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Managing Project Stakeholders: Building a Foundation to Achieve Project Goals

PM WORLD BOOK REVIEW

managing-project-stakeholdersBook Title:  Managing Project Stakeholders: Building a Foundation to Achieve Project Goals

Author:  Tres Roeder, MBA, PMP

Publisher:  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

List Price:   US$ 45.00

Format:  Hardcover, 236 pages

Publication Date:   2013

ISBN: 9781118504277

Reviewer:      Christopher Frost, MBA, PMP

Review Date:              July 2013
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Introduction to the Book

Managing a successful project requires a balanced approach of technical skills, business knowledge, and people skills.  Tres Roeder believes that the lack of a balanced approach is a major reason for project failure.  Unfortunately, the PMBOK is so focused on technical project management that it misses how to effectively work with people.  In Managing Project Stakeholders, Tres does a nice job supplementing the PMBOK Guide and showing readers some best practices for managing people involved with the project.

To successfully manage projects in today’s world, one often has to influence stakeholders without dotted-line authority and push along the project, using negotiation and a wide variety of “soft skills”.  According to a 2012 Roeder Consulting survey, 82% of project managers had no direct reports.  This increased dependence on collaboration makes people skills, or what Tres refers to as “sixth sense”, more important than ever.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book starts by showing how to categorize stakeholders and prioritize them using the stakeholder register.  Tres breaks out stakeholders into five groups – project team members, executives, external stakeholders, stakeholders impacted by change, and phantom stakeholders.  Within each group, he provides tips on working with that particular stakeholder group, as well as things to watch out for.

Halfway into the book, he moves into a broad discussion on stakeholder communication where he emphasizes the importance of communicating through as many channels as possible.  This leads into a separate chapter on managing virtual teams where he has a nice discussion on dealing with technical difficulties and time zone differences.  Then, he wraps up by talking about how to deal with difficult stakeholders.  The author reiterates that the most difficult aspect of handling a project involves people issues.  Instead of fixating on each objection as a hurdle, he advocates looking at each potential problem as an opportunity to take a leadership role and drive change.

He ends the book with sections on leadership, getting buy-in, and negotiation.  Tres gives a number of tools and techniques including an explanation of the Situational Leadership Model.  With situational leadership, part of the art of leadership is knowing when to lead and when to follow.  He also talks about adapting one’s leadership style to match the time of the project and the experience level of the team members.

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About the Reviewer

christopher-frostflag-usaChristopher Frost

Christopher Frost, MBA, PMP, works as an IT project manager for Collin College and resides in Plano, TX, USA with his wife and 4 kids.  Although currently active in higher education, Chris has worked with a number of Fortune 100 companies including UPS, Verizon, and American Airlines.  With more than 15 years of experience in Information Technology, Chris has been active in dozens of projects involving enterprise databases, business intelligence, and web-related projects.

In addition to his PMP certification, Chris is both an Oracle Certified Professional and a Microsoft Certified Professional.  He has authored a book on Android and spoken at several higher education conferences as a technical expert.

In his free time, Chris volunteers with the PMI Dallas chapter, the Soupmobile, and the Dallas Oracle Users Group.  He also is passionate about staying fit and recently completed his first half marathon.

Email: [email protected].

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].