Blog Project Management Social & Political Influences on project management

Social & Political Influences on project management

Project Management is a bridging role between the requesting organization, performing organization and also the society. As there will be influences and interests from requesting organization, there will be demands and influences from society also. In fact society is the user of majority of the project outcomes in the world. This article will give information on what are such social and political influences a PM should be aware of.

Most project managers in their early years ignore politics surrounding their projects with high cost. Why is understanding politics, influence, and conflict management a critical skill for today’s project manager?Now a days project manager face issues related to political and social surroundings. Some of them are given below:

  • What makes the project environment a fertile ground for politics and conflict?
  • Can politics have a positive influence on projects?
  • Are there formal and informal political structures in organizations?
  • How can project managers quickly assess the political context of their project?
  • What should project managers look for to recognize politically motivated behavior?
  • How can Project Managers deal effectively with the political dynamics surrounding their projects?
  • Conflict is inevitable in projects. Why do we still fear conflict?
  • What skills are required to effectively manage conflict?
  • What are the critical factors for influencing others?
  • What are the individual attributes of an influential project manager?
  • Most project managers have enormous responsibility but not enough formal authority. How can project managers have influence beyond their authority?

Here are the answers of all questions:

A project manager should follow best practice given in PMBOK 5 while executing the projects. He should keep the project on track in terms of scope, budget, quality, and time and customer satisfaction. The main goal of the project manager to keep the customer satisfied at utmost level, but he should not compromise with the other concepts discussed above.

Project success is truly depends on how the project manager is managing the scope, delivering the project on time, keeping the project on budget, quality of the project is accepted to customer, as these aspects given satisfaction to customer. By doing all these things project manager must be aware of cultural, social and political elements and he should seek to understand them.  If PM is avoiding these factors that will create problem for him in project delivery.

When it comes how to manage social and political factors he should understand the followings.

  • How the political and social groups feel about the project?
  • Whether they are the real decision makers or not?
  • What can he get away with?
  • What kind of effect this group can cause to project?

If PM knows all these things he can define his boundaries to deal with these social and political factors. He should aware that who cause trouble and who will minimize his risk. To avoid these things project manager should follow these things.

A PM needs to know the project environment. Knowing the project environment is winning the half battle. Perception of the project from these factors will help project team to prepare for issues, plan for risks, and better understanding of factors at work around, and possible even against your project.

PM should have knowledge of local geography. He should aware of the proper hierarchy of the organization. He should properly communicate. A manager needs to develop informal network to support him. Manager can look for ways to simplify the organizational structure also which can be possible through informal network. Informal network built trust and mutual understanding.

Questions & Answers

  1. A Project manager spends time determining his company’s objectives and how the project fits into them. This is an example of
    • Responsibility charts
    • Management by objectives
    • The Projects future
    • The work breakdown structure

    Correct Answer: B

  2. The ongoing definition of a project as more information becomes available to the team is called
    • Scope Verification
    • Strategic Planning
    • Progressive elaboration
    • Quantitative elaboration

    Correct Answer: C

  3. Which of the following factors is not considered to be a project constraint?
    • Scope
    • Time
    • Cost
    • Appearance

    Correct Answer: D

  4. All of the following are parts of the team’s stakeholder management efforts EXCEPT:
    • Giving stakeholders extras
    • Manage Stakeholder
    • Determining stakeholders needs
    • Managing Stakeholders expectations

    Correct Answer: A

Giving Stakeholder extras is “GOLD PLATING”; this is not effective stakeholder management.

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About Aditi Malhotra

Aditi Malhotra is the Content Marketing Manager at Whizlabs. Having a Master in Journalism and Mass Communication, she helps businesses stop playing around with Content Marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is a fine blend of both reality and fantasy. Apart from her professional commitments, she is also endearing to publish a book authored by her very soon.