Manage Stakeholder Expectations

With excerpts from my Project Management Novel, I will illustrate the many processes of the PMBOK.  Here is the fortieth one: Manage Stakeholder Expectations. Use this map to see how this process fits into the scheme of processes.  Manage Stakeholder Expectations

Gwilym bowed and thanked King Lot, who asked if there was anything else.


“There is, your highness. I keep track of the people I call ‘stakeholders’ of the project. People who have some kind of a stake in the success or failure of the project. Most are easy to spot, people like yourself and your queen, my crew and myself, King Arthur, Sir Kay. But there are others who need to be searched out who can cause delays by not being identified early enough.”


King Lot was rolling his eyes and drumming his fingers on the arm of his chair so Gwilym got to the point. “I’m concerned about the people who live and work in the buildings we are going to destroy tomorrow. Will they be resettled quickly and fairly?”


“That’s your job isn’t it?” replied the king, looking over the charter.


“I will be happy to break the news to them but I have neither the authority to order them out nor the funds to recompense them for their losses. All the money comes from your treasuries to be deducted from the money you pay to King Arthur in …repayment for other goods and services he provides.” Gwilym had been about to say ‘taxes’ when he saw Lot and Morgause swelling in indignation.


“There’s not much to recompense them. They don’t own the land. Any land and buildings inside the castle walls belongs to me and they pay rent to me for its use. The new month starts in three days so Corwin will refund them that amount. They can find other empty buildings in the castle or move to town and buy their own buildings.”


“I wouldn’t want them to look ill on Corwin, and, by extension, on yourselves,” continued Gwilym. “Would it not be wise to move them first to an inn so that they have time to look for suitable lodgings? Perhaps for a couple of weeks. It will be difficult to move all one’s belongings with half a day’s notice.”


Morgause’s eyes narrowed at Gwilym. “What concern is this of yours? Why do you suddenly care so much about three families and a carpenter?”


“I explained. Stakeholders are important to any project and managing stakeholder expectations ensure success. Ignoring anything you or your husband may want in this project would be fatal to it, that’s obvious. But ignoring the needs of these people may cause problems as well?”


“What kind of problems? Do you suspect they would sabotage the works? I would have them flayed alive for interfering with any of my works!” thundered Lot.


“Oh, I don’t think that’s likely,” said Gwilym, loving the way King Lot was now referring to the tower as one of ‘his works.’ “They respect your laws enough to ensure that will never happen. No, I’m thinking of the power of grumbling among their friends and family. That causes rumors which, in turn, cause low morale and work slowing down. If they’re treated fairly, the grumbling becomes praise and the rumors improve morale.”


King Lot looked again at his wife who was staring intently at Gwilym. He asked her, “What do you think of this advice, Morgause?”


Without taking her eyes off him, she replied to her husband, “I think this man is remarkable…in his wisdom. I think you should take his advice to heart. A few silver pieces invested here could pay off in many gold in the future.”