Friday, 27 July 2012

Stakeholders: power, influence and interest?

Very often when people talk about the politics in an organisation and how it has an impact on decisions, what they really mean is how stakeholders exert their power, influence and interests over decisions. Now, decisions often mean decisions relating to specific projects; and that can mean iMedia projects too. This influence is described in many ways: movers and shakers is one we've come across that made us smile, for example. We have to remember that these stakeholders can be internal as well as external.

If you need some refreshing on the general principles of stakeholder analysis and management it's covered in our book, Managing Interactive Media, Chapter 4. Rachel Thompson covers the basics too in Mind Tools, Stakeholder Management.

But as with so many strategies, it isn't knowing about them that makes the difference, it's applying them correctly in a project. That's the hard part.

We've come across a couple of applications of the stakeholder concept recently that give food for thought. Jesse Speak uses it strongly in web projects right from the brief writing. Take a look at his How to write a great project brief (27.6.2012), where he uses it to home in on exactly what business problems need tackling, and refining the web solutions to these as the basis for web developments. (Loud applause, Jesse!)

Then, Sam Barnes' Web Project Manager, Questions to Ask Web Project Managers (July 2012) uses it to recognise barriers to change exhibited by clients to assess if Agile or Waterfall techniques might provoke difficult reactions in projects, and might go with Waterfall as the most risk adverse. Now there's experience for you! Sam, quite rightly, gets great feedback on his common sense advice: meaning nascent intelligence. DO WATCH THE VIDEO – SOoooo FUNNY.