The United States Department of Defense (DOD) has one of the complicated project management processes that need several years for successful project completion (Sutterfield et al., 2006). It is difficult to manage DOD projects even the best circumstances are provided. There are various reasons including structural, behavioral, and environmental complexities that make it complex (Sutterfield et al., 2006). With the goal of acquiring crafts that has amphibian and heavy-lifting capabilities, The LAMP-H project was launched by the US army and the LAMP-Hs to be met certain speed and payload requirements. However, stakeholders had different views on LAMP-Hs speed and payload. Due to all these opinions from different project stakeholders, there was disagreement on the number of LAMP-H units to be purchased and the unit price of each (Sutterfield et al., 2006).
Managing various project stakeholders of a project who are above and below the project manager can affect the projects either positively or negatively. Stakeholder management and its impact was the case with the DOD LAMP-H project (Sutterfield et al., 2006). This paper discusses the impact of project stakeholders on a project analyzing the LAMP-H project.
Project stakeholders before the implementation of the Program Executive Officer
Before implementation of the Program Executive Officer, financial executives, functional managers, transportation school (T-school), and watercraft R&D center were project stakeholders. Senior financial executives were above the project manager who frequently looked for re-allocating the funds to other program needs. Functional managers were below the project manager who constantly looks for full compliance with every relevant regulation (Sutterfield et al., 2006). Most of the time, this requirement for full compliance greatly affected the project completion timeline and the cost (Sutterfield et al., 2006).
Stakeholder analysis is important for any project that uses various tools and techniques to identify the expectations and needs of a project environment. By understanding the attributes and interrelationships of stakeholders, project managers can strategically plan their projects. Stakeholder analysis is the first step in strategic planning on an organizational level (Smith, 2000). Table 1 shows a brief stakeholder analysis of LAMP-H project (Watt, 2014).
|Stakeholder Names||Potential for threat||Potential for cooperation|
|Watercraft R&D center||Low||Low|
Potential for threat: Funding source was important for the project manager; however he identified the threat of funding cuts. Therefore the role of financial executives is high for the project success (Sutterfield et al., 2006).
Potential for cooperation: Senior financial executives were frequently looking for fund re-allocation while functional managers were looking for full compliance with every regulation (Sutterfield et al., 2006). Watercraft R&D Center developed Technical specifications which were not correct. Considering these, we can see that the potential for cooperation is low with these stakeholders. However, the T-School was supportive.
Strategy adopted: The project manager could build interest among the various stakeholders by using the positive results of the analysis. This was done starting from the highest level down to the DOD staff explaining to them the analysis outcome. The project manager created an acquisition strategy aligning with the technical requirements for the LAMP-H craft which gained positive results (Sutterfield et al., 2006).
Changes after the implementation of the Program Executive Officer (PEO)
Once LAMP-H project was established as a viable project, a PEO was introduced with no acquisition experience and a new project manager was introduced with an acquisition background. The former project manager became the deputy project manager, but he was supportive of the new project manager. Therefore, they both were in conflict with the functional managers and workers. Due to the lack of acquisition process knowledge, the PEO was not active. T-School was failed in completing ROC documents timely that affected the timeline of the project (Sutterfield et al., 2006). These situations created conflicts and affected the completion of LAMP-H project
Solutions and Strategies with Conclusion
Stakeholders are the individuals who have an interest in a project. When a project achieves its goals and meets or exceeds the stakeholders’ expectations, the project is successful. However, most of the time, project stakeholders are with conflicting interests. Therefore, the project manager has the responsibility to understand and resolve such conflicts (Watt, 2014). Stakeholder analysis is important for project planning. It is also important to plan the stakeholders’ map carefully. In this project, even after identifying the project as viable, the introduction of the PEO created conflicts. His lack of experience in the acquisition of projects made him low confident that affected the project’s success. Therefore, it is also important to involve experienced people for a project to be successful.
Smith, L. W. (2000). Stakeholder analysis a pivotal practice of successful projects. PMI. https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/stakeholder-analysis-pivotal-practice-projects-8905
Sutterfield, J.S., Friday-Stroud, S.S., & Shivers-Blackwell, S.L. (2006). A case study of project and stakeholder management failures: Lessons learned. Project Management Journal, 37(5), 26-35.. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/9250717/a_case_study_of_project_and_stakeholder_management_failures_lessons_learned
Watt, A. (2014, August 14). Project management. BCcampus. http://opentextbc.ca/projectmanagement/. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Disclaimer: This paper was written as part of the MBA program.