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Interview Stakeholders

"The list of stakeholders for a project includes anyone who has a business or financial ownership or influence on the initiative. There is usually a hierarchy within the stakeholder group. For our purposes, there are two categories of stakeholders: decision makers and other stakeholders. The first group is the relevant of the two. It is imperative to identify the key decision makers from among the larger list of stakeholders. The key decision makers are the ones who can change the scope and boundaries of the project. It is not uncommon to have a single key decision maker, but there may be several. The other stakeholders are influencers who are responsible for running some portions of the business."

"Finding the key decision maker(s) can sometimes be an elusive task. It may not always be the person paying for the project. First, look for the Executive Sponsor or the Project Sponsor named in the Project Charter or Statement of Work. If no formal sponsor is documented, a good way to proceed is to identify the most senior executives who have the most to lose or gain from the initiative."

"The project rescue champion and the project manager, if they are separate resources, must understand what the key decision makers are thinking to build a rapport with them and to build trust and confidence that they problems are going to be solved. That is what the decision makers care about. That is what the decision makers are being measured on. At this stage, the key decision makers have accepted the need for a project rescue and probably realize that their jobs and careers are on the line. They are looking for a way out."

The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.