Dealing With Power and Politics in
RANDALL L. ENGLUND, CONSULTANT
Project management is more than techniques to complete projects on time, scope, and budget. Organizations by their very nature are political, so effective project managers need to become politically sensitive. Astute “project politicians” assess the environment and develop an effective political plan help to address the power structure in an organization. They identify critical stakeholders’ levels of impact and support, develop a guiding coalition, and determine areas of focus.
Because all projects involve change, project managers and team members find themselves involved in an organizational change process. To be ignorant about leading change can be costly to the organization and the individual. Instead of lamenting about a failed project, program, or initiative, it is possible to learn a proven approach to power, politics, and change that optimizes project success. Let’s examine some specific steps that make a difference between success and failure in a political environment.
It takes wisdom and courage to engage in action and change an approach to project work. Instead of facing unknowns, resistance and chaos alone, prepare for a hero’s journey. The approach shared below can help turn potential victim scenarios into win-win political victories.
Sooner or later all professionals find a leadership role thrust upon them, a team to lead, or a project to accomplish with others. Greater success comes to those who define, develop, and/or refine a plan to be successful. These people ultimately embrace the journey or process of changing an