The Forth Most Calamitous Project Management Challenge

Is everything on your project is in flux; new users, new stakeholders, and they have new project priorities? Argghhhh.

Yesterday I shared that I recently surveyed project management professionals. The issue of churn of key stakeholders was a big pain point for the 30 project participants. When the new stakeholders change project priorities, you can easily become an IPM (irritable project manager). When you are working with new team members or you anticipate that they will be a lot of churn of resources on your project; increase project success by documenting roles. This preempts a bunch of unneeded project change that is more personality driven and which doesn’t add value to the solution you are delivering.

A RACI is a key tool to document roles. A RACI diagram is especially useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross functional projects and initiatives. The RACI diagram divides up project tasks into responsibility types that are then assigned to different roles in the project. These responsibilities types make up the acronym RACI. See example and legend below.

Activity 

Project Manager  Technical Lead  Users  Customer 
Type  Hours  Type  Hours  Type  Hours  Type  Hours 
Requirements Workshops  A/R  16  .8 
Prototyping  12  16 
Requirements Sign-off 

Responsible (R): Those who do the work. There can be several people assigned. Accountable (A): The persons ultimately accountable for the completion of the task. There is only one A specified for each activity. Consulted (C): Those whose opinions are sought for direction and expertise. Informed (I): Those that are kept up-to-date on progress. 

J Davidson Frame, author of many project management books, says that change is not inherently bad: .in fact, it creates opportunity. So consider new stakeholders an opportunity for process improvement and new insight: : But only after you closed the door to capricious changes by new stakeholders by documenting the roles and decisions of their predecessors.

Let me know how you have been successful in a project environment that has constant changes in stakeholders. We can learn from you.

Rosemary Hossenlopp © 2007 All Rights Reserved

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