Stakeholders Influence

When categorizing the stakeholders one thing that we have to do is write down the type of influence they have on the project: positive or negative.

But what to do when we don’t know what is it? What if we are tempted to say it is “neutral”, in the sense of “this stakeholder doesn’t care if the project is successful as well as if it is unsuccessful”?

Discussing this today, with a fellow PMP at work, I got to some conclusions / decisions.

The first one, and the most obvious one, is that there is no rule on what types of classifications we can have. As with most things, the Project Manager is free to customize the project as needed. So, adding a “neutral” influence is perfectly possible.

The second conclusion is that there is no “neutral” stakeholder. There is always a small tendency on being pro or against the project. What can be done, then, is adding the “neutral” influence type and using it as a marker for reviewing this classification as soon as a better judgment of the stakeholder’s influence type is known.

The third thing is that not knowing the correct classification is a project risk. That stakeholder can be working against the project and a misclassification of him / her can lead to ignoring key factors as well as loosing opportunities to neutralize / mitigate the bad influence from the stakeholder.

The correct classification and identification of stakeholders is one of the factors that can help with project management and lead to the success of the project.


Project Management Certification

It is being a tough week since I have started studying to get my PMP – Project Management Professional – certification.

A lot of reading, studying, training, etc. going on. I am thankful that the company I work for has access to all the resources I need to study and also has many certified professionals that I can refer to and that have reviewed some documents and training courses I am using.

I have laid out a plan with some colleagues and we are doing weekly meetings that take from 1h to 1h30 to discuss what we have learned from the week’s targets.

Since we’re on the first week, our target was taking two training courses and reading the first two chapters of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge).

I am taking notes and using a mindmapper software to map my learnings. So, I expect to have a lot of things written here in the next months all related to my studies.

And, of course, since these are a personal effort, I still have all my usual activities going on at work.

There are some changes and I will move from full responsibility on Communications Systems and Services to Enterprise Technologies, on the platforms area, assuming the global leadership for IBM’s System I (former iSeries) platform.

It will be an interesting challenge since I don’t know anything about this technology and it will then become my first managerial experience where I don’t fully understand the technology I am managing.

I will have to rely a lot on our technical specialists, self study and documentation on the technology and processes related to it.

I also have to work on globalizing this service and keep the globalization of one of my former projects going on. I was – and I still am – responsible for laying out the foundations for it to happen and now it will be my responsibility to keep it moving, even if I am not managing the teams that work with that technology anymore.

VERY interesting challenges coming up and, of course, I will keep some news about how I am dealing with them here.

Stay tuned and enjoy 🙂

And, if you want to share some information on any of the topics I am writing about, feel free to do so.

Changes @ Work

Lots of things happening lately.

Several big projects that required a lot of attention, a new team has been assigned to me — so now I’m leading my old team and the new one — and I have a third team to put together…

Besides all that, there’s the marriage that is closer: April 18th, 2009.  🙂

I hope to be able to post more, though…

Umbrello from KDE 4

It is much better. It was really unstable and unreliable. Up to the point of me questioning its use.

But, it has been more stable for a while. I don’t know if it was just my environment because I use Umbrello from KDE 4 while running a KDE 3.5 session here, but it crashed all the time it was open without specifying a filename. I even had updated my shortcut to have it opened with a dummy.xmi file so that it was usable.

“Did you file a bug report?” you ask. “Do what I say, not what I do”, I tell you. If the process was more automated or faster, I would have. But it was simply easier to not use the program by the time. I could go without having those diagrams by then and I had defined a target date where I would reinstall Umbrello from KDE 3.5, to have them done.

BUT, it is all right now. Thanks, Umbrello team, for the great tool!