Stakeholder C.P.R. – Crisis Project Rescue: Management of stakeholder issues in troubled projects


By Frances Crossno, PMP


Carrie Weeks, PMP

North Texas, USA

Stakeholder related issues can easily throw a project into crisis.  If not resolved, they can even ‘kill’ the project.  Proper resolution of these issues can resuscitate the project and bring it back to life.

This paper will examine a series of case studies derived from interviews and input from various project managers with over 150 years of total project experience, to derive a set of “key tenants”, or takeaways, for stakeholder management.   The case studies are grouped into two categories.  The first category looks at troubled projects with serious stakeholder issues and how they were resolved.  The second category examines cases where stakeholders were used to rescue a troubled project.

Category I – Stakeholder Issues Case Studies 

Study #1: 

Situation: Low level of stakeholder involvement across the project.

The project was a priority for the organization, but not a priority for any single department which resulted in actions not getting done between meetings, and having to be rescheduled.


The visibility of the project to management had to be raised.    The project manager let the team know their individual managers would be copied on status and other communications as needed, not just the project sponsor.  The people with action items were asked to report out to the team prior to the publication of project communication / status.


There was significant improvement in the completion of assignments on schedule. 

Key Tenant(s): 

  • Raise / broaden the visibility of the project as necessary to get focus.


To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note:  This paper was originally presented at the 7th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, Texas, USA in August 2013.  It is republished here with the permission of the authors and UT Dallas.

About the Authors                                                                    

flag-usapmwj16-Nov2013-crossno-weeks-AUTHOR IMAGE CROSSNOFrances Crossno, PMP

Texas, USA 

Frances M. Crossno is a PMP certified project manager with over thirty years’ experience in successful cross functional, cross business, and global projects.   She retired as a project manager from Texas Instruments in 2009, and is now a project and program manager at the American Heart Association.  She has a background which includes programming and business analysis as well.  Her work has provided her a broad range of experiences with stakeholders from pre-project scope assessments to working long-term system and business strategies.

A strong focus on business process with stakeholders has been predominant in Frances’ career.    She has managed projects involving Finance, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Logistics.  Vendor evaluation experience has provided her additional perspectives with stakeholder management.   Obtaining consensus on project scope from multiple business units / functional areas, and managing expectations of multiple levels of stakeholders has allowed Frances to consistently deliver successful, quality projects throughout her career.  Frances was recognized by Texas Instruments for technical contributions by election to TI’s technical ladder.  Frances can be contacted at [email protected].

pmwj16-Nov2013-crossno-weeks-AUTHOR IMAGE WEEKSflag-usaCarrie Weeks, PMP

Texas, USA

Carrie Weeks is a PMP certified project manager with over fifteen years’ experience in various industries.  Her career has progressed up the Project Management ladder, starting as a Project Management Administrator for Nortel Networks on the Motorola global account.  While working for Rocky Brands, a footwear and apparel company, she facilitated large-scale projects including the upgrade of warehouse systems and implementation of B2B application.  In addition to Project Management, she spent four years as a Contract Manager and Program Manager for Luminator Mark IV Industries, an aircraft and mass transit lightening company, managing contracts and programs for companies such as Boeing and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.  She is currently a Program and Project Manager for the American Heart Association.

Carrie was recently awarded the highest honor at the American Heart Association after successfully implementing an organizational-wide system.  In addition to her work for the American Heart Association, she volunteers her skills for various faith-based non-profit organizations, assisting them in reaching their goals and impacting lives. She can be contacted at [email protected].