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The central role of stakeholders

in projects and in project management

 

Stakeholder Perspective and Effective Relationship Management

A series of stakeholder-centered short guidance articles for increasing delivered value and the success rate of projects

 

SERIES ARTICLE

By Massimo Pirozzi

Rome, Italy

 


 

Stakeholders, who are they? The concept of stakeholders naturally corresponds to people and/or to people groups, and it definitively refers to the domain of human behaviors, but it addresses specific keywords, and, in case of project stakeholders, it has some specific attributes too.

Indeed, stakeholders, in their three hundred years of history – the word stakeholder dates back to the beginning of the eighteenth century, in England, and it meant the person who was entrusted with the stakes of bettors, i.e. a “holder of interests” – and especially in the last sixty years, progressively incorporated several key – and intense – concepts as interest, participation, support, influence, risk, responsibility, and value, and these concepts are common to all stakeholders that belong to organizational domains that may be very diverse.

Project stakeholders, in addition, focus on two specific basic attributes, which are unicity and centrality.  In fact, on one side, every project is unique, and its unicity is reflected not only in its scope, goals, objectives, deliverables, time, cost, resources, and so on, but also in its own set of stakeholders, which, then, characterizes specifically each project both with respect to others, and in terms of its inherent complexity too.

In addition, since each project is made by people to be delivered to other people, stakeholders are evidently 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. Definitively, stakeholders contribute to project definition, implementation, and success, starting from strategies and arriving to generate benefits through their actual delivered value.

Stakeholder centrality is a concept that relates to both operations and strategy domains. In fact, organizations define their strategies, which are based on their own mission and vision, and projects are their operational means to accomplish strategic goals, then achieving, through their results, the expected benefits; the overall value that is generated by each project determines the stakeholder satisfaction, and the relevant project success rate, within the whole investment lifecycle (see Fig. 1). It is, indeed, a fact, that each project exists to implement an investment, which, on turn, has been mutually agreed to harmonize different stakeholder expectations; organizations define strategies, which are based on their own mission and vision, then select pursuable opportunities in accordance with their defined strategy, then set business cases up, and, finally, start projects up. The inputs of a project generally include, then, business case, contract, and Statement of Work, or equivalent documents and/or agreements: of course, there are different business cases or similar for different stakeholders, as, for instance, providers, investors, and customers are, and this leads to the existence of different perspectives, in terms of results to be achieved, that will accompany the project in all its life cycle, and also afterwards, i.e. in released product/ infrastructure/ service lifecycle.

Fig.1 – The Project Investment Value Chain

A crucial issue comes out: objective “project requirements” in fact do not exist – even though it would be easier to deal with them –, while, in each project, there are “stakeholder requirements” characterized by an intrinsic subjectivity, which is due to both the facts that they are originated by stakeholders, i.e. people, and that they are the result of a mediation among diverse stakeholder expectations.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

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, The central role of stakeholders in projects and in project management, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Pirozzi-the-central-role-of-stakeholders-in-projects-series-article-3.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/

 

 

Introduction, Overview, Enablers

 

Boosting Organisational Value Through Smarter Portfolio Management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

By Iain Fraser

New Zealand

 


 

Introduction

Back in 1785 internationally known Scottish poet Robert Burns used the words “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft agley”. Those words were used in a poem about a mouse and its vulnerable shelter it had built. Fast-forward a few hundred years and we see vulnerability everywhere today mostly associated with aspects of the VUCA influenced world. The COVID-19 global pandemic exposed our vulnerability hugely. Going forward new ways of business planning and implementing need to be deployed to safeguard value delivered to stakeholders. These new ways can and should revolve around the advanced use of portfolio management, in its most mature form, with a ‘way of doing business’ mantra to allow for better strategy development and its implementation. This series of articles introduces readers to modern business portfolio management and how it can help organizations and professionals deliver more value.

Overview of Portfolio Management

Modern business portfolio management has borrowed some of its philosophy from the finance sector, particularly around grouping and commonality. These groupings provide a viable and pragmatic business management mechanism for the development and implementation of strategies. This has long been an area that has troubled executives and senior managers in their quest for efficient and effective operational and tactical activity that aligns to their strategic intents. Portfolio management can be applied in a new investment manner as well as in a ‘business-as-usual’ manner. When portfolio management is coupled together with a value management framework a real mechanism results that positions portfolio at the right level to assist those involved in strategic business planning and oversees the downstream implementation. In this way portfolios typically exhibit common features, such as:

  • They are aligned with the organization’s strategic intent (think vision and purpose) and linked to its identified strategic goals and business objectives,
  • They represent investments via funding allocations made or intended by the organization,
  • They typically have one or more distinguishing features that prompts the organization to group them for more efficient management and control purposes,
  • The features are quantifiable; that is they can be ranked, prioritized and measured,
  • They should include relevant ‘business as usual’ (BAU) related work.

To be valued as an organizational performance enhancer, each portfolio must be overseen by a common and effective P3M governance structure that is empowered to authorize, guide, and change portfolio content and intention.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Iain Fraser is a former Chair and Fellow of the Project Management Institute and a globally recognized PM expert and professional leader.  This series of articles on smarter portfolio management is based on Iain’s book “The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management” (PMI, 2017).

How to cite this paper: Fraser, I. (2020). Boosting Organizational Value Through Smarter Portfolio Management: Introduction, Overview, Enablers; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Fraser-portfolio-management-introduction-overview-enablers-series-article2.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Iain Fraser

Scotland & New Zealand


 

 Iain Fraser, Dip PPC, PMP, MoP, P3M3, PMI Fellow, Fellow PMINZ has over 30 years of global business, portfolio, program of work, project, and EPMO leadership experience from a variety of sectors such as oil & gas, telecommunications, power, banking, defence, government and technology. He is globally known for his expertise and in-sights on leveraging benefits from project-based management for business advantage. A former CEO, he is now an independent consultant, speaker and trainer. He is considered a thought-leader by his peers, has been featured on live radio, video and podcasts and has been quoted in The Times and The Telegraph of the UK. He is the author of the top-selling business book ‘The Business of Portfolio Management— Boosting Organizational Value(PMI, 2017) and co-author ofThe Business of People: Leadership for the Changing World(Routledge, 2019) with Madeleine Taylor as well as other publications. More at www.jacobite.co.nz

Iain can be contacted at Iain.Fraser@jacobite.co.nz.

To view other works by Iain Fraser, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/iain-fraser/

 

Tips for Working at Home

 

Converting to Online Teaching

A series of short guidance articles for educators and institutions

 

SERIES ARTICLE

By John Cable, Director

Project Management Center for Excellence
A. James Clark School of Engineering
University of Maryland

College Park, Maryland, USA

 


 

If you are generally new to working from home on a full-time basis, we have put together a few ideas that may be useful.

Routine

It is best to develop a schedule and routine that works for you. Treat the day like a workday and get up on time, dress for the office (even if it is casual) and try to keep a regular schedule.

  • Plan your day to work with your natural energy cycle. We all have one and they are different. Maybe you are a morning person or a night owl or something in between. Your curve may look something like this:

In any case, schedule your focused work during your peak energy cycle and do things that require less focus during low energy times. This is a natural cycle but can be influenced by diet and exercise. Eat some protein when you need to push through a low energy time to finish a task.

  • Take breaks at whatever interval works for you, even if it’s just getting a fresh coffee and walking around the house for a minute.
  • Be sure to change your field of vision and focal length when you take a break. If you are sitting at a computer doing your work, make sure to look out the window or go outside so you are looking at a distance.
  • Forget the 8-10 hour typical day in the office and don’t be afraid to take breaks for personal things you need to get done. Working from home means you actually have a much longer workday!

 

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles by the Director of the University of Maryland’s Project Management Center for Excellence provides information and advice for converting from traditional in-person classes to online teaching, based on their experience before and during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. See Professor Cable’s background at the end of this article.

How to cite this paper: Cable, J. H. (2020). Converting to Online Teaching: A series of short guidance articles for educators and institutions – Tips for Working at Home, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Cable-converting-to-teaching-online-3-working-at-home2.pdf

 


 

About the Author


John Cable

Director, Project Management Center for Excellence
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

 

 John Cable is Director of the Project Management Center for Excellence in the A.James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, where he is also a professor and teacher of several graduate courses in project management. His program at the University of Maryland offers masters and PhD level programs focused on project management. With more than 1,300 seats filled annually with students from many countries, including more than 40 PhD students, the program is the largest graduate program in project management at a major university in the United States.

John Cable served in the newly formed U.S. Department of Energy in 1980, where he was involved with developing energy standards for buildings, methods for measuring energy consumption, and managing primary research in energy conservation.  As an architect and builder, Mr. Cable founded and led John Cable Associates in 1984, a design build firm. In 1999 he was recruited by the University of Maryland’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering to create and manage a graduate program in project management. In his role as founder and director of the Project Management Center for Excellence at Maryland, the program has grown to offer an undergraduate minor, master’s degrees, and a doctoral program. Information about the Project Management Center for Project Management at the University of Maryland can be found at www.pm.umd.edu.

In 2002, PMI formed the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Educational Programs (GAC).  Mr. Cable was appointed to that inaugural board where he served as vice chair.  In 2006, he was elected as chairman, a role he held through 2012.  As Chair of the PMI GAC, John led the accreditation of 86 project management educational programs at 40 institutions in 15 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia Pacific Region. John was awarded PMI’s 2012 Distinguished Contribution Award for his leadership at the GAC.  He can be contacted at jcable@umd.edu.

To view other works by John Cable, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/john-cable/

 

 

Executive Involvement in Project Risk Management

 

SERIES ARTICLE

By Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PfMP, PMI_RMP, PMI Fellow

The Risk Doctor Partnership

Madrid, Spain

 


 

Senior managers and executives usually know that they are responsible for overseeing the company’s approach to managing risk. This involves the Board considering risk oversight policies and procedures, as well as regularly assessing corporate risk. They need to understand the expectations of regulatory bodies and ensure that the company’s approach reflects risk management best practices. The annual report should communicate risk-related lessons learned from past successes and failures.

Risk should also be an important part of board decision-making. If they get key decisions wrong, the impact will be felt across the organization, affecting a wide range of stakeholders. Risk management needs to be an integral part of the organization’s culture, strategy, and day-to-day business operations, and not just done for compliance reasons. Of all the challenges that boards face, perhaps the greatest is to navigate organizational growth while protecting the organization from unnecessary risk exposure.

We expect executives to know how to address risk at the corporate level. But do executives also need to understand how risk management works in projects? The involvement of an executive sponsor has been found to be crucial for project success, and their input throughout the project is important to the management of project risk.

  1. Initiating. The executive sponsor needs to work with the project manager to produce the project charter, ensuring that project objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bounded). The sponsor can bring experience of previous projects by referring to historical databases and other organizational assets before the project is launched. In this way, the executive sponsor can minimize risk that arises from badly-defined objectives, and ensure that previously-identified lessons are applied. The sponsor is also responsible for clearly communicating the risk thresholds for the project, and ensuring that these are documented in the risk management plan.
  2. Planning. The executive sponsor should support the project team as they gather requirements and define product and project scope. They must also check that the project vision, mission and objectives are aligned, and approve the project plan, to ensure that scope risk is minimized. The sponsor will ensure that the views of all project stakeholders are considered, and work with difficult stakeholders to minimize any risk of misunderstanding.

More…

To read entire report, click here

 

How to cite this paper: Bucero, A. (2020).  Executive Involvement in Project Risk Management; PM World Journal, Volume IX, Issue VII, July. Available online at: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/pmwj95-Jul2020-Bucero-executive-involvement-in-project-risk-management2.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Alfonso Bucero

Madrid, Spain

 

 

Alfonso Bucero, MSc, CPS, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow, is an International Correspondent and Contributing Editor for the PM World Journal in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Bucero is also founder and Managing Partner of BUCERO PM Consulting.  Alfonso was the founder, sponsor and president of the PMI Barcelona Chapter until April 2005, and belongs to PMI’s LIAG (Leadership Institute Advisory Group).  He was the past President of the PMI Madrid Spain Chapter, and then nominated as a PMI EMEA Region 8 Component Mentor. Now he is a member of the PMIEF Engagement Committee. Alfonso has a Computer Science Engineering degree from Universidad Politécnica in Madrid and is studying for his Ph.D. in Project Management. He has 32 years of practical experience and is actively engaged in advancing the PM profession in Spain and throughout Europe. He received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award on October 9th, 2010, the PMI Fellow Award on October 22nd 2011 and the PMI Eric Jenett Excellence Award on October 28th, 2017.

Mr. Bucero can be contacted at alfonso.bucero@abucero.com.

To see other works by Alfonso Bucero, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alfonso-bucero/

 

 

The Great Challenge: Project Contracting

 

Project Business Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 


 

“For what one has, in black and white,
One carries home and then goes through it.”

Goethe, Faust 1[1]

 

Summary

In project business management, it is essential for project managers to know the contract. In addition to that, they should have education to understand commercial and legal factors of project business to the depth necessary to perform the projects successfully and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

 

Project Managers and Legal Knowledge

A project manager is not expected to be a lawyer. The percentage of lawyers managing projects seems to be quite small, most project managers have a different education and are trained in technical and organizational matter, not in legal details. In project business however, a deficiency in legal knowledge can be a problem. Project managers have to make a multitude of decisions every day, each of which can have legal implications, and many of them can cause problems in a worst-case scenario, when a lawsuit is threatened or actually filed.

One can compare this with driving a car: A driver has to make many micro-decisions on the way from one place to another, and each of these decisions may be wrong. Before people can drive cars, they have to be taught by a driving instructor, and the instructions do not only take account of technical matters, but also include knowledge of and compliance with a body of traffic law. Illiteracy or disregard of traffic law can lead to dangers for life, health, and bank accounts. The driving instructor is not a legal expert but needs to know the rules well enough to be able to pass them on.

In project business management, the same applies, however the number of instructors is small. People therefore often learn the rules by trial and error. Unfortunately, trial in projects under contract is expensive, and error often even more.

In project business management, the project contract is an expression of the hopes and wills of the two (or more) parties at the moment of conclusion, but also of their uncertainties, concerns, and fears in this moment. Understanding its relevance is essential for success of any cross—corporate project.

It is therefore surprising, that project managers often don’t know the contract, and this is true for both sides, customers and contractors. Time to dig deeper into the matter. Project contracts matter in project business.

Figure 1: The project contract ends the business development phase and begins the delivery phase.

 

Why Contracts Matter in Project Business

The core document of project business is the project contract.

Project contracts are different from other contracts. It is important for success in project business that project managers understand these differences and act appropriately. And that they know the contract.

 

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This series of articles is by Oliver Lehmann, author of the book “Project Business Management” (ISBN 9781138197503), published by Auerbach / Taylor & Francis in 2018. See author profile below.

How to cite this article: Lehmann, O. (2020). The Great Challenge: Project Contracting; Series on Project Business Management; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/pmwj94-Jun2020-Lehmann-Project-Contracting-PBM-series-article2.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Oliver F. Lehmann

Munich, Germany

 

 

 Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc, ACE, PMP, is a project management educator, author, consultant, and speaker. In addition, he is the President of the Project Business Foundation, the home association for professionals and organizations involved in cross-corporate projects.

He studied Linguistics, Literature and History at the University of Stuttgart and Project Management at the University of Liverpool, UK, where he holds a Master of Science Degree. Oliver has trained thousands of project managers in Europe, USA and Asia in methodological project management with a focus on certification preparation. In addition, he is a visiting lecturer at the Technical University of Munich.

He has been a member and volunteer at PMI, the Project Management Institute, since 1998, and served as the President of the PMI Southern Germany Chapter from 2013 to 2018. Between 2004 and 2006, he contributed to PMI’s PM Network magazine, for which he provided a monthly editorial on page 1 called “Launch”, analyzing troubled projects around the world.

Oliver believes in three driving forces for personal improvement in project management: formal learning, experience and observations. He resides in Munich, Bavaria, Germany and can be contacted at oliver@oliverlehmann.com.

Oliver Lehmann is the author of the books:

His previous articles and papers for PM World Journal can be found here:

 

[1] (Goethe, 2005)

 

 

Developing Performance Measures

 

Positive Leadership in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

 


 

Project managers, as part of their leadership responsibilities, must occasionally work with the project team, and possibly their managers and customers, to develop clearly defined and measurable performance metrics. This particular element of leadership is actually associated with the managerial element in the balance between being a manager and a leader. Interestingly, the development of performance measures is, for many, very challenging and often does not result in a truly useful set of metrics. The following information may be useful during your activities and discussions with your team regarding performance measures.

A Process for Developing Performance Measures

Performance Measures – Quantitative descriptions of the quality of products and services offered by an organization.

Step 1 – Describe the outcomes. Why are we doing this work? What is the desired change? Who will benefit from the work? What financial benefits will be realized?

Step 2 – Describe the major processes involved. What are we doing and how should we be doing it?

Step 3 – Identify results that will be expected. What is produced? (the deliverables) (You must be able to describe it if you want to build it or improve it).

Step 4 – Establish performance goals for the results. How will I know when I get there? How will the team know they have completed the work?

 

Two applicable Acronyms:

P  – Profitable – The benefit / cost. Is it worthwhile?

A – Achievable – Can it be achieved? Who will do it?

I   – Important – Does it matter to anyone? Who will be affected and why is it important?

N – Numerical – Without a number you won’t know when you get there. Establish metrics to track progress.

 

G – Goals

A – Are

I  – Important

N – Numbers

 

Step 5 – Define measures for the goals. What can you use to track progress?

 

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2020). Positive Leadership in Project Management: Developing Performance Measures. PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Saladis-developing-performance-measures.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA

 

 

 Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/

 

 

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

SERIES ARTICLE

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…

 

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

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/

 

 

Leadership of purpose

In search of Good Dividends

 

Advances in Project Management Series

SERIES ARTICLE

By Steve Kempster, Ken Parry and Thomas Maak

UK and Australia

 


 

Business has the very real potential to be the greatest mechanism on the planet to enhance humanity, if it can do this profitably and generate divi- dends for all its stakeholders.

All businesses seek to generate good dividends – how could it be otherwise. But let’s go further, all organisations should generate good dividends – private, public, and voluntary, NGO’s and even local and national governments. It is quite likely that the second sentence will have created a disquiet, alarm and even doubt as to whether you should read further.  We hope you do.

A dividend is more than simply the term for a payment. It is an ownership in something to which a return today or in the future is anticipated. That return is typically divided up between the owners. It is of course a term we closely associate with business where shares are bought and sold on the basis of success and anticipated future performance. Yet it does apply to all organisations and institutions who have owners who can anticipate receiving dividends – hopefully good ones. Employees have a stake in the success of their organisations. We have a stake in our governments. Further, we all have a stake in the well-being of our communities and indeed the planet.  So, it should be considered a much more encompassing term. And that’s how we frame it within our work. Good dividends matter to all of us.

Good dividends are drawn from the use of capital. Capital (or stock – from the old English term for a tree stump) is something that can be increased by human endeavour. It is of course financial, and good dividends usually translate to an increase in financial capital. But the conflation is unhelpful. Financial is but one of six capitals: in addition to financial there is human capital, social capital (networks, relationships, communities), reputational capital (brand value), operational (transforming capability) capital, and natural capital (planetary). All of the six capitals relate to all institutions – including but not limited to businesses, charities, NGO’s, local and central governments.

And here’s the thing…

If you maximise the capitals you maximise the good dividends – including financial. All can be systemically interconnected and we provide an example further on in this article to amplify this point. But it is rare for institutions – notably for-profit businesses – to overtly pursue the maximisation of all capitals. The preoccupation is with financial capital and financial dividends, and ironically this preoccupation limits the potential financial dividend over the medium- and long-term. Thus, the premise of our work is simple – it is about the role of leadership (arguably the most dominant social influence mechanism on the planet!) with a focus on purpose to maximise the six capitals and maximise the six Good Dividends.

This line of work is ambitious. We have sought to bring together academics and senior managers to address what we think is a key fundamental question that the leadership field (and perhaps leadership practitioners) have not addressed: leadership for what? The answer we offer is leadership of purpose through the notion of achieving good dividends. We will explore this answer in depth in this article. The ambitious nature of the work is related to the interdisciplinary approach. Too often, arguably invariably, discussions on leadership are delineated to an examination of the leader, the person, the role and to a lesser extent the leadership relationship. Here we examine the purposes, responsibilities and orientations of the activities of leadership with regard to the fiduciary duty and the generation of value. Our ambitions seek to reframe discourses on the role of business. We outline in our work a set of four interdisciplinary cornerstones that have not been drawn together to date, yet we contend that it is prescient that we do. These are: moral capitalism, virtue ethics, responsible leadership and the grand societal challenges to humanity (alternatively described as the sustainable development goals [SDG’s]). The 4 cornerstones form the theoretical foundation that underpin the arguments within our approach, notably the necessity for leadership to influence organisational activity to generate good dividends, for shareholders, for communities and indeed for humanity.

 

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Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Routledge worldwide. Information about Routledge project management books can be found here.

How to cite this paper: Kempster, S.; Parry, K.; Maak, T. (2020). Leadership of purpose: In search of Good Dividends, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Kempster-Parry-Maak-leadership-of-purpose.pdf

 


 

About the Authors

 


Steve Kempster

Lancaster, UK

 

 

Steve Kempster is Professor of Leadership Learning and Development at Lancaster University Management School, UK. He has authored the books LEADing Small Business (Edward Elgar) and How Managers Have Learnt to Lead (Palgrave Macmillan), and has co-edited (with Brigid Carrol) Responsible Leadership: Realism and Romanticism (Routledge), Field Guide to Leadership Development (Edward Elgar) and he has published widely in The Leadership Quarterly, Management Learning, Leadership, and other top-ranking journals. Steve’s first career was as a chartered surveyor, during which time he ran his own practice. In his second career, his research and engagement interests span leadership learning, responsible leadership, and through addressing the question ‘leadership for what?’ examines the contexts, purposes, actions and outcomes of those who lead.

 


Thomas Maak

Melbourne, Australia

 

Thomas Maak is Professor of Leadership and Director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne. A graduate from the University of St Gallen, he held appointments at St Gallen, INSEAD, ESADE Business School and was formerly Head, School of Management and founding Director of the Centre for Business Ethics and Responsible Leadership at the University of South Australia. Thomas is a leading scholar in the field of responsible leadership and uses a multi-level lens to research leadership at the individual, group and organisational level, linking ethical theory, political philosophy, relational thinking and stakeholder theory. Thomas has extensive experience in leadership development and has worked for several years with PricewaterhouseCoopers on their award-winning senior executive programme ‘Ulysses’. Beyond leadership research his interests include ethical decision-making, political CSR and organisational neuroscience. Through his work with leading social entrepreneurs in South Asia and South America he is also interested in social innovation and the advancement of human dignity in a connected world.

 


Ken Parry

Melbourne, Australia

 

 

Ken Parry was Professor of Leadership Studies at Deakin Business School, in Melbourne, Australia. His research interests focused on all methodologies that are associated with the study of leadership. He brought auto-ethnography to management/business studies early in the century. He is co-author, with Brad Jackson, of the Sage Short, Interesting and Cheap Book about studying leadership—the No.1 selling leadership text. Most of his publications focused on grounded theory and other qualitative methods. He was widely asked to be a keynote speaker in industry and academic conferences.

 

 

All Decisions are Risky

 

Risk Doctor Briefing

SERIES ARTICLE

Dr David Hillson, PMI Fellow, HonFAPM, FIRM

The Risk Doctor Partnership

United Kingdom

 


 

The idea of “risk-based decision-making” is becoming increasingly popular, and decision-makers at all levels are keen to ensure that their decisions take risk properly into account. But perhaps the term “risk-based decision-making” is mistaken. Surely all decisions are risk-based, by definition?

Whenever we encounter a situation where we need to make a decision, two vital characteristics are always present. Every decision involves uncertainty, and the outcome of every decision matters.

All decisions involve uncertainty

If there is no uncertainty in the situation, then we don’t need to make a decision. If there is only one option, then there is no need to choose. For example, we cannot “decide” whether to comply with regulatory requirements, or whether to pay our statutory taxes. If a client insists that the project will not be accepted unless we deliver one key aspect of the specification, then we do not “decide” whether to do it. Wherever we have a requirement or a constraint or an obligation that is fixed, no decision is needed. We just have to do what must be done.

Even where we have alternative options in a decision situation, if one option is overwhelmingly better than all others, the “decision” makes itself. As far as the decision-maker is concerned, it is a “no-brainer”, requiring no analysis or thought.

Uncertainty is inherent in all true decisions, requiring us to choose between different options where there is no clear best path, where the outcomes of some options are not fully known, or where we have incomplete information to support our decision. We must make the best possible decision in the situation that faces us.

All decision outcomes matter

Sometimes we’re asked to make decisions where the outcome really is not important. If it doesn’t matter which option you choose, then this isn’t really a decision that needs to be taken. For example, if we have two equally competent subcontractors who are offering the same service at the same price, we can choose either one. Project designers provide two alternative technical solutions with the same level of risk exposure, both of which can deliver the required functionality with a similar timescale and budget, and both are within the capability of our team. Just pick one, it doesn’t matter!

True decisions are required only when the outcome matters. If the survival of our company depends on whether we make a particular investment or not, or who we choose as our joint-venture partner, then we had better make the right decision. If the choice of testing strategy will determine whether or not we are able to deliver a fault-free product with confidence, we need to get it right…

 

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How to cite this paper: Hillson, D. (2020).  Title, Risk Doctor Briefing; PM World Journal, Volume IX, Issue VI, June.   Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Hillson-all-decisions-are-risky.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Dr David Hillson HonFAPM PMI-Fellow CFIRM CMgr FCMI

The Risk Doctor
United Kingdom

 

 

Known globally as The Risk Doctor, David Hillson leads The Risk Doctor Partnership (www.risk-doctor.com), a global consultancy offering specialist risk services across the world.

David has a reputation as an excellent speaker and presenter on risk. His talks blend thought-leadership with practical application, presented in an accessible style that combines clarity with humour, guided by the Risk Doctor motto: “Understand profoundly so you can explain simply”.

He also writes widely on risk, with eleven major books, and over 100 professional papers. He publishes a regular Risk Doctor Briefing blog in seven languages to 10,000 followers, and has over 7,500 subscribers to the RiskDoctorVideo YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/RiskDoctorVideo).

David has advised leaders and organisations in over fifty countries around the world on how to create value from risk based on a mature approach to risk management, and his wisdom and insights are in high demand. He has also received many awards for his ground-breaking work in risk management over several decades.

To see other works previously published in the PM World Journal by Dr David Hillson, visit his author showcase at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-david-hillson/

 

 

Reboot for purpose

Beyond the tragedy of the commons

 

Advances in Project Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management
Lancaster University Management School

United Kingdom

 


 

It is not often that we get the opportunity to reboot life, and start all over again. Imagine that you have been given a chance to redesign your life, restructure your routines, re-configure your organisation and re-purpose and re-position it strategically. Where would you start? What would you change?

Most of us are change averse, especially when the change originates elsewhere, and would rapidly seek to resume old habits and resort to the safety of the recognisable and the known. Indeed, ‘normal’ management relies heavily on well established, repeatable routines and habits. Small perturbations typically offer the impetus to restore the stable status-quo and resume where we left off, thus minimising variations.

Crises present an opportunity to reboot society and realign ourselves to match a rapidly changing landscape (Dalcher, 2020). Significant crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, invite, or even demand, fundamental and far reaching transformations to the way individuals, communities, organisations, societies, and even states, organise themselves. More critically, as we frantically search for new responses and approaches to match the novel dimensions we encounter, such conditions necessitate radical reflection on the purpose of our systems, organisations and structures, and the philosophies, values and positions that underpin them.

The tragedy of the commons

Crises demand that we endeavour to question, reflect upon and make sense of our aspirations, assumptions and intentions. They often bring out the worst and the best in people. When crises strike, we may see an urgent scramble for resources emphasising selfish personal interests (Mills, 1836; Dalcher, 2014), but as communities and societies attempt to recover, and resume into a new normality, there is also an emerging need for greater scrutiny of potential modes of co-existing and collaboration (Tsolkas, 2020). Such repositioning inevitably questions the values that underpin and support co-existence (Walsh, 2007; Folke et al., 2010).

The continuous tension between the wishes of the individual, and the needs of the wider community, made up as it is of a collective of individuals with their own personal priorities, have long been recognised. Hardin (1968) invokes the idea of the tragedy of the commons, by building on the earlier work of William Forster Lloyd (1833).

Commons, or common land, refer to vast tracts of land that are owned collectively recognising that certain resources could not, and should not, be privately owned and controlled. At one-point commons occupied approximately half of Britain, whereas now they cover about 1.2 million hectares, accounting for roughly 5% of the country (CLF, 2020), often in spectacular landscapes and areas of outstanding natural beauty. People with a right to use a common are known as commoners, and are typically able to graze domestic livestock without fences or boundaries, and to take other specific products from the common, such as wood, vegetation, turves or minerals (Kruse, 2019).

The common lands scattered all about England and Wales are part of our heritage from the past. They enable considerable areas of land to be preserved and unspoilt. Wherever they are registered as common land they should be preserved intact. …’ Lord Denning in Corpus Christi College vs. Gloucester City Council (Times, 1982).

Common areas allow all commoners to bring their livestock to graze on the commons. The tragedy of the commons refers to the situation where individual commoners, acting independently in their own best self-interest, combine to abuse the common resource they hold in trust. As each commoner increases the size of their herds, less and less grazing areas remain available to others, whose herds are also growing, leading to overgrazing and the destruction of the common resource. While the action of each individual taken in isolation may seem rational and in their own personal interest, the pressure resulting from the combination of individual acts overwhelms the shared asset, ultimately, endangering the sustainability of the entire community.

‘However, if everyone starts to behave in that same manner, impacting overall resources or common assets it is no longer harmless. …. The combined effect of many such collective actions is to erode, deplete, spoil and destroy the common resource. … Common resource systems can collapse due to overuse by the wider community unless an effort is made to regulate or govern such use (Ostrom, 1990; Ostrom et al., 2002). Such regulation could be done by the wider community or group, or emerge from the responsible actions of cognisant individuals.’ (Dalcher, 2019: p. 3-4)

The tragedy of the commons shows what happens when each participant maximises their own self-interest, ignoring the overall impacts on the whole system. The actions further inflate the stakes, resulting in destructive dynamics which ultimately lead towards an inevitable disastrous outcome.

‘But this is a conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit—in a world that is limited… Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.’ (Hardin, 1968: p. 1245).

 

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Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Routledge publishers.  Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Routledge Advances in Project Management series of books on new and emerging concepts in PM.  Prof Dalcher’s article is an introduction to the invited paper this month in the PMWJ. 

How to cite this paper: Dalcher, D. (2020). Reboot for purpose: Beyond the tragedy of the commons, Advances in Project Management Series, PM World Journal, Volume IX, Issue VI, June.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Dalcher-reboot-for-purpose.pdf

 


 

About the Author

 


Darren Dalcher, PhD

Author, Professor, Series Editor
Director, National Centre for Project Management
Lancaster University Management School, UK

 

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D., HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI, SMIEEE, SFHEA is Professor in Strategic Project Management at Lancaster University, and founder and Director of the National Centre for Project Management (NCPM) in the UK.  He has been named by the Association for Project Management (APM) as one of the top 10 “movers and shapers” in project management and was voted Project Magazine’s “Academic of the Year” for his contribution in “integrating and weaving academic work with practice”. Following industrial and consultancy experience in managing IT projects, Professor Dalcher gained his PhD in Software Engineering from King’s College, University of London.

Professor Dalcher has written over 200 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, a leading international software engineering journal. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Routledge and of the companion series Fundamentals of Project Management.  Heavily involved in a variety of research projects and subjects, Professor Dalcher has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the areas of practice-based education and reflection in project management. He works with many major industrial and commercial organisations and government bodies.

Darren is an Honorary Fellow of the APM, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts, A Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the British Academy of Management. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He sits on numerous senior research and professional boards, including The PMI Academic Member Advisory Group, the APM Research Advisory Group, the CMI Academic Council and the APM Group Ethics and Standards Governance Board.  He is the Academic Advisor and Consulting Editor for the next APM Body of Knowledge. Prof Dalcher is an academic advisor for the PM World Journal.  He is the academic advisor and consulting editor for the forthcoming edition of the APM Body of Knowledge. He can be contacted at d.dalcher@lancaster.ac.uk.

To view other works by Prof Darren Dalcher, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/darren-dalcher/.

 

 

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