A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders

1st Edition

By Jake Holloway, David Bryde


122 pages

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Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781409407379
pub: 2015-07-28
Hardback: 9781138461055
pub: 2017-06-28

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All project stakeholders have different needs, objectives, responsibilities and priorities. For many project managers it is disturbing to realise that, for any number of personal or professional reasons, some of their stakeholders may not be as co-operative and helpful as they expect. It could be a negative and powerful sponsor (the 'Anti-sponsor'), a demotivated team, low-maturity or unrealistic external clients, maliciously compliant gatekeepers and finance teams, or uninterested internal customers. The reality of project management is that stakeholders can be difficult! Jake Holloway, Professor David Bryde and Roger Joby bring their years of project management experience and combine it with research and insight from social psychology to delve into how and why project stakeholders can be difficult. The book describes some of the common stakeholder types - such as Sponsors, the Team, Gatekeepers, Clients and Contractors - and associated unhelpful or difficult behaviour profiles that you will often come across on projects. It then provides practical ideas, techniques and methods that will help the project manager to effectively manage the impact of these stakeholders on the project. As projects get larger and more complicated, the role and influence of stakeholders grows too. A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders will provide your project teams with the basis for a more sophisticated and resilient approach to stakeholder management.


"This volume makes good use of real-life examples/case studies and provides practical steps and tips to engaging, and maintaining that engagement, with differing types of stakeholders. The book works by raising issues and then offering practical solutions and therefore is positioned to be a handy reference guide. "

Barry Spruce, The Project Times

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Project stakeholders; The project sponsor; The project team; External clients and contractors; Internal customers and gatekeepers; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

About the Authors

Jake Holloway is an experienced Project Manager, Management Consultant and Business Development Director in the areas of IT, Digital and Marketing. He has managed and sponsored 100’s of projects and portfolios, and has been involved in building and designing project management systems. Jake’s interest is in the difference between the reality of how people behave at work and how it is described in management theory. Dr David Bryde is a Professor in Project Management at Liverpool John Moores University. Previously, David worked as the head of the technical support department for Metier Management Systems, supplier of Artemis - a project management software package - and as a project manager for ICI. David is an experienced researcher, teacher and consultant on various aspects of project management. Roger Joby is Managing Director of 1to1to1 and has over 20 years’ experience in project finance, project management and line management within the pharmaceutical industry both in the UK and Europe.

About the Series

Advances in Project Management

Project management has become a key competence for most organisations in the public and private sectors. Driven by recent business trends such as fewer management layers, greater flexibility, increasing geographical distribution and more project-based work, project management has grown beyond its roots in the construction, engineering and aerospace industries to transform the service, financial, computer, and general management sectors. In fact, a Fortune article rated project management as the number one career choice at the beginning of the 21st century. Yet many organizations have struggled in applying the traditional models of project management to their new projects in the global environment. Project management offers a framework to help organisations to transform their mainstream operations and service performance. It is viewed as a way of organising for the future. Moreover, in an increasingly busy, stressful, and uncertain world it has become necessary to manage several projects successfully at the same time. According to some estimates the world annually spends well over $10 trillion (US) on projects. In the UK alone, more than £250 billion is spent on projects every year. Up to half of these projects fail! A major ingredient in the build-up leading to failure is often cited as the lack of adequate project management knowledge and experience. Some organizations have responded to this situation by trying to improve the understanding and capability of their managers and employees who are introduced to projects, as well as their experienced project managers in an attempt to enhance their competence and capability in this area. Advances in Project Management provides short, state of play, guides to the main aspects of the new emerging applications including: maturity models, agile projects, extreme projects, six sigma and projects, human factors and leadership in projects, project governance, value management, virtual teams, project benefits.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / New Business Enterprises
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management