Introduction to the Series


Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management
A series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and the success rate of projects


By Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy



Each project is made by people to be delivered to other people; stakeholders, i.e. people and/or groups of people, are therefore central with respect to all projects. Indeed, stakeholders, including the project manager and the project team, are the doers of the project, as well as other stakeholders, including customers/users, and shareholders/ investors/funders, who would like to beneficiate of project results, are the target groups of the project itself. In fact, stakeholders contribute to projects’ success in all respects: they are, at the same time, the greatest generators both of the value to be delivered, and of the complexity to be faced and solved, they affect the delivered value even arithmetically, through their positive, neutral, or negative behaviors, and their satisfaction is – of all evidence – the critical success factor in all projects. Definitively, the role of stakeholders is crucial to determine both effectiveness and efficiency of all projects.

Nevertheless, most of project management literature, and of consequent project managers’ training, relegated stakeholders in a secondary role for almost twenty-five years. In fact, in the original PMBOK (Project Management Institute, 1987) the stakeholders were considered just as participants to the project, and not as the protagonists they effectively are, as well as their role was subordinated to the role of communications – among themselves … may be that the concept of people, i.e. stakeholders, being subordinated to their behaviors, i.e. their communications,  it is a bit peculiar – until, twenty-five years later, ISO 21500:2012 (International Organization for Standardization, 2012) determined that “stakeholder” was a “subject group”, and, right after, in the PMBOK Guide Fifth Edition (Project Management Institute, 2013), “project stakeholder management” was promoted to one of the “knowledge areas”. After that, we should expect to evidence an important improvement in project success rates, mainly due to an increased people-centered maturity both in project managers and in their organizations, which, in turn, could lead to significant improvements in both efficacy and efficiency of projects … but, unfortunately, this did not happen.

In fact, it seems that the path towards project effectiveness and efficiency is a steep ascending route. Quite recent qualified surveys (Project Management Institute, 2018) do still confirm to us that, on average, almost one third of projects do not meet their original goals/business intent – meaning that a large percentage of projects are ineffective, since they do not satisfy their stakeholders’ expectations – , and, moreover, almost one half of projects experience scope creep (Harold Kerzner wrote, with a certain fatalism: “there are three things that most project managers know will happen with almost certainty: death, taxes, and scope creep …”) and/or time delays and/or cost overruns – meaning that an even larger percentage of projects are inefficient, since they do not correspond to their initial project/stakeholder requirements…



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Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Massimo Pirozzi are based on the Author’s Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to Increase Value and Success Rates of Projects”, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton (FL), U.S.A., October 2019.

How to cite this paper: Pirozzi, M. (2020). Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management: a series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and success rate of projects, Introduction to the Series, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Pirozzi-stakeholder-perspective-and-effective-relationship-management1-introduction.pdf



About the Author


Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy



 Massimo Pirozzi, MSc cum laude, Electronic Engineering, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Principal Consultant, Project Manager, and Educator. He is a Member and the Secretary of the Executive Board, a Member of the Scientific Committee, and an Accredited Master Teacher, of the Istituto Italiano di Project Management (Italian Institute of Project Management). He is certified as a Professional Project Manager, as an Information Security Management Systems Lead Auditor, and as an International Mediator. He is a Researcher, a Lecturer, and an Author about Stakeholder Management, Relationship Management, and Complex Projects Management, and his papers have been published in U.S.A., in Italy, and in Russia; in particular, he is the Author of the Book “The Stakeholder Perspective: Relationship Management to enhance Project value and Success”, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, October 2019.  He has a wide experience in managing large and complex projects in national and international contexts, and in managing relations with public and private organizations, including multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutes, and non-profit organizations. He worked successfully in several sectors, including Defense, Security, Health, Education, Cultural Heritage, Transport, Gaming, Services to Citizens, Consulting, and Web. He was also, for many years, a Top Manager in ICT Industry, and an Adjunct Professor in Organizational Psychology. He is registered as an Expert both of the European Commission, and of Italian Public Administrations.

Massimo Pirozzi serves as an International Correspondent in Italy for the PM World Journal. He received two 2019 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Awards for his featured paper “Stakeholders, Who Are They?”, and for his report from Italy titled “PM Expo® and PM Maturity Model ISIPM-Prado®”. He received also the 2018 PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Award for his featured paper “The Stakeholder Management Perspective to Increase the Success Rate of Complex Projects”.

Massimo can be contacted at max.pirozzi@gmail.com

To view other works by Massimo Pirozzi, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/massimo-pirozzi/