Advances in Project Management: Too little, too late, or, too much, too early: Are we paying enough attention to stakeholders?


By Prof Darren Dalcher

Director, National Centre for Project Management

University of Hertfordshire


Introduction to the May 2014 Advances in PM Series Article 

The Sixth edition of the APM Body of Knowledge dedicates a section to stakeholder management, which it defines as the “systematic identification, analysis, planning and implementation of actions designed to engage with stakeholders”.

Stakeholders are individuals, or groups, with an interest in the project endeavour resulting from a direct involvement in the work itself, the regular operation following the project, or the impact of the proposed outcomes. Stakeholders represent a variety of, often competing, interests, needs, requirements and expectations.

Over the years, many surveys have indicated that engaging with stakeholders is crucial to project success, and failure to communicate with such groups is often recognised as a cause of project failure. Indeed the APM Body of Knowledge recognises that individuals and groups can have significant influences over the eventual success or failure of the work. It therefore explains that: “stakeholder management is a set of techniques that harnesses the positive influences and minimises the effect of the negative influences”.

A key role

Stakeholder management is a well-recognised part of training and development for project managers. The importance of stakeholder management is underscored by the emergence of a new knowledge area, in the PMI’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth edition, focused on project stakeholder management. This tenth knowledge area draws primarily on content and processes that previously resided in the communications management knowledge area, yet serves to reinforce the growing perception and need related to the role of managing stakeholders and their expectations.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: The PMWJ Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower in the UK.  Each month an introduction to the current article is provided by series editor Prof Darren Dalcher, who is also the editor of the Gower 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.  Information about the Gower series can be found at http://www.gowerpublishing.com/advancesinprojectmanagement.

About the Author 

flag-ukdarren-dalcherDarren Dalcher, PhD

Series Editor

Director, National Centre for Project Management

University of Hertfordshire, UK

Darren Dalcher, Ph.D. HonFAPM, FRSA, FBCS, CITP, FCMI is Professor of Project Management at the University of Hertfordshire, 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 in 2008 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 150 papers and book chapters on project management and software engineering. He is Editor-in-Chief of Software Process Improvement and Practice, an international journal focusing on capability, maturity, growth and improvement. He is the editor of the book series, Advances in Project Management, published by Gower Publishing of a new 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 in the UK and beyond.  He 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, and a Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Academy of Management, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is a Chartered IT Practitioner. He is a Member of the PMI Advisory Board responsible for the prestigious David I. Cleland project management award and of the APM Professional Development Board.  Prof Dalcher is an academic editorial advisor for the PM World Journal.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

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