ARE YOU, AGAIN?
Right up there with team members who pay you no heed are the stakeholders who don’t always see you as an authority figure.
All too often, strong stakeholders mandate a solution without pro-
viding sufficient context for the problem, says Richard Larson, PMP,
principal of project management training firm Watermark
On the other hand, some stakeholders, too distracted or
fearful to chart a course of action, leave project managers
to fend for themselves.
“Weak or busy stakeholders tend to abdicate decisions
to project teams, who can then later be blamed for mak-
ing the ‘wrong’ decisions,” he says. “Plus, scope creep
often results when stakeholders abdicate their responsi-
bilities, leading to cost overruns and/or delivering prod-
ucts that don’t meet business needs.”
Either scenario is a recipe for project failure. Both pay
short shrift to requirements gathering and, as a result,
boost the likelihood of going over budget, falling behind
schedule or creating deliverables that fail to meet expec-
tations, Mr. Larson says.
Project managers should think like consultants and dig for the why
behind projects. From there, they’re in a better position to take a leadership role and make recommendations for accomplishing or redefining project objectives.
business results,” says Carlos Augusto
V. de Freitas, CAPM, oil and gas IT
project manager at consulting giant
Accenture, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He
is also the vice president of professional development for the PMI Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil Chapter.
With that information, project
managers can then forge coalitions
and know the best methods to fuel
project success, advises Thomas Juli,
PhD, PMP, founder of Thomas Juli
Empowerment Partners, a project
management and leadership consulting firm in Edingen-Neckarhausen,
“The key thing is not looking for
excuses but for solutions,” he says.
“You are working with a team you
have not picked. So what? Usually,
there’s a common denominator. You
are working with them for a short
period of time. It’s not like you’re mar-
rying them, but you have to know
who they are and what drives and
Before the launch of one particu-
larly difficult telecom project, Dr. Juli
spent two weeks meeting one-on-one
with team members and key stake-