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Project Politics Would you rather dine or be someone’s lunch Henry Kerkhoven, PMP Project Politics Agenda Recognize PMBOK knowledge of politics. Politics of Stakeholders, Organization, Environment Avoid Political Mistakes don’t become lunch

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Project politics l.jpg

Project Politics

Would you rather dine

or be someone’s lunch

Henry Kerkhoven, PMP


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Project Politics Agenda

  • Recognize

    • PMBOK knowledge of politics.

    • Politics of Stakeholders, Organization, Environment

  • Avoid Political Mistakes don’t become lunch

    • Politics of Stakeholders, Organization, Environment

  • Learn to increase Political Skills higher class dining

    • Politics of Stakeholders, Organization, Environment

  • Suggested reading


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Recognize Politics


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Generally Accepted Project Management Knowledge and Practice

Recognize – PMI PMBOK knowledge of politics

The Project Management Body of knowledge

PMI PMBOK helps with Project,

less with Stakeholders, Organization, Environment…

Project

Focus of thisProject Politics presentation

Subject Matter Expertise

Stakeholders,Organization, Environment

General Management Knowledge and Practice

Application Area Knowledge and Practice

Adapted from PMI PMBOK Chapter 1


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Recognize - Stakeholders

Key stakeholders on every project include:

  • Project Manager & team members

  • Customer – use product – multiple layers.

  • Sponsor

  • Other individuals: internal/external, owners, funders, sellers, contractors, families, gov. agencies, media, citizens, lobbyists, society at large.

Source: PMI PMBOK Chapter 2


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Recognize – Organization

PMBOK Organizational influences

  • Project-based Organizations

    Consult/contracting, architecture/engineer, NGO’s

    Organizations that adopt “management by project”

    Tend to have management systems to facilitate project management

  • Nonproject-based Organizations

    Often lack management systems to support project needs

    May have project-based departments with systems to match.

  • Organizational Cultures and Styles

    Reflected in shared values, norms, beliefs, expectations

    • Policies and procedures, authority relationships

  • Organizational Structure

    Functional to Projectized, with Matrix in between.

    Constrains availability & terms of resources to the project

  • Source: PMI PMBOK Chapter 2


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    What would you recognize?

    What are the political project differences

    • private corporation ?

    • public corporation ?

    • government agency ?

    project

    Source: PMI PMBOK Chapter 2


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    Recognize - Socio-Economic-Environment

    PMBOK Socio-Economic-Environment influences:

    • Standards & Regulations

    • Internationalization

    • Culture

    • Sustainability (e.g. environment, historic/legacy)

    Source: PMI PMBOK Chapter 2


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    What would you recognize?

    Say you are joining a company, and recognize you are entering a political situation.

    • What do you see your first day ?

    • What do you hear?

    • What does it feel like?

    • What’s different between a private corporation, a public corporation, government agency ?

    Source: PMI PMBOK Chapter 2


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    Project Management -avoiding Political Mistakes


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    Project Management – Stakeholders

    • Project Manager & team members

      • PMBOK best practices.

    • Customer

      • Manage expectations, listen, and lead..

    • Sponsor

      • Listen, show Benefits, low risk..

      • Plan & offer alternatives

    • Other individuals

      • Fit in cultural rules, stand-out, and act as a reliable manager who understands their concerns.


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    Project Management -Organization

    • Organization

      • Be careful to always act with respect to everyone.

    • Project-based Organizations

      • Focus on results.

    • Nonproject-based Organizations

      • Focus on relationship.

      • Know which departments have opportunities or threatened by the project. Learn how they are acting to help or hurt the project.

      • Keep project moving forward during re-org.

    • Organizational Cultures and Styles

      • Craft the project vision to idealize cultural values.

      • Say often and be visible.

    • Organizational Structure

      • Decide who are top project decision makers, and who are their trusted advisors. Learn how to influence them.


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    Project Management – Socio-Economic-Environment

    • Standards & Regulations

      • Look at Org chart for Standards Gatekeepers.

      • Ask how project successfully passes gates. Update project work breakdown structure, and manage risks.

    • Internationalization

      • Confirm where project is executed, controlled, operated, maintained.

      • Where are other stakeholders,

    • Culture

      • Are other cultures involved? Find out project contacts.

    • Sustainability (e.g. environmental, legacy)

      • Listen for sacred cows, legacy pet applications, processes, people.

      • Keep quiet and ask sponsor to remove sacred cow issues.


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    Learn to Increaseyour Political Competency


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    Learn Political skills - Stakeholders

    • Project Manager & team members

      • Demonstrate your knowledge of PMBOK best practices.

      • Learn the natural strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues

      • Learn to use personality styles to perceive the world & reach conclusions

  • Customer

    • Learn to present ideas in ways more likely to lead to “Yes”

    • Learn to know what others are really thinking

  • Sponsor

    • Learn to dissolve communications barriers

    • Learn to recognize power games.

  • Other individuals:

    • Learn to control the way others perceive you

    • Learn to use personality styles for successful interactions.


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    How would these Political skills help you ?

    • If you could always

      • Demonstrate your knowledge of PMBOK best practices.

      • Know immediate the natural strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues

      • Know how others perceive the world & reach conclusions about you and your project

      • Know what others are really thinking

      • Adjust your own personality style for successful interactions.

      • Present ideas in ways likely to lead to “Yes”

      • Dissolve communications barriers

      • Recognize power games, and win consistently.

      • Have power to control the way others perceive you


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    Learn Political skills - Organization

    • Organization

      • Project-based Organizations

        • Learn ways to change project organizations

      • Nonproject-based Organizations

        • Learn rules to get what you want in nonproject organizations.

      • Organizational Cultures and Styles

        • Learn tactics to avoid & take advantage of mistakes

      • Organizational Structure

        • Learn who controls what you need and what they want from you..


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    How would these Political skills help you ?

    • If you could always

      • Have powerful ways to change project organizations

      • Get what you want in nonproject organizations.

      • Have practical tactics to avoid political mistakes

      • & take advantage of mistakes of others

      • Find out who controls what you need

      • & what they want from you before they ask.


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    Learn Political skills – Socio-Economic-Environment

    • Standards & Regulations

      • Learn who controls standards & regulations, what they want from you, and how to succeed.

  • Internationalization

    • Learn to successfully conduct business on the global stage

  • Culture

    • Learn to understand and cope with the cultural dimension of international business

  • Sustainability (e.g. environmental, legacy)

    • Learn how to use sponsor’s strength to remove sacred cows


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    How would these Political skills help you ?

    • If you could always

      • Know who controls standards & regulations politically,

      • & know what they want from you, and how to succeed politically.

      • Successfully conduct business on the global stage

      • Understand and cope with the cultural dimension of international business

      • Glide around sacred cows (don’t step in it)

      • & use your sponsor’s strength to remove sacred cows


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    Suggested Readings for Politics


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    Suggested readingsPolitics of Stakeholders

    • Myers-Briggs Personality Type:

      • The Art of Speed Reading PeopleBy Paul D Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger

        • Learn to instantly identify the preferred communication style of others

        • Learn to present ideas in ways more likely to lead to “Yes”

        • Learn the natural strengths and weaknesses of your colleagues

      • Gifts DifferingBy Isabel Briggs-Myers

        • Learn to use personality styles to perceive the world and reach conclusions

        • Learn to use personality styles for successful interactions with others.


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    Suggested readingsPolitics of Stakeholders

    • Linguistics – NLP:

      • Instant RapportBy Michael Brooks

        • Learn to control the way others perceive you

        • Learn to dissolve communications barriers

        • Learn to alter someone’s mood and behavior

        • Learn to negotiate more effectively

        • Learn to advance your career.

      • Words that Change MindsBy Shelle Rose Charvet

        • Learn to guarantee customer satisfaction

        • Learn to dramatically improve results in negotiation and litigation

        • Learn to take the pain out of implementing organizational change.


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    Suggested readingsPolitics of Stakeholders

    • Body Language:

      • The Secret Language of Success

      • By David Lewis

        • Learn to make a positive impression on others

        • Learn to persuade others to adopt your viewpoint

        • Learn to communicate your ideas more powerfully

        • Learn to know what others are really thinking

        • Learn to recognize power games.

      • Lions Don’t Need to Roar

      • By Debra A. Benton

        • Learn leadership power of professional presence

        • Learn to stand out, fit in and move ahead.


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    Suggested readingsPolitics of Organizations

    • Power

      • Managing with Power – Politics and Influence in Organizations

        • By Jeffrey Pfeffer (PMI PMBOK chapter 2 reference)

      • Power & Politics in Project Management

        • By Jeffrey K. PintoLearn who controls what you need and what they want from you.


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    Suggested readingsPolitics of Organizations

    • Power

      • The Ruthless Leader -Three Classics of Strategy and Power

        • Edited By Alistair McAlpine

          • The Prince by Nicolo MachiavelliLearn ways to change project organizations

          • The Servant by Alistair McAlpineLearn rules to get what you want in nonproject organizations.

          • The Art of War by Sun TsuLearn tactics to avoid & take advantage of mistakes

      • The 48 Laws of Power

        • By Robert Greene

          • Learn to never outshine the master

          • Learn to court attention at all costs

          • Learn to ask for help by appealing to self-interest.

          • Learn to avoid building fortresses, isolation is dangerous


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    Suggested readingsPolitics of Socio-Economic-Environment

    • PMP resource package:

      • The Cultural Dimension of International Business

        • By Gary P. Ferarro

          • Learn to understand and cope with the cultural dimension of international business

      • Doing Business Internationally: The Guide to Cross-Cultural Success

        • By Terence Brake, Danielle Walker, and Thomas Walker

          • Learn to successfully conduct business on the global stage

      • Global Literacies:Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures

        • By Robert Rosen (Editor), Patricia Digh, and Carl Phillips

          • Learn how differences among people, companies & countries affect strategies.


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    Project Politics

    You can dine on Project Politics

    So don’t be someone’s lunch

    Thank you for attending !

    Henry Kerkhoven, PMP


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