Know Your Stakeholders …

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and make sure they know you. Quite obviously, whoever funds a project is an important stakeholder. But he is or they are not the only ones. Those who are affected by q project are just as important. They may be key to the success of a project as the following episode from Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir’s highly acclaimed book “Overview of the PMBOK® Guide” illustrates:
I once worked for a mobile telephone company during the construction of their network. Every neighborhood objected to having antennas in their area,mainly because of “electro-smog” or “aesthetics”. The legal objections slowed down the program by several months and affected the profits badly. This meant that a competing network had to be used (and paid for) until all the antennas were operational.
One resident lived in an apartment block which had an antenna on the roof. She complained of headaches and illness because of the radiation, despite the fact that the antenna was not switched on.
In order to moderate the communications with these interest groups, a charismatic engineer was put on television, to say that there really was no problem. The actual problem was that those who lived near the antennas had not been identified in advance as stakeholders.”
This episode tells us that communication with stakeholders is an element of prime importance in project management. It doesn’t pay to take it too lightly.
We’d be interested to hear your story, if you have experienced cases where stakeholders were neglected. Just email e.bouchard@scatterwork.com.
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