Making Projects Work: Effective Stakeholder and Communication Management, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Making Projects Work

Effective Stakeholder and Communication Management, 1st Edition

By Lynda Bourne

Auerbach Publications

260 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-02-12
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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



About the Author

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.

About the Series

Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)