A group called the Corporate Executive Board publicized research on how a project manager can influence success. They shared that several areas support success such as methodology, domain expertise, and communication. They emphasized that stakeholder relationships are key to influencing success.
Think about it … if your stakeholder is unhappy, the PM will be distracted with getting the stakeholder happy. The PM might have to do “special” research and other distractions just for a particular stakeholder or small group of them. If your stakeholder is happy, then they can support you and (most of all) stay out of your way so you can get the work done.
Effective stakeholder relationships might not be something easily found in a book. The study suggests mentoring and some level of stakeholder management training. The mentoring aspect allows you to better understand how a stakeholder thinks so you can anticipate concern areas, navigate politics, and direct communication better.
THINGS TO CONSIDER: Stakeholder relationships with the PM can support the project or become a distraction. It’s best to manage them well.