project managers must regularly evaluate H u m a n i t i e s
I’m working on a humanities question and need guidance to help me learn.
This week’s reading was about Stakeholder management. The chapter goes over the important questions on what a stakeholder is, who the stakeholder is, and how they influence the project. As a project manager, one must identify the stakeholders during the initiation phase of the project. These could be the top management, project team members, peers, resource managers, internal and external customers, government agencies, contractors and subcontractors, and suppliers. The satisfaction of key stakeholders can make or break the project’s success. It is critical the project managers identify the stakeholders. If any stakeholder is not identified after the project begins, it could lead to delays and threaten the project’s success
Having the support of the top management and your manager is very important during the project. Your manager can back you in times of need. Having open communication with the stakeholders is a very important skill. The project manager must understand the dynamics and expectations of all the key stakeholders. There is a power/interest grid for the stakeholders to understand which stakeholders hold maximum influence over the project, and it is important to keep them satisfied and, on your side, to help mitigate any difference of opinions.
There is also a cooperation/threat matrix to which a project manager must have to ensure that they understand these stakeholder’s expectations and power on the project. The stakeholders will be satisfied and will cooperate more when the project manager is honest with them and takes ownership and accountability of any failures if they happen. The project manager must be predictable and reliable in terms of their decisions and must stand by them. Supportive stakeholders are very important for the success of the project. The stakeholders can be categorized into different groups during the initiation phase of the project. The categories are namely unaware, resistant, neutral, supportive, and leading. The project managers must regularly evaluate the stakeholders and move them to different categories during the project life cycle. This helps in creating a refined power/interest and cooperation/threat matrix. These matrices help the project manager in making an informed decision. These categories also help in deciding which stakeholders must be involved and which stakeholders can be informed about the project’s progress. During the project life cycle, a project manager will encounter groups who think they are stakeholders, but they are not as per the project manager and project sponsor. The project manager must be very careful in mitigating these situations since these groups could be a power group that can influence the project’s success. The project manager must always communicate and work with the stakeholders to meet their needs and expectations to increase their support and reduce resistance.
Taking the case of the automotive company, during engine software development, the software teams, calibrators, vehicle testing team, integrators, California Air and Resource Board (CARB) are all stakeholders in the project. Once the software development is completed and integrators have compiled the software, they are no longer a stakeholder in deciding the next phase of the project. Their work is completed. They are temporary stakeholders since their input is needed when there is a change requested in the software. The vehicle test teams and calibrators are stakeholders who coordinate the changes from the beginning to the end. In this scenario, our stakeholders changed. The calibrators and vehicle testing team are the stakeholders who ensure that the changes in the engine software are working as expected since they work closely with the Vehicle program managers. The software team has an influence on the project only in terms of timing. The vehicle program managers assist the software teams in helping them remove any roadblocks they might encounter. The calibrators, vehicle engineers, and system engineers have a lot of influence on the project since they drive a lot of the changes with direction from the vehicle program managers. Once the software package is released by the integrators, the software teams have no influence over the project. They are kept informed on the progress of the project.