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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Project Stakeholders: Do Not Ignore

Project Risk Management
“Who are the project stakeholders? Keep in mind that you work for a publicly-owned company and the customer is the Department of Defense” (CTUOnline; 2006).
• Apply the basic competencies of the project manager in understanding and planning for risk
• Use effective communication techniques.
• Communicate risk effectively to all project stakeholders (CTUOnline; 2006)
According to chapter 2 of the PMBOK guide, the “Projects and project management are carried out in environments broader than that of the project itself” (PMBOK Guide; 2004, p 19).
The project stakeholder organization is made up of those who front the resources, and back the bonds and funds to make the projects possible. The ones who own a stake in the monetary underwriting of projects are often called, stakeholders or sponsors. Also, as described in section 2.2 PMBOK Guide, the interdependence of the project management and the stakeholders is prevailing, and immediate (2004, p 25-26).
Essentially, the sponsors whether individuals or organizations, are willing to risk involvement and funds to see the project completed. Project management teams are obliged to “determine [stakeholders’] requirements and expectations” and proportion the measured risks accordingly. The goal is to “ensure a successful project” (2004, p 25-26).
The most feared word in the relationship between stakeholder and project management is: ignore. The stakeholders and sponsors have started the ball rolling, and it is imperative they contribute throughout the project life cycle. Smartly the Project Manager, who is the captive liaison for the project continuity, must never fail to update, and reiterate essential knowledge to the stakeholders. Expect dramatic damage reports should one ignore the other.
Therefore, in this instance of project length of 5 years or more, and resource provided by hefty supply chains, the stakeholder list is rather extensive. The best placement of the stakeholder is in the shared values and norms of each knowledge base in the project. Therefore the sponsors vary according to the category of their financial responsibilities.
In larger category the stakeholders are the Project Management Organization, and the Customer/ End-user of our Department of Defense project. The cross-functioning influences of multiple categorical stakeholders will play heavily in the “acquisition and final use of the war machine developed” (2004, p 25-26).
PMBOK Guide claims the “key stakeholders on every project include:
• Project Manager
• Customer/ End-users
• Performing organization
• Project team members
• Project Management team
• Sponsors
• Influencers
• PMO (2004, p 25-26)
The initial response to the question: “Who are the project stakeholders, bearing in mind the DOD is the end user stakeholder,” is in a stakeholder analysis. During the Scope definition as discussed in PMBOK Guide chapter 5, it is important to “identify influence and interests of the various stakeholders and document their needs, wants and expectations” (2004, p 110).
As all analysis is quantitative, “the analysis diligently selects, prioritizes, and quantifies” those conditions. The Guide also states there is “high risk in quantifying expectations” that are non-specific, such as “customer satisfaction” (paraphrased, (2004, p 110).
The scope places high priority on the identification of the stakeholders. As part of our exercise the stakeholders can be declared in the statements of the scope risk management phase. Certain assumptions in the scope risk management have to be proven if found false, especially if the assumptions are part of the stakeholders’ claims. The same can be said for scope boundaries, and “scope priority requirements risk management” (2004, p111).
According to PMBOK Guide: Quality risk management also is paramount to end-users’ enduring stability. The various quality standards for industry apply as reference to a quality expectation. Improper inspections, lack of maintenance, or rushing through a task can produce negative consequences for “any and all of the project stakeholders” This is an understatement when the negative turns out to be a plane crash due to “defects, poorly organized user documentation or numerous extraneous features” (2004, p 180).
Some Quality Standards Organizations in context are:

• International Organization for Standardization, ISO
• Total Quality Management, TQM
• Six Sigma
• Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
• Design reviews
• Voice of the Customer
• Cost of Quality, COQ
• Continuous Improvement
• Communications Planning
• Performance Reporting
• Risk Management
(2004, p 180)

Conclusion: Who are they?
1) The Project Manager is the elected liaison from the ranks, placed by the stakeholders
2) The Customer end-user is the US citizenry as represented in the Department of Defense:
a. The class of military personnel due to use and maintain the end product
b. B2G, business to Government, B2B, and B2C; all lien-holders and bond holders
3) The Performing Organization, or PMO, is the labor groups who are affected by the completion or non-completion of the project. This could be a large group in this case.
4) The Team Members are the “dozen nuclear scientists, engineers, and technology professionals including military personnel” and all their distaff members
5) The Project management Team is my esteemed colleagues
6) The Sponsor is the US government Department of Defense, DOD
7) The Influencers will have been identified as stakeholders in each of the risk management knowledge phases such as:
8) Members of Committee in Legislatures, the Judicial, or the Executive
a. Security Organizations
b. Environmental organizations
c. Lobbyists
d. Risk Management Organizations
The list includes but is not limited to the above. It is abridged for this discussion, though it will include in the end many watch groups, accounting branches and other business groups local, nationally and internationally.
CTUOnline (November 2006) Task Detail, MPM450 03 0604B Managing Project Risk and Opportunities
Pmi org (2006) retrieved from web, Nov 15 2006 Project Management Institute (PMI) The Largest Project Management Association. Retrieved October 19, 2006, from pmi org info default asp
PMBOK; (2004) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMBOK Guide, third edition, 2004 project management Institute, 4 Campus Blvd, Newton Square, PA 19073 USA

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