Come on, let’s make it compulsory.

I had some interesting comments from Neil Walker on twitter recently. This was in response to a question I posed; should stakeholder management be compulsory for all projects.

Neil said not unreasonably: “Is it not already? Stakeholder management is compulsory on all projects I have managed/directed.” He went on to say that it was like trying to navigate through the jungle without a compass.

In the early stages of project management courses I get people to identify what goes wrong in projects. Later on, when we have talked through the stakeholder management process I link back to the problems identified earlier in the course. I then place a star against each problem that relates to stakeholder management – or lack of it. Often, the number starred represents over 50% of the problems that people raise.

Neil says it should be compulsory however many of our clients do not seem to want to make any aspect of project management compulsory. What do you think? You could after all buy people a compass but will they know how to use it?

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7 Responses to Come on, let’s make it compulsory.

  1. Pingback: Come on, let’s make it compulsory. | #PMChat

  2. Shim Marom says:

    Interesting predicament indeed. Are you suggesting people come on project management courses but clearly state that they do now wish to make use of the knowledge they’ve just acquired?

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Woooops! Sorry Shim if my writing was not clear!

      I am suggesting that certain elements within project management should be compulsory. Currently, with some of our clients there is too much leniency. Project management is about being rigorous and without compulsion elements such as stakeholder management, identifying and managing risks etc do not happen or do not happen in a way that is beneficial to the business.

      Thanks Shim

  3. Pingback: Should stakeholder management be compulsory in all projects? | PPMpractitioner

  4. Tony Adams says:

    Hi Ron,

    What an interesting question…I am unequivocally of the view that Stakeholder Management is central to PM success and am happy to see it called out in PMBOK v5 as a knowledge area.

    I think as a skill set, it has suffered in the past because it can be seen as “soft”, secondary to the more tangible Codt, Schedulr, Scope, HR and Quality disciplines. Yet paradoxically, it is one of the first things that we learn as Project Managers, almost by osmosis! “Who is the Sponsor? Who is in the Sterring Committee? How do we get the right message to them? How do we get their support?” – these are questions that we inevitably deal with early on…maybe subconsciously.

    I’m a huge fan for calling it out early on, talking about what it means, and showing now it underpins the effectiveness if all the other knowledge areas. Making it “compulsory” sounds a bit rigid – I like the sound of “highlighting its importance early on in the journey”

    My 2 cents worth.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      A good 2 cents worth Tony.

      The really interesting issue is when I do a stakeholder management activity I ask whether people actually do it in their projects. The most common answer; we do it in our heads!

      If we make it compulsory then project staff will get into the habit of doing it and using it as a tool to help manage their projects. After all, it’s people who manage projects!

      Thanks Tony

  5. Pingback: Making project management compulsory. What do you think? | Project Management Training with Ron Rosenhead

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