Managing key stakeholders and sponsors is critical to project success. Based on premise that 80% of changes fail to deliver planned benefits, Graham Kennedy, ICT Managed Services, divided reasons for failure into three distinct categories.
First: executive ownership. He said that this can be ineffective if business rationale/direction not clear. Result can be a "project solution looking for a problem" or "riding a dead horse" and knowing when to get off. Sponsor needs to be expert pulling things together otherwise project will esculate out of control.
Second: misalignment. A lack of relevance to the organsiation creates gap between current performance and what it's trying to achieve. Projects exist to solve or bridge the gap. To do this need to be clear what achieve at strategic level. Alignment between issues and objectives brings measurable benefits to organisation.
Third: stakeholder management. "A reformer has enemies who all profit from the old order" - Machiavelli. Apt quote for managing stakholders. Need to identify enemies and potential defenders. Analyse motivation and idenfity "tools and levers to encourage stakeholder support".
Is executive sponsor support critical to project success? Yes 100%.
Is project alignment with organisation's strategy critical to success? Yes 100%.
Is stakeholder management critical to project success? Yes 100%.