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Podcast: Politics and Stakeholders

Politics and Stakeholders | Podcast Interview

Two of the things that put off many project managers are Politics and Stakeholders. Yet they are intertwined and a necessary part of project management. You cannot escape either so you may as well embrace them.

In this podcast, Andy Kaufman of the People and Projects Podcast, interviewed me about Politics and Stakeholders – an interest we share.

This interview ranged wider than politics and stakeholders, but for me, that is at its heart. Andy’s case study questions tapped into real ad tricky situations.

Politics and Stakeholders | Podcast Interview

Politics and Stakeholders | Podcast Interview

The People and Projects Podcast

Andy Kaufman and I got to know one another after I wrote a critical assessment of his podcasts in my comprehensive roundup of 22 podcasts. He contacted me with a bruised ego and a concern to improve his podcasts. In turn, I responded by listening to more. It seems my concerns related to one of those I’d sampled and not to all of them. I was glad to change my assessment. My bad.

And so we became friends. I was even more delighted when Andy invited me onto the show.

Andy Kaufman - People and Projects Podcast

Andy Kaufman – People and Projects Podcast

Andy sent the best list of interview questions I’ve ever had. His questions were thorough. And many looked at specific situations. I could see why people praise him as an interviewer. We started with generalities around stakeholders. Then we dived into details, before touching on some of my other other Project Management areas of interest.

At the end of the podcast, Andy adds some of our banter (chatting with Andy was a blast) and also tells the story of how we met (and why he thought I’m a ‘crazy Brit’).

The Politics and Stakeholders Interview podcast page is on the People and Projects Podcast website.

Politics and Stakeholders Interview

Our conversation ranged over a number of topics:

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Influencing challenging stakeholders and team members
  • The impact of organizational politics on how we lead projects
  • How to manage project risks – and the aspect of risk management that gets too little attention

Politics and Stakeholders InterviewSo, listen to the interview and hear Andy ask me:

  • how to define who a stakeholder is on a project, and why is that definition so important
  • What are some of the most important lessons project managers should consider to keep stakeholders engaged throughout a project?
  • How can you influence a non-responsive project sponsor?
  • What can a project manager do to influence two stakeholders whose ideas conflict. You want them to come to a decision, but they both have strong commitment and similar power?
  • How can you re-engage a sponsor who is constantly changing their mind? Especially when they are a commercial client and your organization is dependent upon the revenue your project will generate.
  • What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned overall about managing risks?
  • What things do readers of How to Manage a Great Project find most helpful?
  • And, what do I find most difficult when I’m running a project?

I recommend you either set aside 50 minutes to listen, or download it for your next run, cycle, car journey or other opportunity.

What next…

If you like this, then:

  1. Pop over to People and Projects
  2. Browse Andy Kaufman’s fabulous archive of project management podcasts
  3. Sign-up to get notifications when new ones come out

Here is the Politics and Stakeholders Interview Podcast

If you liked this interview, you may also like…

Guest articles by Andy Kaufman, on this site

Articles linked to the topics we covered

Books Recommendations

How to Manage a Great Project: On Budget, On Target, On Time
This is the book Andy refers to, and asks me about.

The Influence Agenda: A Systematic Approach to Aligning Stakeholders in Times of Change
This book covers the main topic of our discussion. It is for serious advanced practitioners.

Risk Happens! Managing Risk and Avoiding Failure in Business Projects
Andy also touched on risk management. This book covers risk in greater detail than most general project management books. And I pitched it at new and intermediate level project managers. Saying that, few senior project managers have ever read a book on risk management. Perhaps they should!

Both books are available in our Project Management Bookshop.

About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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