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The Anti-Sponsor, and other Animals Difficult Stakeholders

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The Anti-Sponsor, and other Animals Difficult Stakeholders

Jake is a survivor of a hundred or so IT and Business projects and wants to share some things with the group!

Based loosely on his upcoming book, A Practical Guide to Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders, he will introduce some of the characters that populate real organisations including the Anti-Sponsor, the Maliciously Compliant Gatekeeper and the Mutinous Team.

His assertion is that to be an effective Project Manager you really need to understand social psychology before worrying about a project management methodology!

Biography:

JakeHollowayJake Holloway is from Xceed Group, who specialise in IT Transformations, Migrations and Change. He first cut his project management teeth at Artemis (the PM software and consulting house) where he was Global Head of IT Project Management. Subsequently he has largely worked in Digital Programme Management.

Email: jake.holloway@xceedgroup.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jakeholloway
Web: http://www.xceedgroup.com/

Published in: Business
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The Anti-Sponsor, and other Animals Difficult Stakeholders

  1. 1. Clarity for complex changeClarity for complex change © 2015 XceedGroup The Anti-Sponsor ..and other animals Difficult Stakeholders Jake Holloway
  2. 2. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 2 “I want you to know that this project shouldn’t exist and I will oppose the final recommendations, whatever they are” (Project Sponsor)
  3. 3. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 3 “We think you have lost it as Project Manager and we’re telling everyone you’re incompetent behind your back” (Project team members)
  4. 4. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 4 “We’re not interested in the new IT system, however good it is. We like the old way just fine” (Internal customers)
  5. 5. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 5 “The system of project gates I designed is perfect. Should your Project fail to meet them in any way, the sanctity of my processes infinitely outweighs the value of your Project” (PMO Manager)
  6. 6. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 6 “My job is to make as much money out of this contract as possible. I don’t care if the project misses schedule or quality objectives – and I want it to cost more” (External supplier)`
  7. 7. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 7 This behaviour is real - why are they so difficult? How do we deal with them? Is dealing with them really a part of Project Management? My three questions..
  8. 8. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 8  They have other priorities and serve other masters  Stakeholders are people Irrational, selfish, tribal, proud They like other people, authority, influence, money, status Sometimes don’t like other people, and they don’t like Change
  9. 9. Clarity for complex changewww.xceedgroup.com 9 Lack of support Influence
  10. 10. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 10  Project Managers should make projects a success  Project Managers should manage Stakeholders  Therefore we have to do something about their difficult behaviour, but what?
  11. 11. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 11  From Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 TM  “Leadership, motivational skills and other interpersonal skills are immensely important but impossible to codify in a method… For this reason, PRINCE2 cannot address this aspect of project management directly.”
  12. 12. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 12 Lack of support Influence
  13. 13. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 13  Take your emotions out of the equation, so you can deal with theirs  Treat all stakeholders as distinct individuals and groups Understand real objectives, actual opinions, objections, prejudices, relationships and other priorities  Use your positive stakeholders  Marginalise your negative ones
  14. 14. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 14  With groups - think like an Advertiser Design messages to address feelings Use their channels to connect (please, no more project newsletters) Measure reach, opinion, recall, level of engagement, satisfaction, behaviours
  15. 15. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 15  With individuals - behave like a Salesperson Focus on persuasion and changing behaviours, not just ‘engagement’ Use sales techniques to manage their decision-making process Use persuasion science to motivate them
  16. 16. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 16  Surely projects deliver change?  Project Management should cover everything, not just the easy bits  We need to adopt and codify Tools and techniques from Sales and Marketing Research from Social Psychology and Persuasion science E.g. Social proof
  17. 17. Clarity for complex change 20/06/2015 www.xceedgroup.com 17  Understand requirements  Engage, Consult, Inform  Understand feelings, connections, other priorities  Influence, Persuade, Enlist  Empower or marginalise
  18. 18. Clarity for complex change Gower “Advances in Project Management” series Publication due: July ’15 35% discount with code: G15JRW35

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