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Enterprise Project Governance: How to Manage Projects Successfully Across the Organization
Stakeholder Management

SERIES ARTICLE

By Paul Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Decision making in organizations is influenced at different levels by factors that reflect the behavior of the principal stakeholders. At the individual level, decisions are influenced because of cognitive biases such as overconfidence, repeating old patterns, overestimating benefits and underestimating cost and time. At the team level, although teams can leverage the experience and expertise that diversity brings, teams may get immersed in dealing with idiosyncrasies, conflicts and social pressures and fail to realize full potential. At the organizational level, decisions are shaped by culture, structure, systems, and to a major degree, the relationships between the organization´s stakeholders.

Stakeholder management is a basic cornerstone in enter­prise project governance. It deals with organizational relationship issues and includes interfacing approaches such power, politics, and influence. Spe­cial interests, hidden agenda, negotiations and interpersonal con­flicts also come into play in stakeholder management. Although sometimes perceived as a collection of soft behavioral methods, in fact, stakeholder management often calls for hard-knuckled action to effectively deal with the issues.

To implement enterprise proj­ect governance, which demands a change in organizational mind-set, a start-up stakeholder approach is required — one that focuses on the unique issues of managing an organizational change project. Even where an en­terprise philosophy already reigns, stakeholders have to be managed to keep the organization lively and productive.

EPG also serves as a bastion for solid stakeholder policies for projects that are vital for the strategic success of the organization. EPG is all about making sure the right combination of projects are done right, and in particular, for mega-projects or other highly strategic ventures. So EPG has a role for ensuring that key project-related executives, sponsors and professionals across the organization are up to speed on managing all the players that affect their projects.

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This series includes articles by Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha, authors of the book Enterprise Project Governance, published by AMACOM in the USA in 2012.  The articles are extracts and summaries of key topics from their book, providing information and guidance on one of the most important aspects of portfolio, program and project management today – governance.  For information about the book, go to http://www.amacombooks.org/book.cfm?isbn=9780814417461

About the Authors

usa-brazilpaul-dinsmorePaul C. Dinsmore

Paul Dinsmore is President of Dinsmore Associates, and a highly respected specialist in project management and organizational change. A certified project management professional (PMP), he has received the Distinguished Contribution Award and Fellow Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI®). He regularly consults and speaks in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.  Paul is the author and / or editor of numerous articles and 18 books, including the AMA Handbook of Project Management. Mr. Dinsmore resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

flag-brazilluiz-rochaLuiz Rocha

Luiz Rocha has 35+ years of experience in the industry and business consulting. Luiz worked with Andersen Consulting and Delloite in the USA and Europe when he had the opportunity to manage multi-cultural and geographically dispersed projects in Latin America, North America and Europe. In Brazil he worked with Dinsmore Associates and Petrobras. Luiz is an engineer by background, MSc. in industrial engineering from UFRJ – Brazil, PMP-PMI and IPMA certifications. He is also a published author with two previous books, Business Metamorphosis, in Brazil, and Mount Athos, a Journey of Self-Discovery, in the USA. Luiz can be contacted at [email protected].