Forget a stakeholder? That’s OK – you only wasted $200m

The group were amazed, so was I and it takes a lot to amaze me.


I was talking about the need to identify and manage stakeholders in projects. Some people on the course were a bit sceptical:

  • but there could be loads of stakeholders – it could go on for ages
  • this will extend the duration of the project
  • we have not done this before…
  • this will add valuable time to the workload

I then asked the group for any examples when stakeholder management was done well. There was a silence. I waited and then someone said: I can tell you when it was done badly. He was one of 3 people who spoke of serious issues with a project because stakeholders were not identified, and certainly not managed.

Don't forget

However, one person drew gasps when he said in a very quiet voice; “We did not include nor engage with a key stakeholder and this led to an investigation by the regulator, and unfortunately we were fined just over $200 million.”

The dissenters saw the logic of carrying out stakeholder analysis, but we were all shocked when this individual spoke about the fine.

I always say, stakeholder management is the first stage in your risk assessment. Never a truer word spoken!


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles ID 100246960

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4 Responses to Forget a stakeholder? That’s OK – you only wasted $200m

  1. Pingback: Forget a stakeholder? That’s OK – you only wasted $200m | #PMChat

  2. Ian Cribbes says:

    Having been involved in major projects within the Middle East I have first hand experience of engaging with Stakeholders and the importance of that engagement. I am currently engaged in a Focus Group looking at Stakeholder Engagement, particularly aimed at those newly entering into project management. When advising organisations / companies on project management the first thing I emphasis is the importance of the stakeholders – all of them.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks Ian….I agree! The problem is actually getting people to carry it out.

      During a course (after the one mentioned) one person said it would take a lot of time “because I have such a large number of stakeholders.” When I asked how many she replied around 12 in total – I asked others how many stakeholders they had and some were double that number and saw the relevance. I do wonder whether this person did put into practice what we both agree is a key aspect of project management.

      Thanks again Ian.

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