' goals and priorities. That's part of your project planning.

Please note that every project has stakeholders that are not supportive of what you need to achieve. Your job is to influence them so that, at the very least, they will not negatively impact your project.
Each time a project is assigned to me (in fact a program) I started an activity to research about information on the field: domain, stakeholders, business, etc. This activity is commonly named as elicitation. That is the point where I get information about risks, all type of risks. To that I add all related to internal environment and new risks and issues will appear. The "good" part about the internet is the lot of information you can find there.
Anish -

A lack of stakeholder support for dealing with risk is either a case of stakeholders whose attitude is not favorable towards the project, or a lack of appropriate communication of risk information to stakeholders.

If it's the former, then stakeholder engagement should help whereas if it's the latter then better risk management will address this situation.


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