Making Projects Work : Effective Stakeholder and Communication Management book cover
1st Edition

Making Projects Work
Effective Stakeholder and Communication Management

ISBN 9781032340180
Published June 13, 2022 by Auerbach Publications
260 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Projects are performed by people for people, with the key determinants of success being the relationships between project teams and project stakeholders. This web of relationships will either enable or obstruct the flow of information between people and, as a consequence, will largely determine project success or failure.

Making Projects Work: Effective Stakeholder and Communication Management provides a framework for understanding and managing the factors required for achieving successful project and program outcomes. It presents guidelines to help readers develop an understanding of governance and its connection to strategy as the starting point for deciding what work needs to be done.

  • Introduces the idea of an organization’s communication ecosystem where information flows freely within and among all organizational layers
  • Explores the importance of the relationships with the project’s stakeholder community as keys to project success
  • Describes the theoretical underpinnings of leadership
  • Provides detailed analysis of the different types of project stakeholders
  • Supplies guidance on developing the appropriate messages to meet project and stakeholder needs

The book describes how to craft appropriate communication strategies for developing and maintaining successful relationships with stakeholders. It highlights the strengths and weaknesses of existing project controls and outlines effective communication techniques for managing expectations and acquiring the support required to deliver successful projects on time and under budget.

Table of Contents

Making Projects Work
The Communication Ecosystem
     Strategic Management of Projects (Project Governance)
What Should the Boundaries of the Project Be?
Communication Influences Project Outcomes
The Reality Check
     The Project Manager as Superhero: Represents the Hero Component of Project Management Culture
     The Schedule and the Gantt Chart Are Truth: Represents the Symbol Component of Project Management Culture
     Project Reports Are Clear Representations of Project Progress: Represents the Rituals Component of Project Management Culture
     Operating within the Power Relationships of the Organization Is Manipulation: Represents the Value Component of Project Management Culture
     Risk Management Is a Rational Process: Represents the Value Component of Project Management Culture

Stakeholders and Organizational Value
What Is a Stakeholder?
     A Stakeholder Has a Stake
     Contribution of Knowledge (or Experience)
     Contribution of Support
Stakeholder Engagement
     Implications for Successful Stakeholder Engagement in Projects
Stakeholder Theory
     Approaches to Stakeholder Relationships
     Dimension 1: Political Perspectives of Stakeholders
     Dimension 2: Purpose and Objectives of Considering Stakeholders
     Dimension 3: Value of Considering Stakeholders
     Dimension 4: Consideration of the Stakeholder Intervention level
     Dimension 5: Consideration of the Degree of Stakeholder Enforcement
Organization Activities and Stakeholder Communities
     How Many Stakeholders?
Analyzing the Stakeholder Community with the Stakeholder Circle
     Managing Stakeholder Relationships
     Step 1: Identify
     Step 2: Prioritize: How to Understand Who Is Important
          The Prioritization Process
     Step 3: Visualization: Presentation of Complex Data
     Step 4: Engage
          Application of Attitude in Organizations Today
          Examples of Engagement Profiles
     Step 5: Monitor the Effectiveness of the Communication
The Value of Effective Stakeholder Engagement
     Zero Cost of Quality
     Value to the Organization
     On Time/On Budget Delivery
     Value to Stakeholders
     Value to the Project or the Organization
     Value to the Team

Focus on Leadership: Theories for Leading and Managing
What Is a Team?
A History of Management
     Henri Fayol: Functions of Management
     Scientific Management (Frederick Taylor)
     The Hawthorne Experiments and Their Findings
     Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
     Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory
     McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
Theories of Leadership
     The Leadership of Ernest Shackleton
     Goleman’s Leadership Styles
     Trait Theory
     Transactional Leadership
     Charismatic Leadership
     Transformational Leadership
     Situational Leadership
     Authentic Leadership
     Vroom’s Expectancy Theory and Decision Model
Making Decisions
     Define the Problem
     The Decision-Making Process: Who Should Be Involved?
     How Can We Minimize the Effect of Personal Preference and Bias?
     Alternatives: How Do You Prioritize Alternatives?
     Reduce Uncertainty?
     Implement the Solution and Review the Effectiveness of the Implementation

Focus on Downwards: The Practicalities of Leading the Project Team
Emotional Intelligence
The Nature of Teams
Team Formation and Construction
     Agile Teams
     The Leaders’ Role in Successful Agile Projects
     Virtual Teams
Theories of Team Development
     Tuckman’s Model of Team Formation
          How This Model Is Useful
          How Good Is This Model?
     Swift Trust
          Swift Trust Works When
The Tool Kit of a Leader
          Counteracting Social Loafing
          Other Demotivators
          Delegation and Motivation
          The Benefits of Delegation
          Giving Negative Feedback
          Preparing to Give Feedback
     Managing Conflict
          Blake and Mouton’s Approach
          Interventions to Minimize Potential Conflict

Focus on Managing Upwards
The Managers’ Dilemma
     Making the Transition to the Executive Level
     Five Levels of Leadership
The Sponsor
     Three Important Rules for Sponsor Engagement
     Power within Organizations
     Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders
     Helping the Sponsor Help You (and Your Project)
     When the Sponsor Leaves the Project
Managing Relations with Senior Stakeholders
     Building Trust
     Dealing with Difficult Bosses
     The Incompetent Boss
     Gives Unclear Instruction, Is Disorganized
     Blames Others or Takes Undue Credit
     Acts Like a Tyrant or a "Game Player" Saying No
     Intelligent Disobedience

Focus on Sidewards and Outwards Stakeholders
Sidewards and Outwards Stakeholders
     Sidewards Stakeholders
     Outwards Stakeholders
     Different Types of Networks
     Degrees of Separation
     The Power of Networks
     Emotions and Networks
     Applying the Theories of Networks to Managing the Expectations of Stakeholders
     Social Media
          Using Social Media Effectively in Projects
          LinkedIn and Social Distance 
     Finding Influence Networks around the Project
     Stakeholder Community
     Traps in Building Networks
     Avoiding the Traps
     What Is Negotiation?
     Four Concepts of Negotiation
          BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
          Reservation Price
          ZOPA: Zone of Possible Agreement
     Value Creation through Trade-offs
     The Negotiation Process

Culture and Other Factors that Influence Communication
Perception and "Reality"
     The Role of the Brain
     The Brain Hardwires Everything It Can
     "You Create Your Own Reality"
     How Do We Know These Things?
Dimensions of Culture
     Power Distance
     Uncertainty Avoidance
Generational Culture
     Professional Culture
     The Social Context of Gender
     Gender Stereotypes
     Gender Priming
     Workplace Discrimination
     Gender Differences
     Discourse: The Sharing of Information
     Organizational Culture
     Planning and Control
     Theories of Motivation

Types of Stakeholder Communication
     Communication Competence
What Is Communication?
Aspects of Successful Communication: The Power of Words
Active Listening
Communication Essentials
     Defining the Purpose
     Understanding the Recipient of the Communication
     Monitoring Implementation and Measuring Effectiveness
Aristotelian Communication
Preparing for Effective Communication
     The Message: Format and Content
In Conclusion: Putting It All Together



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Dr Lynda Bourne FAIM, FACS, PMP is a senior management consultant, professional speaker, trainer, and award-winning project manager with 30+ years’ professional industry experience. She is the CEO and managing director of Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd focusing on the delivery of stakeholder management and other project and organization related consultancy, mentoring, and training for clients worldwide. Her career has combined practical project experience with business management roles and academic research to deliver successful projects that meet stakeholders’ expectations.

She is a member of the international faculty at EAN University, Columbia, teaching in the Masters of Project Management course. She is also visiting international professor in the master’s program at the Faculty of Exact Sciences and Innovative Technologies, Sholokhov Moscow State. The modules Lynda teaches are focused on stakeholder engagement, communication, and leadership.

Dr Bourne is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. She was awarded PMI Australia’s "Project Manager of the Year," and was included in PMI’s inaugural list of "25 Influential Women in Project Management."

Lynda is a recognised international author, seminar leader, and speaker on the topic of stakeholder engagement and the stakeholder circle visualization tool; her book Stakeholder Relationship Management: A Maturity Model for Organisational Implementation (Gower, 2009, 2011) defines the SRMM® model for stakeholder relationship management maturity.

She has presented at conferences and seminars in Europe, Russia, Asia, Australasia, South America, and the Middle East to audiences in the IT, construction, defence, and mining industries and has been key speaker on stakeholder engagement practices at meetings, workshops, and conferences. She edited the book Advising Upwards (Gower, 2011) containing practical advice for those seeking to influence their senior stakeholders. She presents workshops regularly in the government sector on stakeholder engagement and project governance.