The success core of any project resides within a ‘Well Planned Project Plan’ but having said that, to successfully achieve the desired outcome; efficient execution, monitoring and seamless communication must be present throughout the entire life cycle of the project.

Often there will be situations where the project is going as planned but a critical change request or uncoordinated project dependencies might throw the schedule off-track. The impact to project’s schedule, budget (time, money) and quality might be tremendous based on the size of project and criticality of the end stage product(s).

This is the time when the Project Manager will be tested for his/her Communication & Management skills. These skills will be tested against the challenges below:

• Priority Management
• Stakeholder Management

Managing Priorities can have many variables or point of failures for a well-versed management plan. So how the priorities should be managed?
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When executing the priority list, you should be very clear and honest to act in the situation where one of your priority tasks’ is taking longer than expect. If that happens, move to the next task in the list otherwise ‘the domino effect’ will prevail for the entire list of pending tasks.

Since Priorities are directly impacted and governed by the stakeholders involved, therefore managing stakeholders is a skill within itself!

By managing Stakeholders’ expectations properly, the project teams do gain respect, trust and motivation during the project life.

So what should be done for an effective Stakeholder Management?

The first and the foremost important part is to ‘IDENTIFY STAKEHOLDERS’ where a stakeholder can be an individual, a group of people, a team or an organisation itself.

Analysing their needs, expectations and level of their authority they command should be done after identifying the stakeholders. A Project Manager must map the expectations correctly.

Classify and confirm the means of communications with all the stakeholders, as some may prefer emails where as other may opt for phone calls or even regularWork In Progress meetings for the updates. Once the communication modes are agreed, make sure the relevant stakeholders are updated and informed regularly as well as involved for the feedback, where required.

This will involve their ‘Decision Making’ authorities to clarify and communicate appropriately during the project so that the governance is aware and updated with the progress as well as Right-First-Time score is excellent at the end of the project.

Therefore, for any PM or BA, Priority and Stakeholder management is all about communication and effectively executing the agreed plans.