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Project Management: Steps for Success

30-08-16, 13:58

You've been given a complex renovation or maybe a refurbishment which requires delivering, within a deadline, a limited budget and multiple stakeholders to liaise with; all of whom seem to know best.

Congratulations, you have a project to run!

Once you have a project you have to make sure you gain everyone's agreement about what the project is, and get it clearly documented and then signed off by the key stakeholders. But how do we determine who the key stakeholders are?

Sometimes it is pretty obvious - but the following technique can provide more structure when things aren't so straightforward.

Step 1 - Identify all those people who are either impacted by the project, or who can impact the project, for example, the stakeholders of the project.This includes all the users, people who will carry out the work, managers and supervisors of the area(s) impacted, line management and anyone who would oversee the work either from a quality or regulatory perspective.

Step 2 - Assess the stakeholders in terms of each stakeholder's level of power and level of interest. When we talk about power it could be the power to halt the project if dissatisfied with safety measures being taken or the power to change the requirements of the project.

Although there are several ways we could distinguish the levels of power and interest - the simplest is often the best. 'High' and 'Low' as shown on the grid below!


Writing each stakeholder's name on a post-it note and then placing it on a flip-charted grid can be an effective way of analysing your stakeholders, as they can be repositioned if needed.

The four strategies are presented on the four quadrants. For example, someone with high power over the project but little specific interest in the project should be 'kept satisfied'. This could be an external regulator who has the power to stop the job if it isn't compliant from a Health and Safety perspective.

We need to ensure they receive the right information at the right time so they can approve the project and allow it to continue. We don't want them to have any reason to delay approval or signing off on the job.

'Manage closely' the high power and interest stakeholders, a section that might better be described as 'engage' with these stakeholders. They are key to the success of your project so ensure you find out how they want to be communicated with and spend sufficient time building a relationship and managing their expectations.

'Keep informed' would normally apply to the majority of the end users of your project outputs. Make sure they receive updates particularly on matters such as changes to project delivery and so on.

The final zone of 'monitor' is for the low power and interest stakeholders and ensures that if any stakeholder moves into another sector they are handled appropriately.

This 'Step for Success' is just one step in our structured 'Project Management for Facilities Managers' course that is run three times a year!  Next dates are 29-30 November please view the course description here.

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