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Identify Your Project’s Opponents Among Your Stakeholders
By Rich Maltzman, PMP

A Project Managers needs to identify all stakeholders up front and focus not only (as is tempting) on those who will support the project but to think as broadly and deeply as possible about all of those who might stand in its way.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Who might be opposed to my project?
  • Why?
  • What are their relationship(s) with us?
  • What are their spheres, and levels of power and influence?
  • What are their relationships with each other?
  • How might opponents work together in unexpected ways to impede progress?
  • Are there ways to arrange a win-win?

Asking these questions in the beginning – and knowing your stakeholders and their needs – will improve your chances of having a successful project.

Rich Maltzman, PMP, has 30 years of industry experience, the last 20 of which have been in project management. Currently a Senior Manager for a large multinational corporation’s Global PMO, Rich has also been developing and delivering project management courseware and PMP prep packages for Boston University’s Corporate Education Center and mScholar. In addition, he and co-author Ranjit Biswas, PMP, are the lead authors, along with all of you out there, of the book, Fiddler on the Project, to be published in 2008, via its crowdsourced wiki site, http://fiddlerontheproject.bluwiki.org. You are invited to write it with them. You can also visit Rich’s blog at www.scopecrepe.blogspot.com.

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